Both consumers and B2B customers are annoyed about products being defective, about the installed process etc. and of waiting on the refund or repair …

Press Release

Advanced Returns Management (SAP ARM) enables consistent processes

Vienna, 08.10.2018

Monitoring the entire supply chain for returns from the end customer to the supplier

Challenges of the returns process

  • Both consumers and B2B customers are annoyed about products being defective, about the installed process etc. and of waiting on the refund or repair
  • In many industries ordering or delivering more than required followed by a return is or has become common practice
  • The returns process comprises a lot of variants which makes it difficult to implement the process in an ERP system
  • In the context of a global supply chain, a high number of stakeholders is involved in the returns process, e.g. customers, distributors, delivering plants and external vendors
  • Customer returns are expensive – for every company

Appropriate SAP functionalities for the returns process

In the past, various SAP modules, in particular SD (Sales & Distribution) and MM (Materials Management), offered a variety of functions for returns processing. However, the functionalities and data structures as a whole did not provide a complete picture, as important functionalities and connections were missing. Insofar, the implementation of an integrated returns process, especially in the context of a global supply chain, required considerable add-on programming.

SAP recognized the need for action and, with Advanced Returns Management (SAP ARM), provided comprehensive functionalities for the returns process as standard software. Appropriate cockpits and flexible process flow control ensure that the returns process can be monitored end-to-end, from the customer to the supplier. In addition a wide range of process variants can be mapped.


Business scenarios supported by SAP ARM

  • Customer returns
  • Supplier returns
  • Branch returns
  • Factory returns
  • Integrated end-to-end process for returns, starting at the end customer and leading through a multi-stage supply chain to the manufacturing plant or supplier
  • Mapping of business models of life cycle management, such as parts cycles of spare or wear parts, for example in the area of tool management



Key features of SAP ARM

  • Returns order (SAP ARM)
  • Material inspection
  • Logistical follow-up planning
  • Automatic document creation
  • End-to-End Process Monitoring



Some highlights of the customer returns process

  • Returns Order – Trigger the customer returns process in SAP ERP
  • Returns Delivery – Transport article from customer to a company‘s location
  • Article Inspection – Verify the status of the returned articles as the basis for further logistical steps and the financial settlement with the customer
  • Logistical Follow-Up – Move the returned articles to the final destination
  • Customer Refund – Determine the refund amount that the customer is to receive for returned articles
  • Billing – Payout the refund to the customer using credit memos
  • Returns Overview – Monitor the customer returns process

Important ARM features

  • Convenient user interface
  • Cockpits for monitoring the returns process
  • Handling of a large number of process variants – All major returns scenarios are being supported
  • Versatile process control options
  • Uniform document flow
  • Integration into complaints management
  • Integration with Quality Management (SAP QM), Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) and SAP CRM

Key benefits

  • Advanced Returns Management (SAP ARM) is a standard software
  • Acceleration of the returns process
  • Increased transparency, especially if you have to monitor the entire process from the end customer to the supplier
  • Improved management of warranty costs
  • Contribution to the governance of the company

B&IT services

  • Two-day scoping workshop based on an SAP demo system with returns scenarios, processes and data
  • Preliminary study to clarify the organizational/technical feasibility and to determine the scope for Advanced Returns Management (SAP ARM)
  • Prototyping based on Advanced Returns Management (SAP ARM)
  • Implementation and Rollout of Advanced Returns Management (SAP ARM)



B&IT has positioned itself as a specialized, independent and owner-operated IT consulting company that serves industrial and commercial customers from the mill/metals sector, mechanical and plant engineering and the manufacturing industry. We are a professional IT service provider in process and application management with a strong focus on SAP S/4HANA, OpenText and shop-floor applications, and have at our disposal a wide variety of relevant customer references.

B&IT’s expertise is based on numerous successful customer projects and on the many years of experience of its approximately 25 consultants. In addition, it has established an international network of partners with project experience. B&IT is headquartered in Salzburg, Austria and has offices in Vienna and Waidhofen (Austria), Munich (Germany) and Zürich (Switzerland).

For further information, contact:

B&IT Business & IT Consulting GmbH
Erwin Prodinger
Naumanngasse 38a
5020 Salzburg / Austria
Phone: +43 (0) 664 884 38 625