SAP maintains all material-specific data in a single database, which is used by all components in the SAP logistics system such as purchasing, inventory management, and invoicing. The integration of these processes ensures efficient ordering, storing and payment for the materials one needs to service customers and run businesses.
Materials Management. The SAP system automatically checks availability of a material when a work order is generated. If the material is not available, the system can automatically generate a purchase order if a specific supplier is identified. If the material is available, the system will track its movement, adjust inventory levels, and assign the cost of materials to the project or account code. The creation of a purchase order automatically registers in accounts payable.
Device Management. Device Management is seamlessly integrated with materials management; meters and devices are managed in MM, including all IS-U specific data. MM provides for the procurement, inventory and goods movements of devices and meters.
Supply Chain Management. Recently introduced with new capabilities to provide higher visibility across processes, supply chain management also possesses additional warehouse management capabilities that cover the areas of yard management, cross docking and value-added services. With the warehouse management extensions, utilities will be able to tap the full potential of their warehouse operations with a number of additional features including radio frequency identification technology (RFID), enhanced task and resource management (TRM) and the integration of handling unit management (HUM) and Quality Management (QM).
Supplier Management. Suppliers can be managed in a variety of ways such as source lists that limit the supplier options for a particular material or identifying a single predefined vendor for a particular item. The supplier self service function enables vendors to manage their accounts online, manage their own catalogues and submit invoices against outstanding Purchase Orders.
Contract Management. Contracts supply an organization with a framework to make purchases from reliable sources in a timely manner. The SAP system automatically adjusts a contract whenever a purchase order is created against that contract. Pricing and other such information is also pulled forward from the contract document, thus reducing the requirement for additional data entry.
E-procurement SAP supports self-service procurement: employees may go online to obtain office supplies by browsing available catalogs Once items are put into a virtual shopping cart, this may then be work-flowed to the appropriate manager for approval, after which the purchase is initiated with the supplier. Payments can be made using either procurement card facilities, traditional invoicing methods or via an arrangement with the vendor such as evaluated receipt settlement (ERS).
Catalog Management. Suppliers can manage their own catalogues via the internet. SAP also allows purchasing departments to manage internal catalogues by importing various vendor catalogues, process products in the product master, manage the product catalogue and export product catalogues.