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Object documentationWork Order


Order document in SAP Supply Network Collaboration (SAP SNC) for contract manufacturing.

A customer uses a work order to contract a supplier to produce a particular quantity of a product and to deliver that quantity by a particular date/time or by various dates/times to the customer. SAP SNC creates a work order based on a purchase order or subcontract order that the customer sends from his or her back-end system to SAP SNC.

In addition to the contents of a purchase order or subcontract order, the work order maps the most important production phases at the supplier. For every phase, the work order contains the required and produced component quantities and the consumption or availability dates/times of the components. The phase differentiates between the following data:

  • Request data and confirmation data that the customer and supplier negotiate in the work order and agree upon as planned data

  • Actual data that the supplier regularly reports in the work order for the phase once he or she has consumed or produced a component quantity


The work order allows the monitoring of production process at the supplier: SAP SNC compares the planned data and the actual data for the work order. In addition, SAP SNC uses the planned data or the actual data to calculate the actual attainable product quantity and anticipated date/time that this quantity will be available. Deviations (such as an insufficient projected yield due to scrap that is too high) are thus visible early on, so that customer and supplier can take proactive measures.


Elements of the Work Order

A work order contains the following elements:

  • Header

    The header contains central data, such as customer and supplier, or data regarding the purchase order used to create the work order.

  • Item

    The item contains the ordered primary product. SAP SNC only supports work orders having one item.

    Note Note

    Therefore, the Web UI does not explicitly differentiate between header data and item data. Only the work order number, for example, is visible.

    End of the note.
  • Phases

    The phases required to produce the product are assigned to the item. A phase represents a production step at the customer. The transportation phase follows the production phases. The transportation phase represents the time period between the shipping at the ship-from location of the product ordered by the customer and the inbound delivery of this product at the customer location.

    A phase belongs to a particular phase type, such as production or transportation.

  • Phase inputs and phase outputs (PIOs)

    Phase inputs and phase outputs represent the following input and output components, which a phase requires or provides during the production of a particular primary product quantity, including quantity and date/time:

    • A phase input represents a particular input component, the required component quantity, and the consumption date/time.

    • A phase output represents a particular output component, the produced component quantity, and the availability date/time.

    The output components also include the co-products, which result during production of the primary product and which the supplier can send to the customer together with the primary product.

    The work order can copy the subcontracting components from a subcontract order (as input components or, in the case of co-products, as output components).

Purchase Order Schedule Lines, Deliveries, and Transportation PIOs

Depending on the settings in work order configuration, SAP SNC creates a work order for each purchase order schedule line or for each purchase order item. The data in the purchase order schedule line results in a delivery in the work order for the ordered product. (A work order for a purchase order item can also contain several deliveries, one for each purchase order schedule line). Immediately after the system creates the work order, a delivery has the same data (quantity, shipping date/time, and delivery date/time) as the purchase order schedule line. In addition, in the case of a subcontract order, SAP SNC creates a delivery from the purchase order schedule line for every co-product, likewise having the same dates/times but containing the corresponding co-product quantity.

From the phase perspective, a delivery simultaneously represents an input and an output of the transportation phase. The quantity of the primary or co-product that the supplier sends to the customer on the shipping date from the ship-from location is the transportation phase input. The (same!) quantity that the customer receives on the delivery date at the customer location is the transportation phase output. The transportation phase input and transportation phase belonging to a delivery have the same quantity.

On the Web screens for work orders, you see - depending on the context - both representations: On the Tracking tab page, you see deliveries in the delivery overview. On the Instructions tab page, which shows the phase inputs and phase outputs for all phases of the work order, the deliveries are displayed as transportation phase inputs and transportation phase outputs.

During the negotiation phase, the customer or supplier can change the deliveries or create new ones. After the customer and supplier have reached an agreement for the work order, SAP SNC copies the agreed deliveries as (identical) request schedule lines and confirmation schedule lines to the purchase order item.

Request PIOs, Confirmation PIOs, and Plan PIOs

At first, the phases of a newly-created work order contain only the request PIOs of the customer. The quantities and dates/times of the phase inputs and phase outputs for all work order phases that belong to a delivery (to a production run), are set up in such a way that the customer receives the requested quantity at the requested delivery date/time, taking into consideration the net phase durations and possible breaks.

The request PIOs are first considered as the plan PIOs. The plan PIOs, with which the supplier ultimately has to comply, are the result of negotiations between customer and supplier. The supplier can accept or decline the customer's request PIOs. In addition, the supplier can create confirmation PIOs in the work order that have other quantities or dates/times (with or without reference to the request PIOs), or even add PIOs for further components. The customer can react to the supplier's confirmation PIOs with a rejection, approval, or with new request PIOs. Request PIOs and confirmation PIOs are PIOs proposed by the customer and/or supplier that exist in parallel in the work order. Customer and supplier negotiate these PIOs in the work order and finally agree upon which of these PIOs the supplier must comply with. These could be request PIOs or confirmation PIOs. The agreed PIOs are the plan PIOs. (In addition, new or changed request PIOs from the customer, for which no agreement has yet been reached, always serve as plan PIOs).

