SAP Material Masters: How do they integrate with the rest of your ERP system?
EP Editorial Staff | November 15, 2016
Someone once told me that the material master is the center of the universe in SAP. There is much truth to that statement.
In dealing with multiple maintenance plants all over the country, the biggest issues I see after an implementation are how the material masters for maintenance were set up. Material masters integrate with every process of your ERP system. They can control a portion of your financials, affect your work orders, wreak havoc with purchasing, and create a situation in which your company is non-compliant with regulations on PSM (process-safety management). What follows is a common, yet critical, issue regarding safety stock.
Material 123 has a safety stock set in the material master (transaction MM02) for a quantity of nine. Someone at the site puts in a reservation for a quantity of 10. We will call this individual person A. Person B puts in a reservation for the same material for a quantity of nine. Person B gets the material delivered from the storeroom to the required area on the same day that it has been reserved. Person A waits for an extended period and doesn’t understand why he is not receiving the materials he ordered.
There are two problems with this scenario.
The storeroom receives all reservations for materials through a transaction, MB25. This screen shows by work order, cost center, or requester what material is being requested and the delivery date for which the requirement should be filled.
If the inventory clerk does not have the requirements date set in order, it is possible that orders are filled out of order. In this situation, person A should have had the requirements filled before person B.
The second problem occurs when MRP (materials-requirements planning) is running. SAP will see that the safety stock is set at a quantity of nine. Therefore, that is all that the system will ever try to keep in stock. When A and B entered a total requirement quantity of 19, the quantity of nine in stock will be issued and MRP will create a requisition for the remaining amount. However, this will still produce a deficit, as the safety stock requires nine.
To fix this problem, the site should run transaction MC44. This will generate the exact number of inventory turns in a period, per material. It shows that the material is consumed at a rate higher than the safety stock setting and will allow the analysis and data to confirm that the safety stock should be increased to a number that will meet the site’s requirements.
Ensuring that safety stock is set to an accurate number can reduce the amount of purchase requisitions created and assure that orders are filled in a timely manner to meet requirements and, in parallel jobs, will not be delayed. MT
Kristina Gordon is SAP Program Consultant at the DuPont, Sabine River Works plant in West Orange, TX. If you have SAP questions, send them to email@example.com and we’ll forward them to Kristina.