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You create a returns order to trigger the customer returns process. In a returns order, you enter information that is the basis for the subsequent logistical and financial processing of the return. By entering a logistical follow-up activity, for example, you trigger the automatic creation of logistical follow-up documents.

Prerequisites

  • You have made all the required settings in Customizing by choosing one of the following paths:

    • In Customizing for Logistics - General, choose   Advanced Returns Management  .

    • In Customizing for Sales and Distribution, choose   Sales   Advanced Returns Management  .

  • You have specified whether a vendor returns material authorization (RMA) number is required for returns to a specific vendor. You can do this in two places:

    • In the purchasing organization data of the purchasing info record (this is where the system checks first):

      On the SAP Easy Access screen, choose   Logistics   Materials Management   Purchasing   Master Data   Info Record   Change  .

    • In the purchasing data of the vendor master record:

      On the SAP Easy Access screen, choose   Logistics   Materials Management   Purchasing   Master Data   Vendor   Purchasing   Change  .

  • You have configured the incompletion log in Customizing for Sales and Distribution. The incompletion log reminds you when data that is important for further processing is missing from the returns document. For more information, see Incompletion Logs.

  • You have configured the usage of the returns refund codes and return reasons as pricing parameters of customer refund determination. You do this in Customizing for Sales and Distribution by choosing   Master Data   Basic Functions   Pricing  . For more information about the use of pricing parameters in pricing, see Pricing and Conditions (SD-BF-PR).

Features

Entering Returns Information

You enter returns information in a returns order on the Returns tab page at item level. The system displays this tab on the overview screen as well as on the detail screen for the returns order item.

Returns information includes the status of the returned material (inspection data), how it should be logistically processed, details regarding customer refunding and approval, and the customer RMA (Return Material Authorization) number.

There are a few ways in which you can speed up data entry:

  • You can make changes to the returns information of several items at once by choosing   Edit   Fast Change Of   Returns Control  .

  • You can configure default values in Customizing for the logistical follow-up activity, the Material Received checkbox, refund control, and the refunding type. The system then automatically enters these values when you create new returns order items.

  • You can also set default values in the returns order for new returns order items by choosing Default Values in the header area of the Returns tab and then entering values for the return reason, the Material Received checkbox, the logistical follow-up activity, refund control, and the refunding type. These entries override the Customizing entries.

Note Note

To speed up returns order entry, you can hide unnecessary fields. For a returns order item, you can define which fields should be hidden on the Returns tab on the overview screen separately from which fields should be hidden on the Returns tab on the detail screen. This enables you to display the most important fields on the overview screen and the less frequently needed fields on the detail screen.

End of the note.
Entering Inspection Results

If you have already received the returned material when you enter the returns order (because it was returned at the counter, for example), you can enter the inspection results directly in the returns order. You do so by entering an inspection code and, if necessary, a comment. If you enter a logistical follow-up activity that completes the logistical process, you must enter inspection data.

Even if you carry out the inspection at the customer site before the material is physically returned, you can still enter the inspection results by selecting the Insp. at Customer Site checkbox.

You can also enter inspection data based on what the customer tells you (customer inspection). You would use this if the customer calls or sends an e-mail to let you know they are returning something.

Inspection results can be used as the basis for determining the appropriate follow-up activity and the appropriate customer refund.

Logistical Follow-Up Activity

The logistical follow-up activity code allows you to specify the next step in the logistical processing of the return (such as Receive into Plant, Ship to Other Plant, or Ship to Vendor). Depending on the logistical follow-up activity that you select, you may have to specify additional information such as the next plant or a vendor. The logistical follow-up activity triggers the creation of the relevant logistical documents in the background.

You can also specify what you propose to be the next logistical follow-up activity after the material has been inspected. This is then automatically displayed as the logistical follow-up activity in the material inspection transaction. You would typically do this if a customer calls or sends an e-mail informing you that they are returning a material and you want to plan the logistical follow-up activity in advance when you enter the returns order, based on what the customer tells you.

