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Contents

Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 2
Example Business Case: ................................................................................................................................ 2
Configuration Steps ....................................................................................................................................... 3
Edit Characteristics ................................................................................................................................... 3
Characteristic - PO Type ........................................................................................................................ 4
Characteristic - PO Net Value ................................................................................................................ 8
Edit Class ................................................................................................................................................. 10
Define release strategy for purchase orders .......................................................................................... 12
Release Groups ................................................................................................................................... 12
Release Codes ..................................................................................................................................... 13
Release indicator ................................................................................................................................. 13
Release Strategies ............................................................................................................................... 14
Check Release Strategies .................................................................................................................... 23
Set Authorization levels for approvals .................................................................................................... 23
System Demo .............................................................................................................................................. 24
How to release a purchase order ........................................................................................................ 25



Introduction
It is often requested by management to have control over purchase order generation in SAP. Therefore
SAP has introduced a functionality called release strategy for PO's, where you can have different
authorization levels/ steps to approve a purchase order. Based on the release steps you have defined,
the purchase order can be released and sent to the vendor.
Let's see how you can configure a release strategy for purchase orders in SAP.
Example Business Case:
In order to explain the release strategy in more details, I will take a simple example.
Let's say a business is using different purchase order types in SAP (eg: NB, etc) and now the business is
requesting to implement a release strategy if the PO value is more than 20000 USD. This procedure
should be valid only for the purchase order type "NB".
Based on the above mentioned requirement, you need to identify 2 different keys for your release
strategy. They are;


Configuration Steps
Complete configuration is done in the below IMG Path;
IMG Path:

Edit Characteristics
Under this IMG node, you have to define characteristics for your PO release procedure. These
characteristics are the criteria for your release conditions. If any criteria of a release condition are
satisfied, then associate release strategy will get assigned to the purchase order.
As we identified above, we need to define 2 characteristics for our example.
o PO Type
o PO Net Value
In that case, when you have created a purchase order (With purchase order type - NB) which has a value
above 20000 USD, system will automatically assign the release strategy to that purchase order.

IMG Path:

For the above example, I will create those two characteristic as below;
Characteristic - PO Type
 Enter characteristic name and press button

 Enter a description for your new characteristic. Status will be automatically set to "Released"

 Since my characteristic is for PO Type, I have to select the "Data Type" as "CHAR". Character
length has to be set as well. If you need to use multiple values under this characteristic, then use
"Multiple values" option. (By setting it to "Multiple values" you can use same characteristic with
multiple purchase order types)

 In the "Additional Data" tab, you need to maintain, which fields in the communication structure
will used to get the value of this characteristic. Since I am using "PO Type", I will use the field
BSART

 Save the new characteristic
Note:
You can find which fields are available in this communication structure using the transaction SE11

Eg:

SAP has provided a customer exit which will enable you to change the communication structure for
determining the release strategy for PO's.
 Customer Exit - M06E0004
If the business wants to use fields that do not exist in the communication structure "CEKKO" to
determine the PO release strategy, then you have to insert those relevant fields in the communication
structure "CEKKOZZ". Using above communication structure, you can then fill those fields in the
purchase order creation.
Eg: Communication structure - CEKKOZZ

Characteristic - PO Net Value
 Enter characteristic name and press button

 Enter a description for your new characteristic. Status will be automatically set to "Released"

 Since my characteristic is for order value, I have to select the "Data Type" as "CURR". Then the
currency type has to be specified as well
 If you need to maintain multiple values and intervals, please mark relevant fields in the "Basic
Data" tab


 In the "Additional Data" tab, you need to maintain, which fields in the communication structure
will used to get the value of this characteristic. Since I am using PO net value, I will use the
structure field CEKKO / GNETW

 Save the new characteristic
Edit Class
Under this IMG node, you can create a new class for your release procedure for PO's. This class will be
used to group the characteristics you have created in the previous step.
IMG Path:

 Enter your own class name and class type as "032" and press the button

 Under "Basic Data" tab, give a description to your class

 In the "Char" tab, add the new characteristics you have created in the previous step

 Save your new class

Define release strategy for purchase orders
IMG Path:

Release Groups
Under this IMG path, you can create a release group for your release procedure and assign it to a class.


