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why is "Req. deliv. date" a mandatory field in SAP Inquiries?

Jul 17, 2017 at 07:10 PM

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Presales process, Sales document type IN

The customer has made an inquiry about certain products, with an intension to buy. He might or might not buy. Why in an inquiry is the requested delivery date mandatory? VA11, VA12

There is lot of good information available on the internet about the technical solution, some business scenarios for sales orders

https://archive.sap.com/discussions/thread/3863200

https://archive.sap.com/discussions/thread/603482

https://archive.sap.com/discussions/thread/1294802

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5 Answers

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Typewriter TW Jul 19, 2017 at 12:35 PM
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Best Answer:Jurgen L:

assume you are the supplier of a material that constantly get more expensive because of high demand and limited resources.

I ask you for a price not mentioning the delivery date. you give me a price which is valid until end of this year.

I place my orders in December based on your offer with a delivery date which is in 5 years from now.

Would you be pleased in that case to sell me a product which might have doubled its price in 5 years for a price of today?

I think people really mix the term validity period with delivery period and that's why the think the do not need this delivery date.

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Jürgen L
Jul 17, 2017 at 09:31 PM
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Prices are often depending on delivery dates.

A price for fruits and vegetables is certainly higher in winter times where the goods do not grow in local gardens and have to be imported from overseas.

A price for a smart phone on the other side may drastically go down x months after its market launch.

Also keep in mind that the IN sales document type is the answer to the request for quotation from the MM module, where the delivery date is also mandatory because: "The reason for this is that no schedule lines are created for the request for quotation if the delivery date is not entered. In the case of a request for quotation with reference to a purchase requisition, however, schedule lines are compulsary." (OSS note 429583)

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Veselina Peykova
Jul 17, 2017 at 08:59 PM
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One of my first officially paid jobs was handling customer inquiries, offers, tendering and sub-contracting in repairs and spare parts production. I will try to answer based on experience in this business.

When a customer sends an inquiry, requested delivery date is an extremely important factor, which can offset the benefits of a less expensive offer in certain situations.

Let's take the simplest case - no tendering and no subcontracting. If you need very expensive spare parts, you try to keep your warehouse stocks as low as possible, without interrupting the critical processes in the plant. Sometimes it could happen that a breakdown reduces significantly your productivity, thus risking failure to complete orders on time, and you may not have additional spares. In an ideal world this is handled by framework agreements, but not every customer does that.

If something is planned maintenance, the vendor does not get to choose when to perform the activities - it is the customer, who decides when it is the most suitable time to send an excavator for repairs or a train for mandatory checks (depends mainly on the machine's workload and local regulation). If you cannot take the assignment for the specified time-frame - they will go elsewhere, if you are not the only company offering these services.

In subcontracting (this is when you send inquiries to other vendors, which possess equipment and licensed specialists, that you do not have for certain stages of the project), timing is even more crucial. Let's assume, that the subcontractor produces one of the parts (custom-made), which you need to assemble in your premises. You need to account also transportation time, when you will be ready to assemble and some buffer, because things often don't get according to plans.

In construction engineering timing is also very important (from what I have seen). The fines for not meeting the pre-agreed deadlines are substantial and one will gladly pay a higher price instead of getting a 20% cut for exploitation start, delayed by a few days.

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Typewriter TW Jul 19, 2017 at 07:06 AM
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Thanks! But I am not convinced that Req delivery date should be mandatory in an inquiry (from business POV).

Yes, it could provide important information to the company about when exactly the potential customer requires the goods. But the potential customer would consider this date as not important or not relevant at this early stage of the buying process. NOTE: we are still at the Pre-sales process.

Price sensitivity (fruits less price in off season) is covered with the validity period. For example, Valid From = 19-JUL-17. Valid To = 19-AUG-17. This covers that the prices are for the validity period.

Jurgen mentions that Req delivery date is necessary for the system to create schedule lines. Maybe true. But if customer does not have a plan of buying the goods from the company, at this stage; then the schedule lines are unnecessary details.

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I believe, that validity of inquiry/quotation is different from requested delivery date.

