Purchasing: Release Procedure for Requisitions and Other Purchasing Documents
Up to Release 2.2 there is a release procedure for requisitions only . This procedure can be used to release the individual items of a requisition for the purposes of creating and issuing RFQs or purchase orders.
This correction and approval procedure is intended to allow material, quantity, delivery date, account assignment, and source of supply to be checked for correctness.
As of Release 3.0 there is a new release procedure, which works with MM Classification. This allows the existing release conditions "value", "material group", "account assignment" and "plant" to be considerably extended and the procedure to be made more flexible.
The new procedure allows the release not only of requisitions but also of the purchasing documents "request for quotation (RFQ)", "purchase order (PO)", "contract", "scheduling agreement" and "service entry sheet".
With regard to requisitions, both the new and the old release procedures are available on a parallel basis.
The aim of this release procedure for purchasing documents is to replace manual written authorization procedures using signatures by an electronic one, while maintaining the dual control principle. The person responsible processes the relevant document in the system, thereby marking it with an "electronic signature" which can give the the document legal force. In contrast to the previous release procedure for requisitions, the new one therefore only permits purchasing documents to be released in total: there is no provision for partial approval on an item by item basis.
Using the release system with MM Classification
If the release procedure is used with Classification, release strategies can be determined for purchasing documents with the aid of characteristics. Accordingly, a new class type is available for the release procedure. Each of the different documents has its own class. For instance, there is a class for requisition release procedures and a class for the release of service entry sheets. Each class can have its own characteristics, thereby allowing each document to be automatically assigned to a certain release strategy on the basis of its characteristic values. The characteristic values from the document are passed on to MM Classification with the aid of communication structures.
Changes made to documents after the start of the release procedure
If changes are made to purchasing documents for which the release procedure has already started, the system always issues an appropriate message to the user. There are three types of change:
- Case 1: insignificant change that does not necessitate another release strategy.
- Case 2: relevant change that does not necessitate another release strategy.
- Case 3: relevant change that necessitates another release strategy.
The release procedure can also allow for alternatives.
If, for instance, a release strategy has five release points in an ascending hierarchy of 1 to 5, and the highest hierarchy level has released the document, all four subordinate release points do not necessarily also have to release it.
The box with the information on the release strategy additionally offers you the possible alternatives for selection. For example, either the points 1, 2, 3, and 4 must approve the item, or – alternatively – release point 5.
Link to workflow
With the link to SAP workflow, release points are automatically made aware (by e-mail) of purchase requisitions requiring approval. In Customizing, you define which release points participate in the workflow.
The procedure is as follows:
Release point 1, which the first one that has to release a requisition, receives an e-mail notification that requisition no. 12345 is awaiting release.
In processing the mail, the user can release or refuse approval for the requisition.
When release point 1 has finished processing, the following release point receives an e-mail. The process is repeated until the requisition has been seen by all the release points that have been assigned to a release strategy.
A precondition is that the release points involved must be flagged as relevant to workflow.
In particular, you can use workflow for those release points (individuals or departments) that, as a rule, are not involved in day-to-day approval processes and therefore may not be aware of requisitions that are awaiting release. For example, release points 1 to 5 approve requisitions on a daily basis. Requisitions that exceed a value of $ 500,000 have to be approved by a member of the board of management. The latter can be made aware of the existence of any such requisitions via e-mail.
Change system parameters in customizing
Database index for document selection
Prior to Release 3.0, the data for the collective release of purchase requisitions had to be regularly updated. For this purpose, it was necessary for the system administrator to recompile the matchcode.
If you change over to the new release procedure for purchasing documents, this is unnecessary because there is a database index which selects requisitions to be released.
To permit the requisitions requiring release to be found via the database index, release information from existing requisitions is taken over into a new field "Subject to release".
Report RM06BBIX fills this field. It only has to be run once when you switch from the old release procedure to the new one.
If you have requisitions covered by the old release procedure in your system, and you wish to convert to the new one, run report RM06BBIX by clicking on "Execute report".
New field "Release group"
In Customizing, there is a new field "Release group" with which the release strategies are uniquely identified. This allows you to extend the code for the release strategy (to date, two characters long) to four characters, for example, as follows:
– 01-S1 = strategy S1 for purchase requisitions
– 02-S1 = strategy S1 for other purchasing documents
The document type must be assigned to a release group with the aid of the object type. The latter specifies for which purchasing document a release group is valid, e.g. object type 1 (requisition) belongs to group 01 (requisitions).
The following object types are available in the standard system:
- 1 purchase requisition
- 2 purchase order
- 3 service entry sheet
- 4 reserve
For more on this topic, please refer to
Set up procedure without classification.
The following USER EXITS are available to enable you to adjust the process of determining the release strategy to suit your requirements:
To determine the person in workflow responsible for requisition approval.
To change the process of determining the release strategy for purchase requisitions
To change the process of determining the release strategy for other purchasing documents
The USER EXIT is called up if a release code has the workflow indicator "9". Objects from human resources planning can be passed on as "persons responsible": e.g. "US" (user) in the field "Object type" and a user name in the field "Processor’s ID".
Example of determination of person responsible via customer-specific table: you can create a customer-specific Customizing table along the lines of T16FW, via which the person responsible is determined on the basis of the characteristics "release group", "release code" etc.
Example of determination of person responsible via cost center: The cost center can be read and the person responsible for the cost center used as person responsible for release purposes via the requisition account assignment.
With this USER EXIT you can change the communication structure for the determination of the release strategy for the requisition.
1. Filling of user fields in CEBAN
The following user fields are available:
Furthermore, the communication structure CEBANZZ is available, enabling you to apply your own fields.
The cost center master record can be read via the cost center in the communication structure and the person responsible for the cost center set in the user field USRC1.
If the class for the determination of the requisition release strategy contains a characteristic with reference to CEBAN-USRC1, the strategy is determined as a function of the person responsible for the cost center.
2. Changing standard fields in CEBAN
If the value of the requisition used for the determination of the strategy in the standard SAP system is not to be used, the value can be calculated on a customer-specific basis. The field CEBAN-GSWRT can then be overwritten with this value.
If the class for the determination of the requisition strategy now contains a characteristic with reference to CEBAN-GSWRT, the strategy is determined as a function of the changed value.
With this USER EXIT you can change the communication structure for determining the release strategy for purchasing documents.
The following user fields are available:
Furthermore, the communication structure CEKKOZZ is available, enabling you to apply your own fields.
There is a new authorization object M_EINK_FRG for the release procedure for purchasing documents. The authorization object contains the release group and the release code.
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