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The sourcing application is the main entry point for purchasers to identify sources of supply. Here, you can create:

  • Purchase orders

  • Auctions

  • Contracts

  • RFxs

To access the sourcing application, go to the Purchasing work center and choose   Sourcing   Carry Out Sourcing  .


Sourcing uses the SAP Bidding Engine.

Sourcing is used in the following business scenarios:

  • Strategic Sourcing with RFx

  • Strategic Sourcing with Live Auction

Sourcing also handles external requirements that come from processes outside SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM). For example, the external requirements can be created by a Materials Requirements Planning (MRP) run in SAP ERP. For more information, see Procurement of External Requirements.

You can link supplier directories from commercial providers with SAP SRM via the Open Partner Interface (OPI), and transfer partner data as sources of supply. For more information, see:

  • SAP Solution Manager under   <project name>   Configuration   SAP SRM <release>   Basic Settings for Strategic Sourcing   General Settings   Open Partner Interface Configuration  

  • Customizing for SAP Supplier Relationship Management under   SRM Server   Master Data   Content Management   Define External Web Services  


  • You have determined if and when the system accepts requirements for sourcing (for example, only for items without a source of supply) in Customizing for SAP Supplier Relationship Management under   SRM Server   Sourcing   Define Sourcing for Product Categories  .

    Note Note

    If sourcing is not activated for a product category, the system creates incomplete purchase orders in SAP SRM. The purchase orders are incomplete because the source of supply is missing.

    End of the note.
  • The requirements to be processed in sourcing have been approved. If they are external requirements, they have been approved in the back-end system.

  • If you want to process purchase orders, RFxs, contracts, and auctions in the background to improve the performance of the front-end system, you have defined the number of shopping cart items above which follow-on documents are processed in the background. You have done this in Customizing for SAP Supplier Relationship Management under   SRM Server   Cross Application Basic Settings   Define Threshold Value for Background Processing  .

For additional prerequisites, see:

  • SAP Solution Manager under   <project name>   Configuration   SAP SRM <release>   Basic Settings for Plan-Driven Procurement  .


The sourcing application consists of a four-step wizard:

1. Select Requisition

In this step, you can search for shopping carts, based on specific search criteria that you enter by selecting Settings. Here, you can define how the initial search screen will appear. In addition, you can decide whether the search should be performed as soon as the screen is opened.

In addition to the search criteria, there are two checkboxes:

  • Intended for Grouping: If you select this checkbox, the system also displays shopping carts that are intended for automatic grouping, for example into one purchase order. For more information about the automatic grouping of requirements, see Assigning Existing Sources of Supply.

  • Include Locked Items: Locked items are, for example, shopping carts that are being edited by another user. If you do not select this checkbox, the system only displays the items that have no associated document (RFx or auction, for example).

As a result of the search, the system displays all shopping cart items that match your search criteria.

Note Note

  • If you select one or more shopping cart items and choose Reject Items, the selected items are removed from the list, and processing is canceled for this shopping cart item. Then, the system sends an e-mail to the user who created the shopping cart.

  • You cannot change a shopping cart directly from the sourcing application.

End of the note.

When you select a shopping cart item and choose Next, the system moves the item out of the list of step 1 (Select Requisition) and into the list of step 2 (Assign Sources of Supply). The number of items moved is displayed in the header in the step Assign Sources of Supply.

2. Assign Sources of Supply

In this step, you see the selected items from the previous screen. You can select a supplier by choosing Propose Sources of Supply, or you can create a new supplier in the system and order from this supplier.

Note Note

  • If a contract already exists for a supplier, the system finds and displays it automatically.

  • The option Submit to Grouping allows you to automatically group the item with similar items into one purchase order. For example, if you have several new employees who need a laptop, the system combines all laptop shopping cart items into a single purchase order for one supplier.

  • You can also search for the lowest price (this is the default setting) and compare suppliers.

End of the note.

Alternatively, you can select Replace Item With Catalog Item, which displays a list of relevant SAP and non-SAP catalogs from which to choose the replacement.

You can then create drafts of the following procurement documents:

  • RFx

    RFxs that you create in sourcing can only be processed in SAP SRM, in the SAP Bidding Engine.

  • Contract

    The system creates a central contract for each supplier and purchasing organization. If you want the system to create back-end contracts in SAP ERP from the sourcing application, you can implement the BAdI BBP_DETERMINE_LOGSYS. You do this in in Customizing for SAP Supplier Relationship Management under   SRM Server   Business Add-Ins   Shopping Cart and Requirement Items   Determine Backend System / Company Code  .

    Note Note

    In SAP SRM 7.0, if the item you want to source is a hierarchical service that originates from the SAP ERP system (MM-SRV), the system automatically creates a back-end contract. As of enhancement package 1 for SAP SRM 7.0, if you have activated the business function SRM, Service Procurement Innovations (SRM_SERVICE_PROC_1) and the Customizing switch Central Contract Management (SRM_701_SERV_PROC_CCM), a central contract is created by default in SAP SRM. In the central contract, the strategic purchaser can define to which back-end system or systems the contract is replicated. This means a contract is created in a back-end system with reference to the central contract in SAP SRM.

    If you still want the contract to be automatically created in the back-end system and not in SAP SRM when the business function is active, you can implement the BAdI BBP_DETERMINE_LOGSYS.

    End of the note.

    You can complete and release the contract using the Process Contracts application. In the SAP Bidding Engine, you can negotiate the details of a central contract as part of an RFx. For more information, see Central Contracts.

  • Purchase Order

    The system creates purchase orders for the requirements. If it creates a local purchase order, you can edit it. If the purchase order is created in the back-end system, you cannot edit it in the SAP SRM sourcing application, only in the back-end system.

    If the item that you want to order is a hierarchical service item that originates from the SAP ERP system, the system automatically creates a back-end purchase order in this system.

  • Auction

    You can create an auction for the selected requirements.

You remain on step 2 (Assign Sources of Supply) until you have processed all the items on this screen.

You can save requirements to process them later. Requirements that you have saved also appear in the worklist of the other members of your purchasing group. When you leave the application, other purchasers can process these requirements.

3. Review Drafts

In this step, the item is locked for other users. You can now process selected drafts of RFxs, contracts, purchase orders, or auctions.

4. Summary Screen

In this final step, you can display the purchasing documents that you have created. If the document is displayed as a link, you can call up the details of the document and make changes, if required.

Note Note

Once you create a purchase order or a contract for a requirement, the requirement no longer appears in sourcing. If you want to display requirements for which follow-on contracts exist, you can create a BAdI implementation in Customizing for SAP Supplier Relationship Management under   SRM Server   Business Add-Ins   Sourcing   Do not Allow Requirements to be Met Through Contracts  

If you create an RFx or an auction with the SAP Bidding Engine, the requirement remains in sourcing.

End of the note.