ERP Glossary - S: Safety Stock to Shipping

Safety Stock

Safety stock is the minimum amount of inventory planned to be kept on hand to accommodate unexpected variation in demand or manufacturing, in order to prevent an out-of-stock situation. Safety stock is typically calculated based on the time it takes to replenish an inventory.

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP)

The formal process of forecast consensus building between supply chain, manufacturing, and sales. Establishing an S&OP process for the first time can be a painful, contentious exercise, but successful efforts lead to significantly superior forecasts.

Sales Forecasting

Sales forecasting is a prediction of the amount of revenue and/or quantity of materials or services which will be sold in a given time frame.

Sales History

Sales history is the data set containing all of the sales records, normally at invoice and line item detail. Sales history is used for a variety of calculations, including forecasting, inventory levels, min/max and replenishment targets, and raw material negotiations.

Sales Manager

Sales manager is the individual responsible for establishing and achieving the sales forecast for a given sales region (where region can be a territory, a country, or the entire world).

Sales Order

A sales order is a binding commitment by an external customer to purchase a specific quantity of a material or service, at a specific price, for delivery at a specific time.


In-memory database technology from German software providers SAP, first released in February 2010.


The ability to easily accommodate growth in a process. Processes which are very complicated or labor intensive are often thought to be difficult to scale; simple or automated processes are typically described as easily scalable.


The process of sequencing steps in order to achieve an overall objective. In manufacturing, scheduling is often the process of arranging the sequence of work orders to go through a work center, in an effort to maximize efficiency, minimize cost, and deliver orders on time.

Scope Creep

Scope creep refers to the common, but undesirable expansion of the requirements definition for an ERP system after agreeing on a statement of work (which does not include the expanded requirements). Sometimes scope creep is unavoidable, because some assumed functionality does not exist, or work as expected, or because an important functionality was overlooked in the original requirements. Some scope creep is inevitable; unrestrained scope creep causes ERP projects to go massively past due and over budget.


Scrap is material which is produced during manufacturing, but has no value. Scrap might be pieces of material, like saw dust or metal shavings, or it might be finished pieces which are so far from standard as to be of zero value.

Self-Service Portal

A self-service portal allows employees or customers to access a business system such as ERP. This self-service access is normally avaible on a role-based sub-section of the system.

Shelf Life

Shelf life is an expected amount of time that a material can remain in storage and still be expected to perform properly and/or conform to specifications. Shelf life control is typically a control item in most ERP systems.


The department or process responsible for arranging the physical transportation of product and/or making certain that product is loaded on the correct carrier, whether it is a truck trailer, rail car, export container, or air freight container. Many people think shipping mysteriously "happens", but there is a complex and mandatory combination of legal and financial regulations and documents that must be conformed to.

author image
Tom Feltham

About the author…

Tom Feltham was Editor at ERP Focus for three years from 2013-2016. Tom still keeps tabs on the ERP software market and occasionally puts pen to paper when inspiration strikes.

author image
Tom Feltham

Featured white papers

Related articles