Managing Customer Delivery Schedules

This document explains how a delivery schedule (DS) is created, processed, monitored and finally archived.

You use delivery schedules when you manage repetitive customer demands. The customer sends a DS with information about demands over a given time period, including short-term and long-term demands. Delivery schedules are exchanged continuously and recently received schedules replace or update demands in previously received schedules.


The DS is created and processed so that customer order lines are updated according to the current customer demands. If the DS is linked to JIT Call-Off Management, JIT demands will be created, processed and ready for the packing process.

Based on events, errors and deviations that occurred within DS processing, application messages are created and sent to the responsible user.

Finally, the delivery schedules are archived when they no longer are needed in the production environment.

The DS is used as the demand source for a company’s planning and execution processes. How it is used depends on the level of commitment (call-off or forecast) and time period (daily, weekly or monthly) of each demand. Eventually, the DS will be used for material planning and the outbound dispatch process.

Based on application messages that inform about events, errors and deviations during the DS process, the responsible user takes the manual actions that are necessary for completing DS processing.

The archived schedules are used for historical analysis. If they are needed again they can be retrieved back into the production environment.

See documents in the See Also section for a description of how the system is affected by each activity.

Before you start

Follow these steps

  1. Create a Delivery Schedule

    You create a delivery schedule either manually or automatically. Delivery schedules are created manually when they are not entered automatically through the M3 EDI solution.

    A complete DS consists of a header, one or several item lines and one or several demands per item line. In addition, for an EDI delivery schedule, the EDI addresses, received delivery notes and received cumulatives are created.

    Finally an application message is sent to inform the responsible user that a new DS has been received.

  2. Process a Delivery Schedule

    You process a DS by performing the required activities; that is, validation, activation and net schedule creation. At your request, the DS is checked for deviations before the net schedule is created. Note that all activities involved in DS processing can be performed automatically. If this is requested, you supervise the DS processing in the way that is described in step 3 Monitor a Delivery Schedule.

    When the DS has been validated, mandatory DS information is retrieved, converted and checked. Based on the DS information created, demand commitment and demand bucket can be calculated. You can chose to split demands so that one demand is divided into several demands spread over time. For example, you can split monthly demands into weekly demands.

    The purpose of activation is to reflect the customer’s current view of demands in the continued processing. When you activate a DS, the status of the new DS is changed from new to active while the previous DS is changed from active to historical. If there is a DS hierarchy including forecast and call-off levels, the status of the forecast DS will be updated to historical, within the call-off date range, when the call-off DS is activated.

    During DS deviation check, the new DS is compared to the previous DS according to a defined deviation model. The deviation model specifies a number of DS fields that are compared between the two related delivery schedules. A common deviation check is to compare quantity deviation for a specified time period such as the next week or the next month. If any deviation occurs, the responsible user is informed through application messages and a detailed deviation report.

    When the net schedule is created, the demands that have been activated since activation are transformed into customer order lines. When you process active demands, you can round off the demands to fit packaging sizes. Moreover, the net schedule is reconciled so that demands are adjusted to any recent deliveries that were unknown by the customer when the DS was sent to the supplier. When the net schedule creation activity is finished, the current customer demands are available for material planning and outbound dispatch processing.

  3. Monitor a Delivery Schedule

    Depending on the configuration and outcome of the DS processing, different application messages are created. These messages contain information about events that have occurred and possible errors or deviations. The user analyzes each message and takes necessary actions. Possible actions could be adding missing basic data or supplying additional DS information so that DS processing can continue and be finalized.

  4. Archive a Delivery Schedule

    A DS becomes obsolete according to user-defined time limits. When such a time limit is reached, the DS is moved from the production environment to an archive. Schedules are archived in order to be accessible for historical analysis and possible retrieval back into production.

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