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Materials Management

SAP MM (Materials Management) is a module in SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) that provides companies with materials, inventory and warehouse management capabilities. The primary goal of SAP MM is to make sure that materials are always kept in proper quantities and without shortages or gaps in the organization's Supply Chain. It also helps supply chain professionals and other SAP users complete the purchasing of goods in a timely and cost-effective way and to be able to deal with day-to-day changes in these processes. One of the critical modules in SAP ECC, SAP MM is part of SAP ECC's logistics function and plays a vital role in a manufacturer's supply chain. 

SAP MM Submodules

SAP MM's functions include material management, procurement process management, master data management (material and vendor master), Inventory management, and Material requirements planning (MRP) and invoice verification.

All of these MM sub modules have functions that perform specific business processes for those modules. These are executed through transactions, the method that SAP ECC uses to complete business processes. MM also supports other logistics functions that require materials information, such as plant maintenance and project management.


Business benefits of SAP MM

Everything in MM revolves around master data, which is stored and manipulated in centralized master-data tables. Master data types include materials master, work center, bill of material and routing. The master data is used to create Transactional data in SAP ECC.

For example, when a production order is created in PP, it uses master data from MM about the raw materials needed to produce the finished product, which will subsequently be used to create a sales order in SD.


Improve Imports process in SAP MM

The quality of the integration between SAP’s core accounting function and the business-process modules that handle foreign imports and exports can vary greatly. In some cases, companies may need to look to "workarounds" in SAP Materials Management in order to gain the functionality they need. For example, compared with the highly integrated financial documents feature for exports processing Sales & Distribution Module the Imports process in the SAP Materials Management (MM) Procurement function   is not nearly as comprehensive. SAP only provides an Imports tab with very limited fields that can't handle the complexities of procuring materials from a foreign country.


  • Letter of Credit (LC)A vital financial instrument that a company needs to send payment to overseas suppliers; the entire imports process is tied to it. Not only does the LC contain banking information, it also holds financial details of the transaction and exchange rates, both spot and forward. The LC also contains validation details for the entire transaction, as well as shipping terms and ports of shipment and arrival.


  • Bill of Lading (BL):When the supplier ships the goods, be it by air or by sea, the BL becomes the reference document for tracking the shipment. When the goods arrive in the importing country, the custom official refers to the BL to calculate import charges and surcharges. It also contains such shipment information as country of origin and trans-shipment destinations.

There is no provision in SAP ERP to enter the information listed in the LC or BL, so the business process owner either manages it outside the ERP system or uses a custom-developed ABAP interface to input and store all the information.