The planned phase inputs and phase outputs are the milestones of a smooth production run. If the supplier adheres to these milestones, he or she can deliver the agreed or newly-requested primary product quantity to the customer on time. Delays or shortfalls (for example, due to scrap) endanger the delivery quantity and delivery date/time.

Production Run

If the supplier is to deliver a particular quantity of the ordered primary product by a particular date/time to the customer, a production run is required in which the supplier executes the sequential production phases using the corresponding input and output component quantities. If the customer requests several deliveries with different quantities and dates/times in the work order, a production run is required for every primary product delivery. A production run is identified in the work order by the production run number. Different production runs have different numbers. A production run groups all plan PIOs that belong to a particular delivery.

Phase Duration

A phase has a quantity-independent net duration. The net duration is specified in the master data used to create a work order. SAP SNC uses the net durations of phases to determine, for the work order phases, the consumption dates/times of the input components and the availability dates/times of the output components. To do this, SAP SNC executes a scheduling. The customer and the supplier can negotiate and agree upon other planned PIO dates/times in the work order that effectively have a longer or shorter net phase duration.

Actual PIOs

The planned phase inputs and phase outputs specify the level of detail to which the supplier must inform the customer about progress in the production process. The supplier informs the customer when he or she starts a production phase with a particular input component quantity and when he or she has produced which output component quantity in which production phase. These are the actual PIOs of a production phase. When reporting an actual phase output, the supplier classifies the reported partial quantity as yield or scrap. The supplier can also let the customer decide on the further use of a partial quantity, and classify the partial quantity as On Hold. The customer then classifies the partial quantity accordingly (scrap, rework, or continue).

The supplier and the customer report actual phase inputs or actual phase outputs for transportation phases as well: The supplier does so for the quantities shipped, the customer does so for the quantities received.

PIO Types

Depending on how the supplier reacts to a request or how a customer reacts to a confirmation, the request PIO or a confirmation PIO is rejected or accepted. The owner of a PIO (the business partner who created the PIO) can also cancel the PIO and hence recall it: Thus the supplier can cancel his or her confirmation PIOs, the customer can cancel his or her request PIOs. The following list displays the possible PIO types:

  • Request

  • Accepted request

  • Rejected request

  • Canceled request

  • Confirmation

  • Accepted confirmation

  • Rejected confirmation

  • Canceled confirmation

If the customer and the supplier have agreed on a work order, the accepted request PIOs and the accepted confirmation PIOs are the planned data with which the supplier must comply. Actual PIOs are a separate PIO type.


The work order item, the phases, and the planned PIOs have one or several linked statuses. The statuses provide information about the status of the respective object. For example, the statuses at order level and phase level display the following:

  • Whether the customer and supplier are still or again negotiating the contents of the work order (possibly even after production start), or whether they have already reached an agreement

  • Whether the supplier has already started with the work order

  • Whether the supplier has already started or completed a phase with a particular quantity

  • Whether the supplier has already sent all deliveries to the customer

  • Whether the customer has already received the last delivery

The planned PIOs form the actual content of the work order that the customer and supplier negotiate. SAP SNC compares the planned PIOs with the actual data. The status of the planned PIOs displays the following:

  • Whether a PIO is still in the draft stage, in other words, is still being processed by a business partner, or whether this business partner has already published the PIO and the other business partner needs to react to it

  • Whether the customer and the supplier are still negotiating the PIO

  • Which negotiation actions the business partners have executed (cancel, reject, or accept)

  • Whether there are problems regarding the quantity or date/time (SAP SNC determines this by comparing the planned data to the actual data or to the projected data)

For more information, see Statuses in the Work Order.

Work Order Priority

The work order priority is one of the selection criteria on the Web UI for the customer and supplier. During work order creation, the order has the order priority Medium. The customer can change the order priority manually on the Web UI.


To create the work order, SAP SNC uses master data, which contains the information about the phases and components. The work order can also copy components from the subcontract order.

During the negotiation phase, the customer or supplier can change the deliveries or create new ones. After the customer and supplier have reached an agreement for the work order, SAP SNC copies the agreed deliveries as (identical) request schedule lines and confirmation schedule lines to the purchase order item.


The following graphic provides an example of a work order created with the phase structure that is used in the example in the Phase Structure section:

The graphic displays the contents of the work order immediately after the work order's creation. The work order therefore contains the original request PIOs of the customer.