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Process documentationStandard VMI


You can use this process to implement a standard vendor-managed inventory (VMI) scenario with an SAP ERP system and an SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) system for the vendor, and an SAP ERP system for the customer.


Technical prerequisites

You have configured each of the systems as required. For more information, see Settings for Vendor-Managed Inventory.

Business Prerequisites

VMI collaboration is only possible if the customer material satisfies the requirements for warehouse-oriented replenishment planning. In particular, this means that the change in stock can be forecast with a comparatively high level of reliability and without major random fluctuations.

The data required for VMI planning is transmitted through Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or eXtensible Markup Language (XML) messages and is stored persistently in SAP APO. The following data can be processed here:

  • Stock on hand

  • Sales history

  • Promotion sales

  • Sales forecast

  • Promotion sales forecast

  • Open purchase order quantities

  • In-transit quantities

You can also transfer the following data through EDI:

  • Stock in transit

  • Proof of delivery


  1. The customer sends stock and sales data from its SAP ERP system to the vendor, who then uses this data to stock up the customer's warehouse independently.

  2. As an option, the vendor can process the forecast data in Customer Forecast Management, analyzing it and making the necessary adjustments before releasing it to Demand Planning. For more information, see Customer Forecast Management.

  3. The vendor generates planned independent requirements based on the customer's historical sales data using the statistical forecasting methods of Demand Planning. For more information, see Demand Planning.

  4. The vendor defines a short to medium-term plan on the basis of the demand plan, also taking into account the current stock figures at the customer location provided by the customer. For more information, see Supply Network Planning.

  5. The vendor creates optimized distribution plans using the deployment function in Supply Network Planning, defining when and how the products available at the vendor location are to be delivered to the VMI customers. For more information, see Deployment.

  6. In Transport Load Builder (TLB), the vendor groups the transport recommendations generated for individual products during deployment into TLB shipments of multiple products to optimize the utilization of transport capacities.

  7. The vendor's SAP ERP system automatically creates sales orders based on the TLB shipments confirmed by the ATD (available-to-deploy quantity) check.

  8. The SAP ERP system transfers the sales order number to SAP APO during change transfer.

  9. The vendor sends an order confirmation (message type ORDRSP with message code VMI) to the customer through EDI or ALE during the change transfer between SAP ERP and SAP APO. In the standard system, the order confirmation for the sales order is generated as a message of output type BAV0. The customer's SAP ERP system automatically creates a purchase order on the basis of the order confirmation.

  10. If the purchase order number has not been assigned in SAP APO, it is transferred to the vendor's SAP ERP system by IDoc (message type ORDCHG with message code VMI) and entered in the sales order as a reference.

  11. After processing the sales order, the vendor creates an outbound delivery in SAP ERP.

  12. The vendor reduces the VMI sales order and generates a delivery in SAP APO.

  13. The vendor posts a goods issue for the delivery in SAP ERP, then reduces the delivery and generates stock in transit at the customer location in the SAP APO system. The vendor can send a shipping notification (DELVRY03 IDoc with message type DESADV) to the customer's SAP ERP system if desired. In this case, the customer's SAP ERP system automatically creates an inbound delivery. Otherwise, the customer creates the inbound delivery manually.

  14. The customer posts a goods receipt in its SAP ERP system and sends a proof of delivery to the vendor's SAP APO system (DELVRY03 IDoc with message type STPPOD). In its SAP APO system, the vendor reduces the stock in transit at the customer location. Alternatively, the stock in transit can be reduced using a PROACT IDoc, based on information about open purchase order quantities.

The process described above is shown in the following figure:

More Information

For information about the non-standard (consigned) VMI process, see Consignment VMI.

For information about the parallel use of a standard and a consigned VMI process, see Shipment Split in the VMI Scenario.