The following table lists all logistical follow-up activities that are available as standard in the returns order.

Note Note

You can deactivate any unnecessary logistical follow-up activities in Customizing for Advanced Returns Management by choosing   General Settings   Activate and Rename Follow-Up Activities  . You can also replace the default descriptions of the follow-up activity codes with your own descriptions.

End of the note.

Follow-Up Activity Code

Default Description of Logistical Follow-Up Activity

Meaning

0001

Receive into Plant

Returned materials are posted to the returns warehouse (usually to blocked stock).

0002

Immediately Move to Free Available Stock

Returned materials are posted to unrestricted-use stock (usually with stock type Unrestricted-Use Stock).

0003

Immediately Move to Scrap

Returned materials are temporarily posted to returns stock and then a goods issue is posted to scrap.

0004

Ship to Other Plant

Returned materials are sent to another plant. The materials are posted to returns stock first.

0005

Ship to Vendor

Returned materials are sent to an external vendor. The materials are posted to returns stock first.

0006

Ship to Vendor Via Other Plant

Returned materials are sent to an external vendor via another plant. The materials are posted to returns stock first.

0007

Direct Shipment to Vendor

The customer sends the return material directly to an external vendor without returning it to your company.

0008

Inspection at Customer Site

You choose this activity if you want to inspect the material at the customer site before it is returned. Once you have the inspection results, you decide whether the material should be sent back or if it should remain with the customer. To do so, you change the logistical follow-up activity in the returns order.

0009

Delivery into Plant — Materials Still Unknown

Choose this activity if you cannot exactly specify the materials and quantities to be returned. A returns delivery is posted and when the goods are physically received, you can update the returns order with the returned materials.

0013

Material Remains at Customer Site

Choose this activity if you decide after the inspection at the customer site that the material should stay with the customer. It might be scrapped there, for example. The customer can be refunded in the usual way.

0014

Immediately Move to Specified Stock

The returned material is posted to a specific kind of stock (such as stock for second-grade goods).

0016

In-House Repair

An in-house repair is triggered for the returned material using a corresponding repair order. You can configure an automatic goods movement from the returns stock to the repair order stock.

0017

External Repair

An external repair is triggered for the returned material using a corresponding repair order. You can configure an automatic goods movement from the returns stock to the repair order stock.

0021

Send Back to Customer

Returned materials are sent back to the customer.

For more information about repair orders, see Returns and Repairs Processing (CS).

Compensation for the Customer

You can either refund the customer with a credit memo or compensate them with a replacement material. You use the refunding type to define this. You can use the refund control setting to specify how and when you want the credit memo to be issued. The system creates financial follow-up documents based on the refunding type and refund control you specified.

Note Note

You can deactivate any unnecessary refund control settings in Customizing for Advanced Returns Management by choosing   Customer Returns   Activate and Rename Refund Control  . You can also replace the default descriptions with your own descriptions.

End of the note.
  • Refunding Type: Credit Memo

    You have the following options for refund control:

    • Choose I Immediately if you want to create a credit memo immediately for the returns order. This is only possible if you have already received the material (and have therefore selected the Material Received checkbox), if the sales document type of the returns order was configured accordingly in Customizing, and if you are authorized to give a refund. If you have made the appropriate setting in Customizing, the system can create the corresponding credit memo automatically. Otherwise, you create it subsequently using standard billing procedures.

    • Choose P Approved if you want the system to create a credit memo request. You can create the credit memo request even if you have not received the material yet. Enter a rejection reason for the credit memo request if you do not want the customer to receive a refund because, for example, they are returning an overdelivery or they have already received a replacement delivery free of charge.

    • Choose R By Credit Memo Request if you want to postpone the decision regarding a refund to a later time. In both the Material Inspection in Warehouse transaction and in the Customer Refund Determination transaction you can then subsequently release a credit memo request (see Compensation for Customer Returns).

