In distribution / manufacturing environments the Bill of ladings stands out as the most common document produced after the packing slip. What makes the Bill of lading the most challenging is that detail and structure of the requirements to produce a bill of lading.
In today’s blog post I am going to show you the various ways there are to generate a bill of lading, whether you are using SAP’s built in form, our Advanced Form or your own custom forms the process for generating will be the same, the only difference will be the source. The source is important so let me discuss some leading practices for how bill of ladings are produced..

Single Order

Deliveries are the main picking document for customer orders, it is possible to generate deliveries that encompass multiple orders but the leading practice is a 1:1 relationship, 1 order to 1 delivery. When using a delivery the leading process is as follows:

1. Delivery is generated prior to ship date (sometimes maybe the same day)
2. Delivery is picked/packed, whatever internal process is followed to get ready for shipment.
3. Paperwork is generated for the delivery (packing slip, bill of lading, customs doc etc….)
4. Delivery is picked up
5. Delivery is post goods issued

Multiple Orders

When shipping multiple orders to one consignee (customer) , though it is possible to group multiple orders to one delivery the leading practice is to generate a separate delivery for each order. Since each delivery is separate but going to the same location, we will use a shipment in these cases to group the deliveries. When shipping multiple deliveries, we will generate the Bill of lading from the Shipment following the leading practice.

1. Deliveries are generated prior to ship date.
2. Deliveries are picked/packed
3. Paperwork is generated for the shipment (Bill of lading)
4. Shipment is picked up
5. Shipment is completed (Post Goods Issued etc.)

Note in some industries Master Bill of Ladings are used/required, when this is the case, the leading practice is to generate the individual bill of lading from the deliveries and the master bill of lading from the shipment.
Note in environments that use SAP EWM the process is very similar just the source documents are different like so, in the above the delivery is substituted by a Outbound Delivery Order and in the case of the shipment it is substituted by a Transportation Unit. In a subsequent post I will show how it is done in SAP EWM.

Generating a bill of lading from a delivery

    1. Access the delivery transaction – VL03n
    2. Enter the delivery number
    3. Select from the Outbound delivery menu
    4. Select Issue Delivery Output

      SAP Outbound Delivery menu VL03n

      SAP Outbound Delivery menu VL03n

    5. From the output dialog select your Bill of lading form from the list of outputs.

      Outbound delivery Output for Bill of Lading

      Outbound delivery Output for Bill of Lading

    6. In preview you can review the output but otherwise select the printer.

      Bill of lading preview

      Bill of lading preview

Generating a bill of lading from a shipment

    1. Access the shipment transaction VT03n
    2. Access the Shipment menu, select Output->Printer
    3. Select your output type from the drop down menu, the standard output is CMR1 and select Execute. (note CMR1 does not by default have very much of a format so select your companies specific output.)
    4. From the “Issue Output”dialog select your printer and Execute.
    5. Either review the output or print it out.

      SAP Bill of lading output preview

      SAP Bill of lading output preview

In a future post we will walk through doing the same from SAP EWM.

Well that’s it, its a basic process, hope this was helpful!

Check out AdvancedBOL our innovative solution for generating, digitizing and retaining Bill of ladings and other shipping/receiving related paperwork.


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