Configure Packing Instruction Determination Strategies to Speed Up Product Delivery

  • by Patrick Imhen, Business Analyst and Senior SAP MM/SD/PM Functional Consultant, ZOCODE Limited
  • December 15, 2017
Learn how to configure packing instruction determination and implement determination strategies to optimize a delivery process using packing instruction determination records.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn:

  • An overview of packing instruction
  • How to configure packing instruction determination
  • How packing instruction is determined to speed up the delivery process using packing instruction determination records
Key Concept
Packing is one of the stages in the delivery process that has an impact on how long it takes to process a delivery. With packing instruction determination functionality, the delivery process is optimized, enabling the system to automatically select predefined packing proposals based on different requirements such as a customer’s specific packing requirements during a delivery process. Packing is a sub-component of the delivery and shipping process within SAP Logistics.

Packing is a vital part of the order fulfillment process because it helps to protect and prevent damages of goods during transportation. It also provides relevant information that may be required by customers, freight companies, and custom agencies about the product or material. It can be used for security by making items tamper resistant to prevent theft or to prevent harm from hazardous items.

Packing can be done with materials such as cans, boxes, cartons, crates, bags, or pallets and can be used to properly differentiate goods for delivery to customers. With the packing instruction determination strategy, different customer and product packing requirements are fulfilled with less time and fewer mistakes.

I explain how I configured packing instruction determination with strategies to fulfill different customer and product packing requirements for clients in the production business sector. Note that the scope of this article is limited to packing in the delivery process.

An Overview of Packing Instruction

In the packing process certain requirements are necessary, such as the packing materials that should be used to pack specific products, the products and quantity required to be packed per packing material, and what products may be allowed to be packed together. Without a packing instruction, the search time and rate of mistakes in selecting appropriate parameters to pack a delivery item are usually high, but with the use of packing instruction master data, specific characteristics required for packing materials are stored and generate proposals for handling units based on the already defined packing instructions during packing transactions.

Just as with all master data, packing instructions make data entry for packing more convenient and also provide automatic packing requirement proposals for handling units on delivery items using packing instruction determination. With the packing instruction determination, time spent on packing delivery items and mistakes due to a mismatch of packing requirements are reduced. Consequently, you can define different packing strategies and rules for the system to automatically search and generate accurate packing proposals for handling units based on business requirements in a shorter time, thereby optimizing the delivery process. The packing instruction determination works with automatic packing.

Packing instructions contain characteristics such as packaging materials, materials to be packed, quantity to be packed per packing material, text items, subordinate packing instructions, and rules concerning rounding, minimum quantities, and definition of a check profile. (I discuss this topic in more detail later in the article.) Below is an example of a packing instruction. A packing instruction can be single- or multi-level.

An Example of a Single-Level Packing Instruction

Single-level packing instruction means that only one packing instruction is used in the process of delivering a product. For example, a chemical company that produces chlorine as one of its products stores it in units of 100-liter plastic containers. During the delivery process in SAP sales and distribution (SD), the 100-liter plastic containers with chlorine are loaded onto a truck for delivery. The packing instruction in this case is single level with the truck as the packing material (the 100-liter plastic containers packing had already been done in production, and they are used as storage packing material, but the truck is used in the delivery process).

An Example of a Multi-Level Packing Instruction

The multi-level packing instruction is an instruction that has packing material and subordinate packing instructions. For example, a company produces household consumable products that are packaged in cartons, and the cartons are packed in pallets before being loaded onto a truck. In this case, apart from the first packing instruction for the truck, there will be subordinate packing instructions for pallets and cartons.

Patrick Imhen

Patrick Imhen is a business analyst and a certified SAP ERP consultant with proficient knowledge, skills, and experience in Materials Management (MM), Sales and Distribution (SD) and Plant Maintenance (PM) gathered from successful SAP implementations projects, support, training, business process analysis, modeling, unit testing, and integration testing. He has profound understanding of the supply chain process across industries and helps organizations cut the cost of operation and improve process optimization. He has more than 10 years’ experience in the business environment and six years’ experience in the SAP domain.

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