Release Codes
Under this IMG path, you have to create different release codes which can be assigned to your release
group. Release codes represent different release levels in the organization structure who can release a
purchase order.
IMG Path:

 Click on button to add new release code against the release group you have created
in the previous step
Eg: As show below, I have defined three levels who has to approve the purchase order before send it to
a vendor

 Save your settings
Release indicator
Under this IMG Path, you can define release indicators for your purchase order release strategy. It is
used to show the release status of a PO.
IMG Path:


Let's look at the key fields in this IMG node;
o -> This indicator is used to specify whether purchase order messages (In the
output format) may be transmitted for a purchase order with the indicator. If you have
marked this field, that means the relevant release ID has the "Released" status
o -> This is to show the effect of changes that can happen to a purchase order
which has a release strategy. For example if there is a change in the PO, you can call a
new release strategy from the beginning
o -> Here you can specify that the release strategy is to be re-started if a
PO is changed and the value of a PO item increases by a certain percentage (e.g. 5%).
Release Strategies
Under this IMG node, you can specify the release strategy for your purchase orders using previous
configurations.
IMG Path:

 Click on button to add the release strategy
 Create a new release strategy under release group

 Add your release codes under that

 Click on button to specify the sequence of PO release
Eg:
Let's say Purchasing executive (L1) much release the PO first, and then the Purchasing Manager (L2). In
order to release the purchase order by Purchasing Director (L3), both Purchasing executive (L1) and
Purchasing Manager (L2) has to be released. In that case you have to mark this matrix as follows;

 Click on button to specify status of the PO, after certain release steps has
been taken.
o If you have marked , then your output screen will display
accordingly
->
You can assign release indicators accordingly. As per above, the PO will be released only if all approvals
received.
o If you have not marked , then the output screen will give you
individual steps with the release indicator. Then you can assign your release indicators
accordingly.
->
As per above, if the "L3" approval is given (Purchasing Director), the PO is released. There are no pre-
requisites for that step.
Therefore based on the business requirement, you can define your own release statuses for purchase
order.
 Click on button to specify values for the release strategy.
Since Release group is assigned to a class, all characteristics in that class will be displayed
automatically here. Based on your characteristic settings you can specify a range or individual
value here

If you want to assign multiple values for a certain characteristic, then you can use the "F4" help to add
those as well.

 Now Save the release strategy using button
Release simulation with pre-requisites

 Click on to simulate the release strategy
o First you will see a screen like below. This is the initial status of the PO

o Click on button for simulation
Let's assume I have maintained prerequisites as below;

o Due to pre-requisites I have maintained, the only step that can be released now is "L1"

o If you try to click on "L3", system give below message; (This is because, I have specified
pre-requisites as L1 & l2 for L3)

o Therefore I can click only step that is marked as "Release possible". In this case, it is "L1"

o Once I click that, the status for change as follows; Now the "L2" is set as "Release
Possible"

Still the overall PO status is "Blocked"
o Now I can release the step "L2" by clicking on that, then the Release code changes to
"L3". But the overall status is still blocked

o When I double click on the step "L3", you can see the overall status was set to "Release"

By doing above, you can simulate your new release strategy before releasing it to the business.
Release simulation without pre-requisites
Let's say you have removed all pre-requisites specified and set the release statuses as follows:
->
Now if you try to simulate it using button , you will see a different picture;
->
As per above, any level can start the PO release process, But the final release status will be set, only if
"L3" is received.
 Let's set only "L1" -> Overall PO release status is still blocked. This is because you have set
"Release status" as "B - Blocked" for that step (see below)

 Now let's reverse that step (L1) and set only "L2" -> Overall PO release status is still blocked.
This is because you have set "Release status" as "B - Blocked" against the step "L2" (see
below)

 Now let's reverse the step "L2" and set the step "L3" -> Overall PO release status get
"Released". This is because you have set "Release status" as "R - Released" against the step
"L3" (see below)


Check Release Strategies
IMG Path:

Under above IMB path, you can do a simple check of your release strategy.
Set Authorization levels for approvals
You can attach authorization object “M_EINK_FRG” to SAP user ID’s to set relevant authorization levels
for the PO release.

System Demo
Let's assume your release procedure was set with pre-requisites s and release statuses as shown below;

Once you receive the all "L1", "L2", "L3" approvals, the purchase order will be released.
Now let's create a purchase order with purchase order type "NB" which has a value of more than 20000
USD to see the effect of the release strategy.
Transaction: ME21N
Easy Access Menu:

As soon as you enter a purchase order (PO Type - NB) which has a net value greater than 20000 USD,
you will see a new tab appear in the PO Header section as below;
This contains the release code (Release steps) which needs to be performed, in order to release the PO
to vendor.

How to release a purchase order
Transaction: ME29N
Easy Access Menu:

When you call your purchase order in the above transaction you should be able to see an additional
column called "Release Options" in the "Release Strategy" tab

 Now depend on the authorization, you can release each step by clicking
 When I release the step "L1", the PO looks like below; The overall status is still "Blocked"

 When I release the step "L2", the PO looks like below; The overall status is still "Blocked"

 Once I set the "L3" flag, the PO will be released and can be sent to the vendor

Note:
You can use the transaction "ME28" to release multiple PO's at once


Author: Anupa Wijesinghe
E-Mail: anupaw@gmail.com / anupaw@learnsaptips.com
Website: www.learnsaptips.com
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This article is done based on my research and readings, unless otherwise stated. The views expressed
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