In Part 1 of this series, I provided a basic definition for backorders, highlighted some standard tools in ECC to report on backorders, and recommended some high-level approaches to resolving backorder problems. In this article, I address one of the main tools for automating the process of re-balancing material confirmations: V_V2.
What is V_V2 Rescheduling?
In a backorder situation, you typically have a dilemma: Who gets the limited quantity of product I have on hand? There are, of course, many answers to this question depending on who you ask. Sales reps and Customer Service will often fight vigorously for their preferred accounts. Unfortunately, SAP can’t resolve these disputes. But what if you wanted to setup a policy to automatically re-schedule product confirmations based on Sales Document criteria?
If you are constantly struggling with meeting demand, SAP’s backorder re-scheduling program (transaction V_V2, program SDV03V02) can alleviate some symptoms. There is an important distinction to make: V_V2 should not be considered a “solution” per se; if you find yourself heavily relying on this functionality there could still be some work to do up-stream to improve production capacity, formulate more accurate demand forecasts, or optimize stock on hand. But there are situations where sudden spikes in demand happen and decisions must be made. Let’s look at a simple example to illustrate what can happen.
Throughout the day your organization is receiving orders for product. As the orders are saved, available product is being allocated through the use of Confirmations (visible in MD04). Let’s say you have a product with 20 PC available in inventory. A customer places an order in the morning for all 20 EA but does not wish to take delivery for two weeks from now. A confirmation is made and your available quantity effectively goes to 0. Later that day, another customer places an order for 5 EA of that same product and they need it ASAP. In this case, the availability check will fail and the item will be considered back-ordered.
How can this happen? You have 5 EA that will sit on the shelf for two weeks while MRP will direct you to purchase or make 1 EA for the more urgent customer order. Regardless of the customer or the urgency of their need, the pre-existing confirmation will trump the subsequent order. The V_V2 report is designed to address this.
Backorder Rescheduling evaluates existing material confirmations and backorders and shifts confirmations based on criteria you specify in the report parameters. You can prioritize confirmations based on 5 criteria:
Determines whether you wish to Sales Orders or Stock Transports higher priority. In most normal cases, you would probably specify Sales Orders, but requirements can vary.
- Delivery Priority
Prioritizes Sales Documents using the Delivery Priority field on the Sales Document Item (VBAP-LPRIO). The delivery priority is a two-digit numeric field with configurable values that determine the priority of Sales Order items during delivery processing. The Delivery Priority can be set on the customer master as a defaulted value on the Sales Order, but is typically manually adjustable on the Sales Document.
Choose either the date the item was created (VBAP-ERDAT) or the earliest Schedule Line Date (VBEP-EDATU). Using the Schedule Line date will consider the customer’s requirement.
- Document Number
You can use the Sales Order document number to control confirmation allocation — the lower number takes priority. This is to basically serve as a tie-breaker; since no two documents can share a number this will make sure there are no “ties”. You must obviously consider document number ranges if you decide to seriously consider using this criteria.
- Document Item
This goes hand-in-hand with the Document Number.
You simply mark each ‘Priority’ field with a value between ‘1’ and ‘5’ to designate your desired sort sequence. In the case of backorders, you would probably want to consider ‘Date’ and ‘Document Category’ among the most important along with ‘Delivery Priority’ if used. Of course, you don’t have to take all the criteria into consideration; you can use a ‘0’ (zero) to denote values not to be considered. I recommend exploring the use of the Delivery Priority field to allow users to manually control which orders get priority.
In addition to the criteria listed above, there are some basic parameters to allow you to restrict the report to only sales orders or only purchase orders (STO’s). When enabled, the ‘Unconfirmed Documents Required’ option will ONLY modify confirmations for materials which have unconfirmed lines. I recommend leaving this checked as it will only impact those items which are truly backorders. Lastly, there is a ‘Simulation’ mode which is handy for gauging the results of your selected criteria. Always use simulation mode before making changes. It’s there for a reason.
The report results will show you the changes that will be made using a logical “Old Value”, “New Value” format. If a confirmation is changed, you will see a reduction in confirmation quantity for some items and an increase for other items.
Scheduled V_V2 Jobs
As with many other processes in SAP, the V_V2 transaction (program SDV03V02) can be scheduled to run periodically in the background. There’s not much to it. You can use the program’s Program -> Execute in Background menu option, or you can save your program variant and setup a job directly using the program and variant name in SM36. Just remember to un-tick the ‘Simulation’ box before saving your variant.
Excluding documents from V_V2
It’s worth noting that Sales Document items with the “Fixed date and qty” indicator activated are excluded from V_V2. In a backorder situation, SAP’s Availability Check should provide a confirmation date in the future based on other criteria, like lead times, production schedules, or inbound PO’s. If the customer is willing to accept the proposed confirmation date, you can “fix” the dates and quantities with that checkbox. In that case, SAP will not try to re-schedule delivery. Otherwise, the assumption is that an attempt will be made to expedite processes to meet the customer requested delivery date thus leaving the confirmation date and quantities somewhat flexible.
V_R2 – Rescheduling: Evaluation
A program exists that allows you to recall the last V_V2 run by plant and material. The V_R2 transaction (a.k.a. “Rescheduling of sales and stock transfer documents: Evaluation”) allows a user to input some basic selection criteria — material, plant, dates, etc. — and review the results from the last rescheduling run. Report results can be quickly filtered by Improvements (confirmation quantities increase) or Deterioration (confirmation quantities decrease) by clicking on those respective buttons. You can also jump into the document (Sales Order or PO) in change mode by double-clicking the item.
Partial Confirmations in V_V2 Rescheduling
By default, the V_V2 process will not make partial confirmations. You may have noticed that in the above screenshot showing V_V2 results AFTER sorting by Schedule Line Date, the later order’s confirmation went from 20 to zero and not 15. I guess SAP doesn’t want to make any assumptions about whether you wish to do a complete delivery vs one-time delivery vs multiple-shipments. However, you can influence this by selecting the appropriate Default Values for Availability Check. You’ll find this setting in the IMG:
SPRO -> Sales and Distribution -> Basic Functions -> Availability Check… -> Availability Check -> Availability Check with ATP Logic… -> Define Default Settings
This function is similar to the Availability Check screen you encounter in VA01 or VA02; it allows you to default an approach for the availability check: One-time delivery, Full delivery, or Delivery proposal, for example. But, please keep in mind that this may impact the availability check for VA01 and VA02, so be sure to test this after making changes.
If you’re curious to learn more about V_V2, check out these resources:
- SAP Note 1861066 – Everything about SDV03V02 / transaction V_V2
This SAP Note has a TON of information on the process.
- SAP Note 1588423 – V_V2 / SDV03V02 – Unconfirmed documents required
More information on the ‘Unconfirmed documents required’ tick box.
WRAP IT UP
While not ideal, rescheduling is a necessary evil for many organizations. It’s a great way to re-balance your confirmations using a repeatable policy. Are you planning to use the V_V2 rescheduling process? What type of backorder issues are you hoping to resolve? Let me know in the comments. …and stay tuned for Part 3 where I will highlight some other backorder management tools.