Merchandise Distribution 


You can use the Merchandise Distribution functions to plan, control and manage the flow of merchandise from a vendor to a distribution center and then on to the store or customer. Merchandise Distribution supports push and pull processes, and allows you to carry out cross-docking in the distribution center. Cross-docking allows you to move the merchandise through the warehouse more quickly, thereby reducing the costs for processing and storage.


Function you require:

Component to use:

Management of distribution information

Article, Site

Planning of merchandise distribution for push process


Creation of warehouse orders and vendor orders (including collective orders)


Adjustments to merchandise distribution

Goods Receipt

Picking and goods issue

Shipping and Transportation, Warehouse Management


Procurement and Distribution by a Distribution Center

The merchandise is procured externally and passes through a distribution center, where it is distributed to the recipients. There are two phases in merchandise distribution:

Distribution planning

In planning, the system differentiates between the following situations:

- Planning using an allocation table (push)

In this case, distribution is planned using an allocation table. Procurement documents (vendor orders) and issue documents (warehouse orders or deliveries) are then created as follow-on documents.

When the system generates these follow-on documents, it updates the distribution data necessary for controlling how merchandise is processed after it has been received in the distribution center. If the allocation table is created with reference to a purchase order or shipping notification, a procurement document already exists, and as a result the system only generates the issue documents as follow-on documents.

- Planning using a collective purchase order (pull)

In this case, issue documents (sales orders or warehouse orders) already exist for the recipient. Collective purchase orders, containing totals per article and distribution center, are created as procurement documents. When collective purchase orders are updated, the system updates the distribution data.

Distribution processing

At goods receipt, the distribution data is automatically or manually adjusted to correspond with the quantities actually delivered. The merchandise is then distributed among the recipients. The various different processing methods in SAP Retail provide you with a high level of flexibility. You can place the goods in stock, or avoid this by using cross-docking or flow-through to transfer the goods direct to goods issue.

Special forms of distribution

In these cases, merchandise distribution is planned using an allocation table, but the merchandise does not go through the distribution center. As a result, distribution data is not required in the system.

Distribution is planned using an allocation table. The merchandise is then ordered from an external or internal vendor. As the vendor supplies the recipients directly, the system does not generate a warehouse order for the recipients.

In this case, the merchandise has already been procured. Distribution of existing warehouse stocks is planned using an allocation table. The system then generates warehouse orders for the recipients.