Component documentationAdvanced Returns Management for Supplier Returns


This component enables you to manage supplier returns. Functions have been enhanced to support you during the entire returns process.

Supplier returns involve the return of goods from a company location to the following possible recipients:

  • An external vendor

    This is known as a supplier return or return to vendor.

  • Another company further up the supply chain

    This is known as a store return.

Note Note

A customer return can involve a supplier return, for example, if the returned materials have to be forwarded to another location or to a vendor. For more information, see Advanced Returns Management for Customer Returns.

End of the note.

Advanced Returns Management integrates all the steps involved in returns processing:

  • Creation of the returns purchase order or returns stock transport order

  • Recording material inspection results

  • Deciding what the logistical follow-up activity should be

  • Receiving vendor replacement materials

  • Entering logistical follow-up activities for vendor replacement materials

  • Determining refunds for internal returns

  • Monitoring the process

Each step in Advanced Returns Management can be linked to various user roles with different authorizations: warehouse manager, warehouse worker, returns manager, returns controller, accounts receivables clerk, and inventory manager. If a user does not have the required authorization, a workflow can be set up so that an authorized user can confirm the step, for example.

Advanced Returns Management also provides for the automatic creation and tracking of all the documents necessary for logistical and financial processing. These include inbound and outbound deliveries, goods receipts and issues, returns purchase orders, returns stock transport orders, credit memos, and so on.


The functions of Advanced Returns Management build on the existing functions of basic returns processing in SAP ERP Purchasing (MM-PUR). For more information about basic supplier returns processing, see Returns.


Returns Purchase Order and Returns Stock Transport Order

The returns purchase order triggers a supplier return (return to vendor), and the returns stock transport order triggers a store return. These returns documents contain information that is the basis for the subsequent logistical and financial processing of the return.

Material Inspection

You can record the results of a material inspection that was carried out on returned materials either by the vendor or by the receiving plant in a store return. Warehouse employees can use the Material Inspection by Vendor transaction to enter inspection results for outbound deliveries related to returns purchase orders, or the Material Inspection in Warehouse transaction for inbound deliveries related to returns stock transport orders.

Logistical Follow-Up Activities

You use logistical follow-up activities to specify the next step in the logistical processing of a returned material. Examples of logistical follow-up activities include Transfer to Free Available Stock, Ship to Vendor, Transfer to Scrap, and so on. Warehouse employees can enter the information required for the selected logistical follow-up activity directly in the returns purchase order (supplier returns), or the returns stock transport order (store returns). For inbound deliveries related to returns stock transport orders, warehouse employees can enter the required information using the Material Inspection in Warehouse transaction.

Automatic Creation of Follow-Up Documents

The system automatically creates the inbound delivery when you post the goods issue for the outbound delivery related to a returns stock transport order. When logistical follow-up is confirmed in the Material Inspection in Warehouse transaction, the system also creates the necessary follow-up documents.

Receiving Vendor Replacement Materials

In the supplier returns process, you can receive materials that a vendor has sent to you to replace a returned material.

Entering Logistical Follow-Up Activities for Vendor Replacement Materials

You use this function to define the logistical follow-up activities for the replacement materials.

Internal Refund Determination

You can use internal refund determination to determine how much to refund the company code that issued the returned materials in a cross-company-code store return and to create the corresponding credit memo. Internal refund determination is only necessary for specific combinations of return reason and inspection code that are configured in Customizing.

Supplier Returns Overview

The returns overview provides you with an overview of all the steps in the returns process, all the follow-up documents created as part of the process, as well as information on the status of logistical processing and refunding.

For more information on the document flow, see Document Flow in Supplier Returns.