A good way of tightening authorization in your procurement organization is using mandatory source lists. In a previous post I explained how you can use source list in a central procurement organization together with MRP. Setting source list as a requirement for procurement you block any Purchase Order from being created if the material/vendor combination is not known to the source list for the purchasing organization, purchasing group and, or plant. This is excellent if rogue buying (i.e. buying without taking advantage of negotiated company discounts) in SAP is an issue in your company. This is how you implement mandatory source lists in your organization:
1) The easiest way to turn source list into a mandatory requirement is to set this in customizing per plant. Go to IMG > Materials Management > Purchasing > Source List > Define source List at Plant Level. In this transaction set the indicator for the plant that is going to be moved under the tighter procurement regime.
Alternatively, you can set the source list requirement in the material master’s Purchasing tab. The advantage of this is that you only put certain materials under tight procurement rules.
[tip]Especially if the procurement department closed a very cost-saving contract for a common (raw) material, you really want operations to call-off from this contract and avoid procurement from any other source than this particular vendor. This is where you really can use the source list requirement for the specific material.[/tip]
2) Now it is important that all inforecords and contracts are up-to-date: update inforecords and contracts where you can and remove any obsolete ones. This is not a one time exercise: when using mandatory source lists it is an absolute condition that inforecords, contracts and subsequently the source list itself is up-to-date at all times. Outdated and incorrect source lists will lead to frustration where purchase orders cannot be created and procurement lead time will increase. Embed this new responsibility properly to a master data person in the procurement department.
3) Now that all inforecords and contracts are up-to-date you can mass create source lists using transaction ME05. In the opening screen of the transaction enter the data for the materials for which you wish to create a source list (If you have multiple sources for a material do not set the MRP indicator. Only one source with MRP indicator makes sense.). No worries, no actual source lists are created when you execute the execution button (F8). Actual creation of source lists is done when you save in the next screen of the report results. When you are in the report overview you also set a fixed or blocked vendor by selecting lines and using the menu.
If you are not happy running a mass transaction you can still use ME01 for material-by-material source list creation.
4) Last thing is to check that authorization for end-users is tight enough. Users should only be able to procure for their own purchasing organization, purchasing group and plant. If this is not the case, you run the risk of material being procured from the correct vendor but by the wrong people. Taking care of the above steps should make your organization rogue-buying proof from a SAP perspective. Unfortunately SAP cannot prevent users from printing their own Purchase Orders in MS Word and faxing this to the vendor or ordering on-line.