Understanding Shipping Functions


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Create Delivery Documents
  • Determine Criteria for Delivery Consolidation
  • Understand Effects of Partial and Complete Delivery Settings

Processing Outbound Deliveries

View this short video about Outbound Delivery.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition uses Outbound Delivery documents to manage the delivery of goods to customers.

For example, a company may have received a high volume of sales orders, some of which are due to be shipped today. Outbound Deliveries must be created to begin this shipping process. These may be created by a user online, or alternatively, a scheduled background task may run in the early hours of the morning to create the Outbound Deliveries automatically.

A shipping specialist may then open the Manage Outbound Deliveries app and process all deliveries due for picking in the warehouse. Goods are picked, packed and shipped using the agreed means of transport, for example, road freight or export container.

Once the goods are shipped, the "Post Goods Issue" process is executed, which records their dispatch and updates the inventory information in the system. It also closes the lifecycle of the Outbound Delivery document.

Goods shipped to the customer can now be invoiced by billing the Outbound Deliveries.

Complete and Partial Delivery

Partial delivery agreement

Some customers may always require one complete delivery for each order they place. In other words, the full quantities of all order items must be delivered together using a single outbound delivery document. Other customers may allow a number of partial deliveries, for example, if one or some of the items in the order cannot be confirmed for the original requested delivery date. The Complete Delivery field in the business partner (for the sold-to party) determines which of these options applies to each customer. The value in this field is copied from the business partner into the sales order, although it may then be changed manually in the order.

If partial deliveries are permitted by the customer, you can also determine whether partial delivery of a single item is possible. To do this, maintain the corresponding parameters in the customer-material information record and/or in the business partner master data.

As shown in the figure, Partial Delivery Agreement, the customer-material information record (if created) takes priority over the business partner when the system determines the partial delivery rules to be used in a sales order.

The main options for partial deliveries at the item level are:

  • Multiple partial deliveries are allowed
  • Only one delivery should be created (even if the ordered quantity cannot be fulfilled)
  • Only a complete delivery per item is allowed
  • There is no limit to subsequent deliveries

When you enter a sales order, you can change the parameters manually. This may be necessary if a customer usually prefers complete delivery (maintained in the business partner master data) but allows a partial delivery for one particular order.

Complete and partial deliveries

The figure, Complete and Partial Deliveries, shows both scenarios.

  • The complete delivery scenario shows the use of a single Outbound Delivery document to deliver the full quantities of all items in a sales order.
  • The partial deliveries scenario shows the use of multiple Outbound Deliveries, typically over a period of time. Each of these documents is delivering partial quantities of the total items in the sales order. Reasons for this may include stock shortages or delayed replenishment of the materials ordered.

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