Understanding the Concept of Inbound Delivery in SAP

What Is Inbound Delivery In Sap

In the world of SAP, inbound delivery plays a crucial role in managing and tracking goods as they are received into an organization. It involves the process of receiving materials from external vendors or other plants within the company. Inbound delivery ensures that goods are properly documented, inspected, and stored in the appropriate location. This article will delve into the concept of inbound delivery in SAP, exploring its significance and how it is executed to streamline supply chain operations effectively.

Understanding Inbound Delivery Process in SAP

In the embedded EWM system, the inbound process starts with receiving an ASN from the supplier and generating an inbound delivery in SAP. SAP S/4HANA is widely used for creating purchase orders and managing inbound deliveries. Once the goods arrive at the warehouse, you can proceed with posting the goods receipt and carrying out putaway tasks within embedded EWM.

Upon the creation of an ASN, the system verifies whether the plant and storage location mentioned in the ASN are associated with an embedded EWM-managed warehouse. If this is confirmed, the system proceeds to allocate and generate an inbound delivery by utilizing a qRFC-enabled function module. This newly created document serves as a warehouse request within embedded EWM for managing goods receipt and putaway operations.

The diagram below provides an overview of the process for creating an inbound delivery document in embedded EWM using an ASN in SAP S/4HANA.

Those familiar with decentralized SAP EWM will observe that the creation of an inbound delivery notification in SAP S/4HANA is no longer necessary. This change aligns with the simplification approach adopted in embedded EWM.

Once the inbound delivery is created, you can progress to the next steps in the inbound process, which may include the following:

The vehicle or transport unit arrives at the yard. The TU is unloaded for delivery. The goods receipt is recorded. The products or handling units are put away.

In embedded EWM in SAP S/4HANA, there is no need to create an expected goods receipt document for receiving goods. The information for the inbound delivery is obtained directly from the purchase or manufacturing order in SAP S/4HANA.

In embedded EWM, the inbound process allows for receiving finished goods in the warehouse. Depending on the configuration in SAP S/4HANA, you have the option to initiate goods receipt posting either from SAP S/4HANA itself or from embedded EWM.

You can trigger goods receipt posting directly from SAP S/4HANA by using the inbound delivery created in SAP S/4HANA as soon as you’ve executed the last step in the production or process order. The inbound delivery is created in embedded EWM only if the receiving plant and storage location are embedded EWM-managed.

The products that have been completed on the assembly line are transferred to the warehouse and recorded as goods received in embedded EWM. This information is also reflected in the inbound delivery within SAP S/4HANA. Afterwards, tasks for storing the items are generated and carried out in embedded EWM.

You might be interested:  Inventory Management Procedure in SAP MM


Imagine a local company that places an order with a vendor located in a different country. The order consists of different products that need to be delivered promptly. A purchasing representative enters the order details into SAP S/4HANA and, considering the materials needed, generates an inbound delivery within SAP S/4HANA. This inbound delivery includes all the products to be supplied as part of one single shipment.

As shown in the figure below, after the inbound delivery is saved in SAP S/4HANA, it flows through to embedded EWM and is saved as an inbound delivery order. After the goods are received in the goods receipt area of the warehouse, goods receipt is posted in the staging area of the warehouse. Goods may also be flagged for quality inspection if quality management (QM) is activated for the product. After the checks and any ongoing packaging requirements, the goods are put away by the warehouse worker in the final putaway area based on the destination bin that the embedded EWM system proposes. The warehouse workers usually get putaway warehouse tasks on their Process Warehouse Tasks – Putaway app or the RF device they use to work in the warehouse.

Understanding the concept of inbound delivery

On the other hand, outbound logistics deals with moving goods and products out to customers. This includes activities like order processing, packaging, transportation, and delivery. Businesses need to make sure that customer orders are fulfilled accurately and efficiently so that the products reach their intended destinations on time.

System Process

The following explains the basic system flow, including the documents and the data required to execute putaway of stock from the inbound door to the destination bin in embedded EWM and decentralized EWM. Briefly, each step in the inbound process is as follows:

Understanding Inbound and Outbound Delivery in SAP

An inbound delivery refers to the arrival of material at a plant or warehouse. This could be when goods are received from suppliers or transferred internally within the organization. For example, if a company orders raw materials from a supplier, the shipment of those materials to their facility would be considered an inbound delivery. It is important for businesses to efficiently manage and track these deliveries to ensure smooth operations.

On the other hand, an outbound delivery occurs when material leaves a plant or warehouse. This can include shipments to customers, transfers between different company locations, or even returns being sent back to suppliers. For instance, if a customer places an order for finished products with a company, the process of packaging and shipping those items would involve creating an outbound delivery.

A purchase order (PO) is essentially a formal request made by a business entity to its supplier for specific goods or services. It serves as documentation that outlines what needs to be purchased and under what terms and conditions. In simpler terms, it is like placing an order with your preferred vendor for certain materials required in your business operations.

– An inbound delivery could occur when you receive shipments of wood planks from your timber supplier.

– An outbound delivery might take place when you ship out finished chairs ordered by customers.

– When you want more fabric supplies from your textile supplier, you would create a purchase order indicating the desired quantity needed.

By understanding these concepts and their practical applications, businesses can effectively manage their material flows, ensure timely deliveries, maintain accurate inventory records, and streamline production processes.

Storage Control

In the intricate process of putaway, storage control is employed to ensure that a product undergoes multiple steps based on warehouse procedures or the physical arrangement of the warehouse before it reaches its designated storage bin.

You might be interested:  SAP ABAP: Reporting Events in ALV

In embedded EWM, there are two categories of storage control.

