Entering content frameProcess documentation Vendor-Managed Inventory (VMI) Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


This scenario describes how vendors can plan material requirements in the customer's company. Vendors can only offer this service if they have access to stock figures and sales data at the customer.

In R/3, you can implement vendor-managed inventory (VMI) from a vendor point of view and from a customer point of view. VMI would typically be used when the manufacturer of consumer products plans the replenishments of the products at a retailer.

You can use VMI functions independently of each other and also in different contexts.


The following R/3 components are used:



Vendor (in customer system)

Transferring stock and sales data

Sales order (in vendor system)

Receiving stock and sales data via EDI

Planning replenishments for customers

Purchasing (in customer system)

Generating purchase orders for an order acknowledgment received by EDI

Process Flow

It is assumed that both the vendor and the customer have R/3.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text

  1. Transferring stock and sales data via EDI
  2. The customer uses the message category PROACT to transfer the current stock as well as the historical sales data or the forecast sales data for a particular article to the vendor.

    For further information, see Structure link VMI: Transferring Stock and Sales Data to the Vendor.

  3. Receiving stock and sales data via EDI
  4. The sales data for the article is entered in an information structure in the information system S130 in the vendor system. The stock data is entered in the replenishment master data of the article.

  5. Planning replenishments for customers
  6. Using the sales data, vendors can forecast future expected sales of the articles concerned at their customersí sites. Alternatively, forecast values obtained from the customer can be used.

    Vendors first of all plan replenishments for the articles based on the current stock levels and any forecast values. The replenishment planning program calculates the requirement and generates a sales order as a follow-on document.

    Sales order data is transferred to the customer by EDI in the form of an order acknowledgment. The message category ORDRSP is used for this.

    For further information, see Structure link Customer Replenishment.

  7. Generating purchase orders for an order acknowledgment received by EDI
  8. The order acknowledgment from the vendor is converted in the customerís system to a purchase order. If a purchase order cannot be generated, because the data is incomplete, for example, the system triggers a workflow.

    If subsequent messages on this transaction are to be transferred at a later date by the vendor to the customer (for example, indicating a change in the order or a shipping notification), the purchase order number must be transferred to the vendor's system. The vendor system can then enter this number as a form of identification in subsequent messages, enabling the customer system to find the relevant purchase order.

    If the order number should be transferred automatically to the vendor system after the purchase order has been generated, you have to enter the message variant VMI in the partner profile for the EDI message category ORDCHG.

  9. Entering the purchase order number in the sales order

The purchase order number in the customer system is entered as a reference in the associated sales order.


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