- Pre-sales activities
When a client (existing customer or new customer) asks or requests information (can be through a phone call, an email, or a Request For Quotation (RFQ) document) about the products or services he needs, the sales personnel can input that request into SAP SD module by creating an Inquiry document.In SD module, an Inquiry is an internal document that records the information about request from prospective customer for internal use only. In an inquiry, we record some information such as: which customer that request information, what products or services customer needs, how many products or services customer needs, etc. By creating inquiry, we can reduce the sales opportunity lost, especially when we need some extra time or procedures before we can reply the customer request.If we can immediately reply the customer request (if we have a standard products or services that the price and other condition are fixed), we don’t need the inquiry document, we can just create a Quotation document to reply the customer’s request.
But if we can’t, we should create an Inquiry document, so when we have determined the price and other condition to be offered to the customer, we can create a Quotation document that refers to the inquiry document.
We can create Inquiry with “VA11” t-code.
In SD module, a Quotation is a document that legally attached for us who issued it, that contains information about the offering to the customer, such as: which customer that been offered, what and how many products or services that been offered to the customer, how much the price of the products or services, when the delivery date of the products or services, how the term of payment that been offered to the customer, the validity date of the offering, etc. A Quotation can be created by referring to the Inquiry document (if any) or not, depends on the business scenario defined.
We can create Quotation with “VA21” t-code.
From the above explanation, it is clear what the differences between Inquiry and Quotation in SD module are.
Both of them are SD document in pre-sales activities.
- Sales Order processing
After we send the quotation to the customers, they will do their own purchasing procedure to determine from where they will purchase the products or services. If needed, they may negotiate with us about our quotation in terms of price, terms of payment, delivery date, or something else. We may send an updated quotation based on the negotiation. If they decide to purchase the material or service from us, they will send us a Purchase Order (PO). Then we create a Sales Order (SO) that refers to the Quotation sent to the customers before. We can put the customer’s PO number in our SO.
Depends on business scenario and configuration, in SAP R/3 system we can also create an SO without referring to a Quotation. For example if we have a products or services catalog that can be used by customers as reference for their PO.An SO must contain the information of:
- Materials or services sold to the customer
- Quantity of materials or services
- Pricing condition of materials or services
- Delivery dates
- Shipping processing, such as the incoterms, etc.
- Billing processing, such as terms of payment, etc.
We can create Sales Order with “VA01” t-code.
- Inventory Sourcing
To fulfill the products requirement from an SO at the required date, we can obtain them by one of these options:
- Taking from Available stock at warehouse, if needed triggering a stock transfer between warehouses.
- Triggering a production order to produce the products in-house.
- Triggering a purchasing order to purchase the products from vendor (in case of third-party business transaction).
There is no sales document in these activities. They are done on other modules such as Production Planning (PP) and Material Management (MM).
Once the products are available at warehouse, the sales personnel can start shipping activities by creating an outbound delivery document (Delivery Order/DO). A DO can be created by referring to an SO. A DO will trigger warehouse personnel to prepare the products.
We can create Delivery Order with “VL01N” t-code.If we use Warehouse Management (WM) module, a DO can trigger a Transfer Order.
When the products are ready to be sent, the warehouse personnel posts the Goods Issue (GI) transaction that refers to the DO. The GI transaction will reduce the inventory level of products.
We can post the Goods Issue that refers to a DO with “VL02N” t-code.
Then the warehouse personnel sends the products to the customer by transportation mode that has been determined in SO document.
The customer will receive the products at the delivery date promised in SO document.
The finance department will generate a billing document and send an invoice form to the customer. The invoice will request the customer to pay the products we have sent at the price condition and terms of payment we have agreed in SO document.
We can create Billing document with “VF01” t-code.