Certificates and the Logistics Chain: Sample Business Processes

On the basis of two examples, this topic describes which activities may be necessary in a customer/vendor relationship when certificates are used.

A Certificate With Characteristics

A customer orders bicycle seats from a vendor. The customer is going to use these seats to produce racing bicycles. He wants the vendor to inspect the bicycle seats before shipment and to certify that the bicycle seats have passed the quality inspection. The customer has specific characteristics he wants inspected and the inspection results for each characteristic must fall within certain ranges or have certain values. He also has specific requirements about how the results should appear on the certificate.

He contacts the vendor’s sales department with his request for an inspection and a specific certificate layout. The certificate is to be included with every delivery.

An agreement is reached as to which contact person at the customer site will receive the certificate. The certificate is to accompany the goods shipment in a hard-copy form.

The appropriate person in the vendor’s sales department contacts a representative in the QM department.

QM Activities

The responsible person in the QM department determines whether the requested characteristics were already inspected during production. If these items have not been inspected, he or she must make sure that an inspection plan with the required characteristics is created and released, and that an inspection is carried out. For example, an inspection might be carried out for the delivery. The system can be set up so that a goods issue will only be possible if the inspection was successfully completed with a usage decision (QM control in SD).

In addition, someone must make sure that an appropriate layout set (form) is created for the certificate using SAPscript®, provided none of the existing layout sets meets the customer’s requirements.

The person must then create a certificate profile. The characteristics are entered in the requested order. The manner in which each characteristic is to be printed is defined individually for each characteristic. The certificate profile is then assigned to the combination of material (bicycle seat) and customer.

The output form and partner function (for example, customer contact) are stored in a recipient record, so the certificates can also be created automatically for future deliveries.

After the inspection lot has been created and the goods have been inspected, the results are recorded and the usage decision is made. You can now generate the certificate to accompany the shipment of bicycle seats.

SD Activities

Activities also take place simultaneously in the SD module. A sales order is created for the material, a delivery is created for the order and the order picking is carried out. Once the inspection has been successfully completed, the goods issue is posted. The certificate is printed along with the other delivery-related documents and the bicycle seats are shipped to the customer.

A Certificate Without Characteristics

In the simplest case, the vendor must only certify that the bicycle seat conforms to a specified standard. In this case, the certificate only contains the data relating to the sales/distribution document, the material/batch, a text that substantiates that the goods conform to the standard and possibly a signature.

In this case, it is also possible that an inspection may be required at the vendor’s premises. The inspection results, however, are not documented on the certificate. The certificate profile does not contain any characteristic data.

Presettings for Quality Certificates

Before quality certificates can be created, certain settings can or must be made in the Customizing application:

For a complete list of objects that must be maintained in the Customizing application, see Customizing Settings for Quality Certificates.

Certain data and functions from QM and other SAP applications provide the basis for creating the certificates. For complete information, see Data and Functions from SAP Applications.

For information about QM control in the SD module, see Quality Management Control for Sales & Distribution