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

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

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5 Answers

  • Best Answer
    Jul 19, 2017 at 12:35 PM
    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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  • Jul 17, 2017 at 09:31 PM

    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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  • Jul 17, 2017 at 08:59 PM

    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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  • Jul 19, 2017 at 07:06 AM

    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 miss the formatting capabilities of the old editor, especially quoting.

      But don't be discouraged, @mention is on the road-map and hopefully in a few months you will be able to trigger notifications to more than one member with a single comment :)

  • Jul 19, 2017 at 12:30 PM

    How can I mark this thread as answered?

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