Recurring Inspection Saves Time and Cost in Procurement and Production Processes

  • by Jawad Akhtar, Head of SAP Delivery, AbacusConsulting
  • April 18, 2012
Recurring inspection (also called repeat inspection) at regular intervals allows business users to take advantage of standard SAP functionality to automatically create inspection lots when the expiry dates of batch-managed goods approach. The shelf life-related details of materials are managed in individual batches. These inspection lots can then go through quality control checks of results recording and usage decisions to decide if they can still be used or not. This functionality offers time and cost savings by enabling the business to act proactively.
Key Concept
The ability to inspect batch-managed goods before their expiry dates ensures sufficient time and flexibility to respond to any unforeseen situations. For example, a company can see if procurement proposals are in place to replace goods that are going to be rejected due to quality reasons. Similarly, unsold finished goods approaching expiration dates can either have their shelf life expiration dates extended or be destroyed. All this is possible when recurring inspection is implemented for batch-managed materials, be it procured raw materials or produced finished goods.

A great challenge for any organization is to keep track of batch-managed materials having shelf-life expiration dates. This is especially the case in process-based industries for materials that are slow-moving or have a short shelf-life.  Tracking this information allows an organization to ensure those materials are consumed first in the case of raw materials and sold first in the case of finished goods. This minimizes the material and financial costs associated with the need to destroy and scrap the goods or materials.

I outline all the important master data required to successfully set up recurring inspection. I show how to create an inspection lot manually that triggers the recurring inspection program, and also touch upon an automatic trigger option. Finally, I explain results recording and usage decisions, which are two important working steps in the quality management (QM) module.

QM Master Data

You need the following QM master data set up in the system prior to beginning the recurring inspection process:

  • Activation of inspection type Recurring Inspection in the material master
  • Master inspection characteristic (MIC), which is the quantitative or qualitative attribute of a material
  • Inspection plan

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 You may follow Jawad on Twitter @jawadahl. Currently, he is associated with AbacusConsulting as Head of SAP Delivery.

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