    • Choose A After Receipt of Credit Memo if you want to wait to determine the refund amount until after the credit memo has been received either from an external vendor or from another company code in the case of a cross-company-code store return. Use the Customer Refund Determination transaction to do so. You can only use this refund control setting if you specify a logistical follow-up activity in which the material is sent to an external vendor or is transferred to a plant with a different company code.

    Refund Amount

    If you are authorized to issue a refund directly from the returns order by creating a credit memo, you can determine the refund amount with the returns refund code and the return reason. The returns refund code and the return reason are pricing parameters for the standard pricing function. Returns refund codes can be configured, for example, to represent a percentage deduction from the paid sales net price. If you are not authorized to issue a refund directly from the returns order, you can propose a returns refund code that an authorized user can subsequently accept or change in the Customer Refund Determination transaction (see Compensation for Customer Returns).

    Note Note

    You can define default values for the refund codes based on the return reason and the inspection code in Customizing activity Configure Default Values for Returns Refund Codes.

    End of the note.
  • Refunding Type: Replacement Material

    You have the following options for refund control:

    • Choose I Immediately or P Approved if you want to create a subsequent delivery free of charge (SDF) right away. This process depends on whether or not you have already received the material. If you choose I Immediately, the system also creates the delivery for the SDF and posts the respective goods issue.

    • Choose R By Credit Memo Request or A After Receipt of Credit Memo if you want to postpone the decision regarding a refund to a later time. You can then release an SDF in the Material Inspection in Warehouse transaction and the Customer Refund Determination transaction. The refunding type Replacement Material that is specified in the returns order is displayed in both of these transactions so that the person making the next decision knows that the customer would like a replacement material. You can only use refund control A if you specify a logistical follow-up activity in which the material is sent to an external vendor or is transferred to a plant with a different company code.

    Replacement Material

    To determine the replacement material delivery, enter the replacement material, the replacement quantity, and the supplying plant. You can specify a different replacement material than the returned material. The supplying plant can be different than the plant that received the returned material.

    You trigger the replacement material delivery in the SD document Subsequent Delivery Free of Charge. You can trigger the SDF when entering the returns order even if you have not yet received the material being returned. If you specify immediate compensation, the system automatically creates the outbound delivery for the SDF and posts the corresponding goods issue.

    You can specify a delivery block depending on the SDF order type in Customizing so that certain users are allowed to create an SDF but are not authorized to release it.

    Valuation of the Returned Material

    If you have defined a special requirement type in Customizing for the item categories used in the returns order, the goods receipt is posted to non-valuated returns stock.

    However, the system posts the goods receipt to valuated stock if you make one of the following entries in the returns order item:

    • You define a logistical follow-up activity that signals a change in ownership.

    • You enter a receiving plant in a company code that deviates from the company code of the sales organization specified in the header.

    • You trigger compensation for the customer by releasing a credit memo request or a subsequent delivery free of charge.

    Any further logistical follow-up activities that are posted, such as a returns stock transfer, are then based on the valuated returns stock. Logistical follow-up activities with a change in ownership are 0002 Immediately Move to Free Available Stock, 0003 Immediately Move to Scrap, and 0014 Immediately Move to Specified Stock.

Display the Returns Overview

When you change or display a returns order, you can choose the Returns Overview function to display the overview of the entire returns order or of individual returns order items.

Approval Block

You can set an approval block if you want an authorized user at the receiving plant to approve the returns order before the customer actually returns the material. The system can also set this block if you are not authorized to trigger a return to the selected plant.

Incompleteness Check

In addition to the rules that you have configured in Customizing for the incompleteness check for returns orders, the system checks if you have entered the following information:

  • You must enter a logistical follow-up activity and select the refund control.

  • You must enter an inspection code if you choose logistical follow-up activity 0002 Immediately Move to Free Available Stock, 0003 Immediately Move to Scrap, or 0014 Immediately Move to Specified Stock, or if you select the Material Received checkbox and choose logistical follow-up activity 0005 Ship to Vendor, 0004 Ship to Other Plant, or 0006 Ship to Vendor via Other Plant.