1. Storage control based on the process flow.

2. Storage control based on the layout design.

Process-oriented storage control is utilized to carry out various steps in warehouse operations, such as quality inspection, value-added services (VAS), deconsolidation, and kitting. On the other hand, layout-oriented storage control is employed to execute warehouse processes based on the physical arrangement of the warehouse.

For example, a product might need to be moved to the first floor in the warehouse to reach the final putaway bin via an elevator. In this case, the putaway storage process will have two process steps. The first step will move the product from the staging area to the elevator, and the second process will move the product from the elevator to the door.

The main objective of implementing storage control in SAP is to ensure constant visibility of stock within the warehouse. In cases where a product requires both process-oriented and layout-oriented storage control, embedded EWM prioritizes process-oriented storage control over the latter.

The diagram presented below illustrates the intricate flow of goods during the inbound process, utilizing solely process-oriented storage control.

The primary steps involved in complex putaway are as follows, but note that they can include further steps (counting, quality inspection, etc.):

Understanding the Inbound Delivery Process in SAP

In SAP, an inbound delivery is a process of receiving goods into a warehouse or a company. To create an inbound delivery in SAP, there are two transactions that can be used: VL31N and VL34.

VL31N is used to create individual inbound deliveries. This means that if you have one specific shipment or order coming in, you can use this transaction to enter the details and generate the corresponding inbound delivery document.

On the other hand, VL34 is used for creating multiple inbound deliveries collectively. If you have several shipments or orders arriving at once, you can use this transaction to input all the necessary information together and generate multiple inbound delivery documents simultaneously.

These transactions help streamline the process of receiving goods in SAP by allowing users to easily create and manage their incoming deliveries. By using either VL31N for individual deliveries or VL34 for collective ones, businesses can efficiently track their inventory as it enters their warehouses or facilities.


Now that you have a better understanding of the basic inbound process in embedded EWM in SAP S/4HANA’s logistics functionality , you should be able to keep up with the management process without wondering what’s going on. Of course, real experience is an important way of learning, too—so keep this information in the back of your mind as you go out and work in the warehouse.

Editor’s note : This post has been adapted from a section of the book Warehouse Management with SAP S/4HANA by Namita Sachan and Aman Jain.

Are you interested in utilizing the warehouse monitor? We are offering a complimentary chapter excerpt on this feature.

The necessity of inbound delivery in SAP

The inbound delivery serves as a key component in the process of receiving goods. It allows for adjustments to be made to the delivery quantity based on the actual quantity received during the goods receipt process, whether it is an overdelivery or underdelivery situation. In such cases, the delivery quantity is modified to match the quantity recorded in the goods receipt.

You might be interested:  Is Automation Considered for SAP S/4HANA Assessment: Exploring the Potential of Streamlined Processes

The Importance of Inbound Delivery

Inbound delivery in SAP Materials Management (MM) is a crucial process that ensures the timely receipt of correct products, services, and materials from suppliers. It involves the use of an inbound delivery document to effectively manage the movement of goods from vendors into the purchasing organization. This process plays a vital role in streamlining supply chain operations and maintaining efficient inventory management.

Understanding SAP outbound delivery

An outbound delivery is a document that represents the goods to be delivered to a recipient. In India, it is important to understand the following aspects of an outbound delivery:

1. Document Purpose: An outbound delivery serves as a record of the goods that are ready for shipment and need to be sent out.

2. Goods Identification: The document includes detailed information about the goods, such as their description, quantity, weight, dimensions, and any special handling instructions.

3. Delivery Schedule: It specifies the date and time when the goods should be dispatched from the warehouse or distribution center.

4. Shipping Information: The outbound delivery contains details regarding the shipping method chosen for transporting the goods, including carrier selection and transportation mode (e.g., road transport or air freight).

5. Packaging Details: It provides information on how the goods are packaged for safe transportation, including packaging materials used and any specific requirements related to packing standards.

6. Billing Information: The document may include relevant billing details such as pricing conditions, payment terms, and customer-specific invoicing instructions.

Understanding these aspects of an outbound delivery in SAP can help businesses efficiently manage their logistics operations while ensuring timely deliveries to customers in India.

Is it possible to cancel inbound delivery in SAP?

In SAP, it is possible to make corrections or cancel a released inbound delivery once all the necessary task confirmations and the inbound delivery itself have been completed. When making corrections, the warehouse confirmations will be adjusted accordingly. On the other hand, if you choose to cancel the inbound delivery, it will result in notifying supplier invoicing.

In SAP table, how does inbound delivery differ from outbound delivery?

Inbound delivery is created when receiving goods from the vendor. It is used in the MM module to procure materials. On the other hand, outbound delivery is used when delivering goods from the company to the customer. In SD module, it facilitates material delivery to customers.

– Inbound delivery: Created during goods receipt from vendor; used in MM for material procurement.

– Outbound delivery: Used for delivering goods from company to customer; utilized in SD for material delivery to customers.

Understanding Inbound and Outbound in SAP CPI

The purpose of an inbound delivery in SAP is to ensure a smooth flow of goods or services into the organization. It allows for efficient tracking and management of incoming shipments, enabling businesses to maintain accurate stock levels and meet customer demands effectively.

On the other hand, when data needs to be sent out from the SAP system to external parties or systems, it is known as an outbound interface. This includes activities like sending invoices to customers, transmitting shipping notifications to suppliers or logistics partners, or sharing relevant information with other business applications.

P.S: Inbound delivery refers specifically to data coming into the SAP system while outbound interfaces involve sending data out from the system. These processes play a crucial role in streamlining operations and ensuring effective communication between different stakeholders within a business ecosystem.