Processing a Delivery Document


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Process a delivery document

Processing a Delivery Document

You trigger shipping activities by creating deliveries. The responsible organizational unit for creating deliveries is the shipping point.

The shipping point is the highest-level organizational unit of shipping that controls your shipping activities. Each outbound delivery is processed by one shipping point.

The shipping point can be a loading ramp, a mail depot, or a rail depot. It can also be, for example, a group of employees responsible (only) for organizing urgent deliveries.

You assign a shipping point at plant level. A shipping point is a physical place and should be near the delivering plant. More than one shipping point can be assigned to a plant. You can also assign several shipping points to a plant. This can also be appropriate for plants in physical proximity.

The responsible shipping point is determined for each order item. The system automatically proposes a shipping point that you can change within given limits. The shipping point cannot be changed in the outbound delivery. When an order is processed for delivery by the shipping point, the system only copies into the outbound delivery those order items that are defined for this shipping point. Order items with different shipping points are therefore not copied into the same outbound delivery.

Shipping Processing

Outbound deliveries are the basic documents for the different activities during the shipping process (picking, packing, and posting the goods issue). In most cases, they are created with reference to one or more sales orders that are ready to be shipped. Due to the reference, the system can copy all the relevant data from the order(s) to the outbound delivery.

Delivery Document Structure

  • Delivery document header

    The data for the document header is valid for the entire document. This includes, for example, data for the ship-to party and schedules for shipping processing.

  • Delivery document item

    Each item in the delivery document contains its own data. This includes data about the material, quantities, and weights as well as stock information. Each delivery document can have several items. The items can be controlled differently. Examples include material item, free-of-charge item, or text item.

The delivery document does not contain schedule lines. Each schedule line in the sales document can become an item in the delivery document.

To process delivery documents efficiently, the data can be read and processed in different views. The views are grouped into overview, header, and item screens.

Prerequisites for Delivering an Order

Options for Creating Outbound Deliveries

You can create an outbound delivery manually, with or without reference to a particular order.

If you use collective processing (delivery list), you can deliver goods for all types of shipping documents. In this case, the system creates multiple outbound deliveries automatically. This can take place online or in the background (overnight, for instance).

Backorder Processing with Advanced Available to Promise

Despite the different options for adjusting the scope of the material availability check, there will be times when you cannot confirm a sales order. Such sales orders are called backorders within SAP S/4HANA

In many cases, you will not be able to do anything to resolve the situation. Nevertheless, backorder processing could be an option.

With backorder processing, you can change existing material confirmations. This means you could reduce the confirmed sales order quantity of a material for a (less important) customer and increase the confirmed sales order quantity for another (more important) customer.

In SAP S/4HANA, you can use different confirmation strategies during the backorder processing. These confirmation strategies determine how the different material requirements should be handled.

Before the backorder processing (BOP) can be executed, several elements have to be prepared.

BOP Segment: A BOP segment contains criteria which identify a set of requirements that are handled similarly during a BOP run. As the availability check strictly confirms on a first come, first served basis, the way in which the requirements are ranked is of central importance. Therefore, a BOP segment also contains a prioritizer, which sorts the requirements into a dedicated sequence.

BOP Variant: A BOP variant contains a collection of settings that defines which requirements are checked (BOP Segments) and how they are handled (confirmation strategies). Each BOP run is based on a BOP variant.

BOP Run: A mass availability check of requirements (for example, sales order line items), executed as a dedicated step in the order fulfillment process (for example, after an MRP run or before the creation of a delivery due list). A BOP run is triggered online by an authorized user or scheduled as a background job by the order fulfillment manager.

Backorder Processing (BOP) Example

You can define detailed requirement filters in combination with sort attributes to select order items. These items can be:

  • Win (items which should get confirmation)
  • Gain (items which should improve their confirmation quantity / date)
  • Redistribute (items with confirmation which should be used to fulfill higher priority requirements)
  • Lose (items which should lose their confirmations)

Understanding BOP Strategies, Prioritization, and System Behavior

It is important to understand how these strategies work.

Confirmation Strategy: Lose

Processing Priority: 1

Definition: Assigned requirements lose their current confirmation and are not confirmed.

System Behavior: The released quantity of the Lose requirements can be used to confirm more important requirements or left as quantity available to confirm future requirements.

Confirmation Strategy: Win

Processing Priority: 2

Definition: Assigned requirements are fully confirmed on the request date (or immediately, if the requested material available date is in the past).

System Behavior: If requirements cannot be fully confirmed on time, the BOP run stops immediately, an alert is raised, and the corresponding sales document is not updated. All other sales order documents for the same material-plant combination are also note updated.

Confirmation Strategy: Gain

Processing Priority: 3

Definition: Assigned requirements retain, at least, their confirmation or, if possible improve.

System Behavior: If current confirmations cannot be retained, the BOP run stops immediately and an alert is raised. When this happens, all requirements for the same material-plant combination are excluded from the BOP run.

Confirmation Strategy: Redistribute

Processing Priority: 4

Definition: Assigned requirements can get a better, equal or worse confirmation.

System Behavior: BOP may release quantities of requirements so that they can be used to fulfill requirements with higher priorities. BOP may produce a worse confirmation when requirements with a higher priority have reduced the available quantity.

Note that the Redistribute confirmation strategy is the only strategy currently supported by product allocation (PAL).

Confirmation Strategy: Fill

Processing Priority: 5

Definition: Assigned requirements do not gain additional quantity or get an earlier confirmation date. They get an equal or worse confirmation.

System Behavior: To confirm requirements from Win and Gain, BOP releases quantities of requirements assigned to Fill. This can result in a later confirmation or a loss in confirmed quantity.

Picking Process

Sales and Distribution (SD) and Extended Warehouse Management (EWM)

To execute physical goods movements in the warehouse, warehouse tasks are used. Warehouse tasks are needed for the following:

  • Picking

  • Putaway

  • Internal Movements

  • Posting Changes

  • Goods Receipt Postings

  • Goods Issue Postings

Collective Processing in Picking

You can introduce picking via collective processing. To do this, you select a work list from all the outbound deliveries ready for picking and edit the relevant deliveries.


Sometimes, you might want to use collective processing to create a single follow-up document for several preceding documents. For example, you might want to combine the materials for three sales orders in one delivery or create a single invoice for multiple outbound deliveries. In general, this procedure is possible, but the result depends on the values contained in certain fields in the selected documents (split criteria).

Goods Issue Processing

Create a Delivery Document, Perform Picking in EWM, and Post a Goods Issue

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