Service Management – Adding a configurable component

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Now, I recently encountered a limitation of service and maintenance orders.  For those of you familiar with SAP Service Management, you will notice this is a common theme (why else would I spend late nights developing solutions to fill in the gaps 😀 ).  Well, today was an interesting discovery.  It crossed over between my two SAP skillsets, but strangely, I never tried this.  The service order won’t allow you to add a configurable material as a component.  In fact, up until ERP 5.0 or 6.0 (not sure), you couldn’t even repair a configurable material.

Now, this is what I’d consider a corner case, but again, I found a client that wants to do it.  So that leaves me in that familiar place of “how to solve it”.  Now, I’m still in the research phase, so if any of you have found a clever way to handle this issue, I’d love to hear what you did.

Now, I can only come up with two possible ways to handle this.

1.  Material Variants – this method will certainly work, but it takes a lot of master data to create/maintain.  So for every configuration, you’d need a permanent part number.

2.  Purchasing a material from “yourself” – Now this method “might” work.  The idea behind this is that you can generate a Purchase Req, describe the material and configuration, and set the vendor up as your own company.  Then from that PO, create a sales order and configure the material, make it and “ship” to the repair group.

The problem with both of these approaches is that they require a lot of extra data.  Option 1 creates a permanent material in the system.  Option 2 means you need to create a PO, sales order, delivery and invoice.  And all the while, you just want to make a production order for a configurable material and have it issued to the service order.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  thanks for reading,

As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

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