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 Serial Numbers in Purchasing


Technical Data

Technical Name of Business Function


Type of Business Function

Enterprise Business Function

Available As Of

SAP Enhancement Package 4 for SAP ERP 6.0

Technical Usage

Central Applications

Application Component

Purchasing (MM-PUR)

Directly Dependent Business Function Requiring Activation in Addition

Not relevant

You can use this business function to manage serialized materials in your purchasing processes. You can enter serial numbers for the main items of purchase orders and purchase requisitions, and for the subitems 'free goods' (inclusive and exclusive bonus quantity). Within one purchase order or purchase requisition you may want to order several pieces of an item. By serializing the materials, you can easily differentiate between them, making it easier to request a specific piece of material. The serial number data is also available in third-party processes at any time.


You have installed the following components as of the version mentioned:

Type of Component


Software Component


For further information about prerequisites, see Serial Numbers in Purchasing.


  • Serial number transfer

    When you create a sales order for third-party processing, and assign serial numbers to that order item, the created purchase requisition will contain these serial numbers. This purchase requisition is created in the background. When you create purchase orders with reference to a purchase requisition, the serial numbers are transferred automatically from the purchase requisition to the purchase order. If the purchase order has several schedule lines, the serialized numbers are assigned directly to the correct schedule line. Note, that a purchase requisition item is created even when the serial number usage for the purchase requisition item is set to ‘obligatory’ in Customizing but no serial number assignment was adopted from the sales order.

  • Schedule lines

    You can have more than one serial number per schedule line. If the purchase order has several schedule lines, the serialized numbers need to be assigned manually to the correct schedule line or created by the system by choosing Create Serial Number Automatically in the Maintain Serial Number popup.

    • Base units of measure

      When serializing base units of measure (for example, piece), the conversion of order unit of measure (for example, kg) must result in a whole number at schedule line level for purchase orders, and at item level for purchase requisitions. For example, if the base unit of measure was 3 pieces and the order unit was 2kg, each unit would be 0.66, which you cannot serialize.

    • Changing the configuration of purchase requisitions and purchase order items.

      You cannot change the configuration of a purchase requisition or purchase order item if you are working with already configured objects to which serial numbers are already assigned and the original configuration in the material serial number is not linked to these objects.You cannot change the configuration of a purchase requisition or purchase order item in the following cases:

    • You can serialize materials that are to be handled in batches if you enter the batch in the purchase order.

    • You can serialize materials that are split-valuated if you must enter the valuation type in the purchase order.

    More Information

    For more information, see Serial Numbers in Purchasing.