  • You must enter the next plant if you choose logistical follow-up activity 0004 Ship to Other Plant or 0006 Ship to Vendor via Other Plant.

  • You must enter a vendor if you choose logistical follow-up activity 0005 Ship to Vendor or 0006 Ship to Vendor via Other Plant.

  • You must enter an RMA number if a vendor return material authorization (RMA) is required for a returns purchase order (the RMA Required checkbox is selected).

  • You must enter a replacement material, the replacement material quantity and unit of measure, and a supplying plant for the replacement material delivery if you choose refunding type Replacement Material and refund control P Approved or I Immediately.

If entries are missing, the system creates an entry in the incompleteness log.

Activities

Create a returns order and enter the required returns information, such as the returns reason, inspection code, logistical follow-up activity, and so on. Depending on the logistical follow-up activity, you might need to enter additional information such as the next plant or a vendor. You create a returns order just like any other sales document, for example, a sales order. Choose   Logistics   Sales and Distribution   Sales   Order   Create  . You can create a returns order with reference to a preceding sales order or to the corresponding billing document (invoice).

While you make your entries, the system checks the consistency of the returns-related data. For example, you can only use refund control A After Receipt of Credit Memo if you specify a logistical follow-up activity in which the material is sent to an external vendor or is transferred to a plant with a different company code.

Once the returns order is complete, the system creates the relevant follow-up documents automatically. This depends on the logistical follow-up activity, the refunding type, and the refund control setting you selected. You can also save the returns order even if it is still incomplete and finish processing it later.

The following table lists the follow-up documents that are created according to logistical follow-up activity.

Logistical Follow-Up Activity

System Action

All logistical follow-up activities except 0007 Direct Shipment to Vendor, 0008 Inspection at Customer Site and 0013 Material Remains at Customer Site

The system creates a returns delivery for the returns order. Some refund control settings result in a delivery split.

  • 0001 Receive into Plant

  • 0002 Immediately Move to Free Available Stock

  • 0003 Immediately Move to Scrap

  • 0014 Immediately Move to Specified Stock

If you have selected the Material Received checkbox for returns order items, the system posts the goods receipt for the corresponding returns delivery automatically. You can make specific stock settings for each logistical follow-up activity in Customizing.

Note Note

If the Material Received checkbox is not selected and you receive the materials into your warehouse after a shipment from the customer site, then you post the goods receipt as part of returns delivery processing.

End of the note.

0003 Immediately Move to Scrap

The system posts the corresponding goods issue to scrap.

0005 Ship to Vendor

The system creates the corresponding returns purchase order for the specified vendor. You then continue the returns process as described in Advanced Returns Management for Supplier Returns.

0007 Direct Shipment to Vendor

The system creates the corresponding returns purchase order for the specified vendor with the customer's address as the pick-up address.

Note Note

You can create an outbound delivery for this returns purchase order and post a statistical goods issue. This allows you to record the results of a material inspection performed by the vendor. For more information about returns purchase orders, see Advanced Returns Management for Supplier Returns.

End of the note.
  • 0004 Ship to Other Plant

  • 0006 Ship to Vendor via Other Plant

The system creates the corresponding returns stock transport order for the specified plant. You then continue the returns process as described in Advanced Returns Management for Supplier Returns.

If you chose 0006 Ship to Vendor via Other Plant and process the return in the receiving plant of the returns stock transport order in the Material Inspection in Warehouse transaction, the system proposes 0005 Ship to Vendor as the next logistical step.

0016 In-House Repair

The system automatically creates the in-house repair order. You can configure in Customizing that you want the system to automatically create a repair item in the repair order and post the goods movement from the returns stock to the repair order stock.

0017 External Repair

The system automatically creates the repair order for external repair. You can configure in Customizing that you want the system to automatically post the goods movement from the returns stock to the repair order stock and create the subcontract order for shipment to the external repair service.

0021 Send Back to Customer

The system creates an outbound delivery with the customer as the ship-to party. This outbound delivery completes the returns process from a logistical point of view.