Boost Your Inspections by Integrating SAP QM with Production Processes

  • by Jawad Akhtar, Head of SAP Delivery, AbacusConsulting
  • February 24, 2012
Learn to configure and implement SAP Quality Management (QM) in SAP production planning (PP) production processes. You can use QM for inspection during production, in-process inspection, and inspection of semi-finished and finished goods on a goods receipt against a production order (discrete manufacturing) or process order (process industry).
Key Concept
Standard solutions and configuration delivered by SAP are sufficient to independently configure and implement Quality Management (QM) in production processes for discrete manufacturing or the process industry. After setting up the relevant QM master data, a one-time task, you can then record results of all the important inspection parameters and make usage decisions for the in-process or finished goods. Companies implementing QM are uniquely positioned to take advantage of various checks and balances on the quality of materials being procured and produced. This ensures that not only are no raw materials released to production until specifications have been adhered to, but also no finished goods are dispatched to the customer until they meet the quality standards set by the company. Additionally, when a customer registers a product complaint, it is far easier for the company to trace back the origin of raw material which was used in production when QM has been implemented.
Organizational success can be measured by how quickly and comprehensively a business can integrate quality in its production processes. There is a great need to have high visibility into all the problems faced during production. These issues not only affect the quality of the final goods produced but also result in loss of machine and man hours due to defective production. It is therefore advantageous to take timely remedial and corrective action as well as plan preventive measures. If SAP Quality Management (QM) is integrated in the production processes, organizations have access to a vast amount of data and information to help them make long-term decisions.

You have the option to integrate either of the two production processes with QM or both, as deemed applicable to the business. For example, if only in-process inspection during the production process is of importance, then QM can be implemented as stand-alone. If only the quality monitoring and inspection of the semi-finished or finished goods is vital for business, then this stand-alone option is available. If necessary, you could implement both at the same time.

I cover both options to show how comprehensive the QM role in the production processes is. I begin with configuration activities to ensure the material type for which QM needs to be activated is properly configured. Then, the focus shifts to setting up required QM master data and culminates in running the entire end-to-end business process of the production cycle. That cycle includes the creation of a process order, in-process inspection, its goods receipt, and all the related QM activities, such as results recording, usage decisions (UDs), and stock posting.

Note
For the purposes of this article, I assume the materials you intend to include in the QM process have already gone though the production process and have other master data, such as material master, available in the SAP system. I also assume that the QM view in the material master is not activated yet.

Jawad Akhtar

Jawad Akhtar earned his chemical engineering degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has 17 years of professional experience, of which nine years are in SAP. He has completed eight end-to-end SAP project implementation lifecycles in the areas of PP, QM, MM, PM, and DMS in the steel, automobile, chemical, fertilizer, FMCG, and building products industries. He also has worked as an SAP integration manager and an SAP project manager. He has been proactively involved in a business development and solution architect role for seven years. He is the author of Production Planning and Control with SAP ERP, it's filled with in-depth infomation on discrete, process, and repetitive manufacturing types. His profile on LinkedIn is at http://pk.linkedin.com/in/jawadakhtar. You may follow Jawad on Twitter @jawadahl. Currently, he is associated with AbacusConsulting as Head of SAP Delivery.

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