Managing Customer Returns

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Manage and monitor the status of customer returns

Customer Returns (BKP)

Introduction to Customer Returns in SAP S/4HANA

SAP ERP contains several sales document types for returns processing. An RE sales order represents a standard returns order with an (expected) delivery for the returned materials and a credit memo to correct the open items in accounts receivables accounting (FI-AR). Document type RE2 is used to create an advanced returns order. SAP Advanced Returns Management (ARM) integrates the whole process from creation of a returns order, to inspection management, followed by the creation of a credit memo (via a credit memo request if required). SAP ARM can be used for both customer and supplier returns processing.

In SAP ERP, ARM is a functionality that is available once certain business functions are switched on in the switch framework (transaction code SFW5). In an SAP S/4HANA system, these business functions are part of the Always On set of business functions (see transaction code SFW5), which means that ARM is available by default in SAP S/4HANA.

The SAP Fiori app that is used to create a customer returns is called Manage Customer Returns.

Note
SAP S/4HANA 2022 introduced an SAP Fiori app called Manage Customer Returns - Version 2. With this app, you can create returns orders without referencing a preceding document. Also, you can manage customer returns by displaying, editing, and determining refunds for returns orders. Furthermore, you can monitor various statuses to track the progress of customer returns.
Note
The following demonstration will show you how you could find the Manage Customer Returns app:

SAP Best Practices for SAP S/4HANA also contains a scope item for returns processing which uses the ARM functionality of the system. This is scope item Customer Returns (BKP). The central app for accelerated returns management is called Manage Customer Returns. A returns order created with this app, uses sales document type CBAR (for a customer returns).

The Manage Customer Returns app has the following characteristics:

  • It is possible to search for customer returns using a free-text search field

  • It is possible to search for customer returns by entering a value in one or more of the filtering fields

  • It is possible to create a new customer returns

  • It is possible to edit the details of an existing customer returns

  • It is possible to determine the refund for a customer returns (which items to refund and the refund type)

  • Since SAP S/4HANA release 2022:
    • Logistical follow-up activities In-House Repair (Service) and Send Back to Customer are available
    • An additional way of processing bills of material (BOM) for returns is available
    • Serial number processing is supported
    • Refund determination based on inspection splits is possible
    • Changing the shipping condition in the returns order header is possible

Customer returns in SAP S/4HANA has the following characteristics:

  • Simplified returns order management and processing

  • Automatic creation of follow-up documents, such as credit memo requests and return deliveries

  • Ability to quickly check the status of a specific returns process (e.g. by using the process flow)

Customer Returns in SAP S/4HANA: A Few Details

Returns management in SAP S/4HANA can automatically trigger the creation of a credit memo request. It is possible to set-up workflow processing for approving such a credit memo request.

Note
See the following video to learn about the support for workflow in returns management:

Concerning the follow-up steps after a returns order has been created:

Screenshots are shown of possible follow-up steps for a returns order.

Process steps that can be executed after the creation of the returns order can include the following:

  • Determination of the refund action, such as granting of credit or replacement of products

  • Add attachments to a returns orders

  • Define follow-up activities within the returns process

  • Generate follow-up documents automatically

  • Include goods inspection (e.g. inspection documents in the process flow)

  • Enable the customer to ship the goods directly to the supplier)

Note
You can check the SAP Signavio Process Navigator and search for solution process BKP for more details about the customer returns process:
  1. Log on to SAP for ME if needed.
  2. Navigate to the list of solution processes on the SAP Signavio Process Navigator website. Use URL https://me.sap.com/processnavigator and choose Solution Process. You can now see a list of all available solution processes.
  3. Using the Search in SAP Signavio Process Navigator field (in the top right corner of your screen), search for solution process BKP.
  4. In the resulting list, select the entry for the current (i.e. the most recent) version of the solution process. You can now see the details for the solution process.

Create a Customer Returns

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