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Inspection Characteristics – How to Add to a Material

While testing my software applications I often run into new pieces of master data that I’m not familar with.  Not that long ago, I had to learn how to assign Inspecting Characteristics to a material (so they would show up in a production order).  Since my blog is also my searchable notebook, I thought I’d share it with the world =)  Please note, this approach isn’t the only way to do this…  but for my testing, it works.  Feel free to experiment further.

Step 1.  Make sure that the material master has a quality view and you select Inspection Setup:  Select inspection type 03

Step 2.  Create a Master Inspection Characteristic (MIC)

Go to transaction QS21.  You will need to probably create a few MIC’s.  First we will create a Quantitative one.

Enter in the plant and press enter

Enter in the info shown above (you can enter more, but consider this the base amount of data).  Hit enter or press control indicators

Hit enter after filling in the above data

Enter in the above data and press enter.

Now press the Quantitative button and enter in the above data.

Enter in a catalog and press enter.

Save it and you’re first MIC is done.

To do a Qualatative Characteristic

go to QS21 again and enter in the plant

Fill in the above data and press Control Indicators

Fill in the data and press enter

Fill this in.  Press Enter and Save.

You now have 2 MIC’s.  Feel free to create as many as you want/need.

Step 3.  Add the MICs to the routing

TXN CA02 to pull up a routing.  enter in the material and plant.

Go to the Operations you want to add it to.

Highlight the operation to add the characteristics to and press Inspection Characteristics

And badda bing, badda bang, badda boom, you have inspection characteristics loaded into your routing.

Next time you make a production order, you’ll see these.

If you need more help from us, just press contact us above, and we’ll be happy to help you,

Thanks for reading,


SAP SM Blueprinting Questions – Master Data

One thing I’ve noticed over and over again, is that when it comes to blueprinting for SAP Service Management or Customer service, the same questions and same processes always apply.  And inevitably, the same gotcha’s show up because one of these questions is missed.  So today I wanted to talk about the list of SAP SM blueprinting questions I use.  If you see something I missed, please add it to the comments.  I’ve lumped things together into major categories and I’ve included questions if you’re already on SAP or if you’re about to blueprint from a completely different system.  Together I think we can make a great list for all of us to work.  This first post will focus on all of the master data related to SM/CS.

How many service products do you use?

If your audience is currently on SAP, this finds out what service materials are currently in use.  From here, the follow-up questions would be what service materials do you have, and what are each of them used for.

How many serviceable materials do you have (ballpark)?

This is to get an idea of how many materials are currently being repaired.  One of the big things that often catches customers by surprise is the amount of data that may need to be created if you choose to have different valuations for repaired materials.  Especially in an environment that keeps quick turn around stock in their warehouse (I call that process advanced exchange or service exchange).  There are usually 2 ways to handle this situation.  One is multiple valuation for a single material.  This can often be very messy and transaction intensive for the entire organization.  An alternative method to handle this is a second material material (prefixed or suffixed with something to show it’s a rebuilt/repaired/etc version).  This material can then be stocked under a different number, with different costs, profit centers, etc.  Short story, you need the answer for this to know if you might have to create an additional 10,000 materials to account for all of the serviceable materials.

Do you serialize?

This simple question is often one of the most important questions you’ll ask during blueprinting.  I’ve worked at multiple companies that did not serialize their products, but wanted to start serializing in SAP.  While this sounds like a simple request, there are a lot of follow questions you must find out during your blueprinting phase of the project.  Here’s where to start:

  •      Do you use equipment records or serial number records?
    • There isn’t a huge difference between the pieces of functionality, and won’t have a large impact on how you configure the system.  However, be prepared to explain the difference between a serial number & an equipment record.
  • Do you use an installed base or serial number hierarchy?
    • The use of an installed base or serial number hierarchy won’t impact your configuration that much, but it will have a big impact on your processes.  Both of these pieces in SAP require a lot manual maintenance, or perhaps some heavy programming work to accomplish.  It’s something you want to know as soon as possible, if you ask me.
  • Do you use an equipment BOM or Plant Maintenance BOM for any serial numbers?
    • This is important to understand because in SAP you have the option to maintain individual bills of materials for each equipment/serial number.  Again, this won’t impact your configuration, but will impact your processes.  If they answer yes to this question, you then need to understand how do they use this bill of material?  is it purely to maintain the as-built/as-maintained history record, or do they use it for creating materials using the same bill of material.
  • How much information do you capture in your serial number?
    • With SAP serial numbers/equipment records you have the ability to capture an immense amount of data.  While this often sounds like a great thing, the new user will quickly learn that SAP doesn’t really maintain most of this data without a lot of custom development.  Often, I encourage my clients to only use what they NEED.  Now need is of course subjective, but it’s important to stress that it will be easy for this data to get out synch unless you have a good master data process.  These are the most common pieces that are maintained, but remember, there are a lot of options for more data, just be cognizant of the manual nature of most of the fields.
      • Partner Information
      • Warranty information
      • Serial Number Hierarchy
      • Location information
      • Classification information
      • Etc
  • Do your customers register their serial numbers with you to begin warranty or receive additional support?
    • This question is another important piece of serial number maintenance.  If they do have customer registration, you will need to follow up and find out how they receive the registration from their customers.  Is it online, mailed in, phoned in?  How should the warranty be handled?  does it differ by product, or does everything get a 90 day warranty.  This and much more is all part of the registration portion.

Do you use master warranties?

The master warranty is another piece of data that you want to capture early on.  The entire warranty conversation will inevitably take up a lot of your blueprinting time.  We’ll go into more details in some of the following posts.  For now, find out if the customer uses master warranties, or if they have a set of warranty rules for a defined period of time/products/services/coverages etc…

  • How do you currently determine what master warranty to assign to each product? or does everything get the same master warranty?
  • When does the warranty period begin?  When the product ships?  when it’s registered?  or some other method?
  • How many characteristics are you tracking in the warranty?
    • Are you tracking things by time, mileage, working hours, or all of the above?

Do you use measuring points?

Measuring points are another major piece of master data associated with SAP Service Processing.  You first need to determine if they have materials that need measuring points.  Then you need to find out if you are measuring time, distance, operating hours, etc to make sure you can properly handle the setup.  Finally, you need to understand how those measurement points get loaded into the system.  Are they currently automated?  does someone manually enter them on a weekly/monthly basis?  What are the measurement points used for.  Are they used for warranty information?  to provide automated service notices to the customer for their next oil change? or are they simply tracked on internal equipment?

These are the big things I always try to cover when I start talking master data.  Obviously, every one of these pieces leads into other questions and business processes, but I wanted to start with one piece at a time.