Inquiry validity is something in the line of: Please, provide your best price for delivering xxx pallets of beer by 30.07.2017.

This date is by when you would expect offers to be received (end of bidding). The actual delivery date could be at a later date (I may be asking for a delivery for Oktoberfest), but you need time to process all submissions and sign an agreement, for example.

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Jurgen:

Prices are often depending on delivery dates.

A price for fruits and vegetables is certainly higher in winter times where the goods do not grow in local gardens and have to be imported from overseas.

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There is no contention about the point that validity period is different from req delivery date.

Jurgen commented that prices depend on delivery dates.

Yes could be. But that does not give a strong reason for having requested delivery date as mandatory.

Further, price offers can be specified as valid in the validity periods of the inquiry. And req del date would not be required per se (for price offers)

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assume you are the supplier of a material that constantly get more expensive because of high demand and limited resources.

I ask you for a price not mentioning the delivery date. you give me a price which is valid until end of this year.

I place my orders in December based on your offer with a delivery date which is in 5 years from now.

Would you be pleased in that case to sell me a product which might have doubled its price in 5 years for a price of today?

I think people really mix the term validity period with delivery period and that's why the think the do not need this delivery date.

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Thanks Jurgen

Your example brings out the different and need of validity period and requested delivery date.

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You might want to paste the comment with reference to Jürgen's answer, so that he receives a notification :)

As for inquiries - imagine, that you do not have sufficient stock and the time, by which you need to deliver, is really short. The way you produce and charge customers can be different.

Here is an example: I need 500 business cards printed. If I go to a company, which can make these for me, they will ask me: by when do you need these?

If I reply: "In 2 hours", it depends on the technology, which is required. In the best scenario (2 colors, no relief, no exotic cardboards) it means using a digital printer, where consumables are still more expensive than offset printing. For stamped printing and other technologies, you will be charged a premium price.

If I reply: "Next Monday", I can get a much lower price for stamped printing or offset, because part of the cost is shared with others.

Edit: how stupid of me, Jürgen is all-seeing :)

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Thanks both!

One aspect I would like to bring forth is that Requested delivery date in an order has a much much greater importance than it in an inquiry (which is the main content of this thread).

I go to a card printer, I give him the specifications (material details) and quantity - Birthday card (showing him a prototype) and 100 qty. He gives me the prices / rates - if delivered in 1 week, 2 weeks respectively.

At this stage, I take the info and return. I donot want to give him a req delivery date, at this stage.

That is why my point that this date should not be mandatory.

Added: With this document I am not bound to the terms and conditions, so if the potential customers wants a delivery after 5 years with the current rates. I would refuse (with proper justification).

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By replying to someone's post, I think they will get a notification.

As a test, you can check if your notification counter increments by one with this post. (I have creates this post by clicking "Reply" to your post)

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This is correct, I assumed, that you intended replying to Jürgen for your previous post, but it is possible, that I misunderstood the idea:

As to your comment about delivery date https://answers.sap.com/comments/261291/view.html :

You are right, that inquiries are not binding, but actually in my example me giving you an offer for producing something in 1 week or 2 months and trying to reuse the offer later, is not going to work out well for you and you might miss out on a better deal, unless you order in large quantities. If I am able to accommodate your order in an existing collated form, I might give you a very competitive price. Unfortunately, this depends on what orders I am fulfilling at that time and with what colors, which is hard to predict for a period far in the future. In such situations I have told potential clients: if you manage to confirm by tomorrow EOD (validity period of exclusive offer), we can fulfill your order in 3 days for price xxx. If you cannot not confirm within this time-slot, I can offer you alternative B (specific terms and prices) or alternative C (different terms and prices).

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Thanks Veselina! :)

In the screenshot you pasted in your previous post, I replied to you. But yes part of the post discussed Jurgen's point.

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I miss the notification logic of the previous version i.e. any new posts to a thread you have comments will increment your notifications button. :(

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Typewriter TW Jul 19, 2017 at 12:30 PM
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How can I mark this thread as answered?

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