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Recently, I was exploring some of the options in Rules Based Availability Check ( RBA ) and found that SAP has introduced the option of merging the sub items to ease the handling of transactional documents in ECC. However, it has some pre-requisites that has to be met.

As part of the implementation I was running through, I always had the following questions in Product Substitution (in fact many users did come to me with the same question ) for which I didn't have any answer.

If there is a Product Substitution between two products P1->P2; and if the Product 1 is fully available to the extent of ordered quantity ? Why would system create a sub item with the same ordered product ? 

Initially when I approached SAP with this question, they reverted to me saying that the "Rules Immediately" option in the check instructions is responsible for such a behavior, however from business perspective it doesn't make any sense to create a sub item when the same product is fully being fulfilled with enough stock being available.

With the recent upgrade to SCM 7.0 EHP2; I found something in check instructions that made me to setup some test data and see how it behaves and it did answer me the questions I initially had ( mentioned above )

I have created a sub item between two products P1->P2 with rule control as "Start from top of list" approach. There is some stock of 900 PCs available for P1 in the location L1 (1000 ) and there was no stock for Product P2 in the same location (1000) .

I have selected the check boxes "Activate RBA", "Start Immediately" in check instructions and I have created the sales document for 2000 Pcs with Product P1 as shown below

I have seen that the sub item has been created though P2 doesn't have any stock. This particular case is something similar to normal ATP check wherein P1 is being ATP checked to look out for confirmation. Following screenshots shows the ATP picture and sales order situation.

Note :- The behavior is same ( sub item is created ) when the sales order quantity is less than or equal to the stock available for Product P1.

Now, I have selected the "Merge Sub items" option in the Check instructions and executed the ATP check. There has not been any change in the delivery proposal however, the sub items have been merged together and only main item is available in the sales order with the confirmation 900. Also, you can see the confirmation picture of schedule line at main item level as shown below.

Now, I have created a stock of 500 PCs for Product P2 and re-executed the availability check ( by keeping "Merge Sub-items option ticked ) and following is the delivery proposal screen for the same ordered quantity 2000 PCs.

After accepting the proposal, I see the sales order situation as shown below.

Hence, it looks like whenever the partial confirmation picture is identified, the pegging areas are being shared for a single sales document and hence as per the SAP documentation, the merging of sub item is not possible. In short, whenever the substitution takes place between two same products, sub items can be merged to ease the transactional document in OLTP for further steps.

But, there is one thing that we need to keep in mind in terms of location substitution. If there is one single product that is being substituted between two locations and if the quantity is completely being fulfilled with only one single product though two locations are being substituted, in this case merging the sub items is still possible because there can be a Stock transport requisition that could be created between the two locations. This can be configured in location substitution procedure using an activity to tranship the product between two locations.

Hope the above information helps.

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