Run a Zero Stock Check - SAP WM

Purpose
The accuracy of the stock balance in a warehouse can be guaranteed with other methods besides taking inventory. You should also have the option of carrying out corrections to stock balances on a regular basis. The monitoring, checking, and correcting of the stock balance whenever material is removed from stock is very important, especially in a warehouse with partial-pick options. In Warehouse Management (WM), this function is known as the zero stock check. With the zero stock check, you can use the fact that a storage bin was emptied for picking in order to trigger a bin inventory check.

When zero stock check has been defined for a storage type, the system checks whether the storage bin is empty after the stock has been picked. The transfer order for picking is printed with a notice that the zero stock check is active for a specific storage bin. When the warehouse worker removes the stock from the bin, he or she must check to see whether the storage bin is actually empty. When you confirm the transfer order for the pick, the system displays a dialog box in which you confirm that the storage bin is empty.

If the warehouse worker finds that the storage bin is not actually empty, you enter the actual amount that was counted in the bin when you confirm the transfer order. The system automatically corrects the stock (the inventory balance is zero, yet the storage bin still contains a certain quantity), using the interim storage area for differences. Afterwards, the difference must be posted from WM into Inventory Management (IM), which clears the posting.

There are three ways to use the zero stock check:

  • The system automatically activates the zero stock check.
  • You request the zero stock check manually. It may be the case that a warehouse worker notices that a storage bin is emptied when stock has been picked, but zero stock check is not set up for this storage bin.
  • You define zero stock check as an inventory method. Inventory of the storage bin is taken each time a zero stock check is carried out. When you confirm the transfer order, the system updates data about physical inventory for the storage bin.

Zero stock check is not applicable for all storage types. It is not available for mixed storage, for example. The zero stock check is not applicable in an SU-managed bulk storage area.

Prerequisites
Inventory methods are defined for each storage type. To set up the zero stock check method for a storage type, choose Activities Physical Inventory Define Types per Storage Type in the Warehouse Management Implementation Guide (IMG). Before you activate the zero stock check, you should make sure that the transfer order generation, the physical movement, and the transfer order confirmation all take place within a reasonable amount of time from an organizational viewpoint. Otherwise, you cannot take advantage of the zero stock check method.

Process Flow
When zero stock check is defined as an inventory method for a storage type, the inventory fields are updated for the storage bin and/ or quant. After a zero stock check, the storage bin is regarded as having been inventoried. The zero stock check process is illustrated below as an inventory method which also corresponds to the process described for manual zero stock checks:

Process Flow

As a rule, a high percentage of storage bins have inventory taken with the continuous inventory based on zero stock check. However during the fiscal year, some storage bins may not have been emptied by picking. In this situation, you should also set the annual inventory method for this storage type so that you can conduct an annual inventory for these storage bins.

Example: Automatic Zero Stock Check
With this type of zero stock check there are two possibilities. Either the storage bin is empty or it is not empty when stock is removed from it with a transfer order for stock removal. If the storage bin is empty, the transfer order item must be confirmed.

Storage Bin is Empty When Stock is Removed
After a goods issue in IM, the entire quantity of material is removed from the bin with a stock removal transfer order. Because the zero stock check indicator is set for the storage type and the storage bin is empty, the system automatically activates zero stock check. When the transfer order is created, the system issues a warning message that the bin will be empty when the material is removed. When the transfer order is printed, it contains a message that zero stock check has been activated for the storage bin.

When the warehouse clerk removes material from the storage bin, he must take an inventory of the bin. Using the transfer order on which the warehouse clerk wrote the results of the inventory, you confirm the stock removal transfer order. When you confirm the transfer order, the system displays a pop-up window for the zero stock check in which you confirm that the storage bin is empty (by choosing Confirm empty bin).

Storage Bin is not Empty When Stock is Removed
In this case, the actual situation in the warehouse does not match the book inventory for the storage bin. According to the book inventory, the storage bin should be empty after stock is removed. The system activated the zero stock check, as described above. However, when the stock was removed from the bin, the warehouse worker found a quantity of material in the bin.

When you confirm the transfer order, you enter the quantity that remained on the storage bin in the zero stock check window. The system posts the remaining amount as a positive quantity in the storage bin and as a negative quantity in the interim storage area for differences. Afterwards, this difference must be recorded in IM.

Example: Manual Zero Stock Check
The process for manually requesting zero stock check is illustrated below.

Example: Manual Zero Stock Check

In some cases when a warehouse worker removes stock from a storage bin with a stock removal transfer order, he notices that the bin is empty. However the book inventory shows that the bin is not supposed to be empty. The warehouse worker reports that the storage bin was emptied by the stock removal.

When you confirm the transfer order for the stock removal, you can request zero stock check on the item confirmation screen. The system displays a window in which you enter the necessary data. When you post the confirmation, the system automatically calculates the difference and posts this difference to the interim storage area. The difference on the interim storage area must be cleared and recorded in IM. The book quantity for the bin is corrected during confirmation.


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