It is very important to differentiate the different categories of products within the same product range. This is achieved with the usage of categories in SAP AFS. Basically categories can be used to group any set of data which have common features. For an example Quality and Country of shipment are features that can be used to categorize the product manufactured in above examples.
Categories need to be configured in the IMG. Then category indicators need to be assigned to the materials in order to make the materials category relevant. When this is done, the stock keeping strategy for these materials will change. Your stock will be categorized with the category it is assigned to. In other words there will be an additional level in defining stock. For an example if you had a finish good stock in batch “XS”, Special Stock “E” for the order “23000” in storage location “1100” of Plant “1000” with the introduction of categories you can further classify your stock to “Quality A” and “Quality B” for an example.
On the other hand the requirement calculation in MRP will also be based on the category. You can define requirement fulfillment strategy in customizing. For an example you can ask your MRP to fill the requirement with “Quality A” goods and then with “Quality B” goods in customizing.
Category is a functionality which can be used very creatively based on the requirement. On the other hand usage of categories must be evaluated very carefully. This change the stock and requirement creation strategy for the category enabled materials. On the other hand there are some limitations to the category enabled materials. Customizing of categories involved many steps. I will discuss this in my future posts.
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