Stock Category and Special Order

There are three item categories:

Stocked items are those which you would normally have a balance in hand in your storerooms. They are the ones in which you would normally run the reorder process.

Non-stocked items are those where you would normally not have a balance in hand in your storeroom. They are items which are ordered occasionally, perhaps for seasonal reasons or when there is a shutdown in part of the plant.

Special Order items are items that Maximo creates. They are for one-off requests created on a desktop requisition, work order, purchase requisition or purchase order which may have an inventory record (they often do not), but the intention is to only hold the stock for a short period, perhaps in relation to a project which is being performed. The special order items should periodically be made obsolete after the items have been issued.


The Default Stock Category field is used as a default for the Item/Organization Details when new items are created. The Select Value does not show the special order (SP) category, only STK and NS.

Item/Organization Details

The stock category doesn’t exist in the Item Master or Tools application at the item set level. You see it under the action Item/Organization Details, it exists in the table ITEMORGINFO. It won’t be found in the Service Items application.

In the Advanced Search of Item Master application there is a Stock Category field, but the lookup will only show STK and NS as options. If you type SP in the field the query will find the Special Order items where ITEMORGINFO.CATEGORY=’SP’. There is no stock category field in the Advanced Search of the Tools application.

In Item/Organizations Details the stock category value is defaulted from the organization setting – Default Stock Category:

* When an item has been added to a storeroom within the organization the stock category field becomes read-only. To add an item or tool item to a storeroom it needs to have a stock category of STK otherwise you receive the following error message “BMXAA7922E – The item cannot be added to the storeroom. The stock category of the item is Non-Stocked for the current organization.” You will get the same error message if the stock category is special order (SP).

** The stock category for special order items is read-only because the intention is that they are one-off purchases. These would not normally be added to a storeroom, however, you can create a purchase order, choose special order as the line type and identify a storeroom to charge this to. When you receive the item, it will be added to the storeroom with the quantity purchased as its current balance. The storeroom in this case might be a project storeroom, while the item remains at PENDING status it cannot be selected onto a work order.

For Service Items the stock category will always be set to NS.

The setting of the category field at the item/organization level will determine the setting of the Direct Issue field on a work order and the Issue on Receipt field in a purchasing document, MR, PR, PO. A non-stocked item will be purchased, a stocked item will normally require a storeroom to issue from. The category field is copied through the purchasing documents allowing analysis to be made on this field, for example how much stocked item was purchased by direct requisition.


While in the Item Master application if you look at the Storerooms tab you will see that there is a Stock Category field that exists in the INVENTORY table, but it isn’t shown in the Inventory or Stocked Tools applications except in the Advanced Search of the Inventory application.

If you add the stock category to the Inventory application using configuration it can be freely changed between all three stock categories. This would allow you to change an item from STK to NS without changing the status to Pending Obsolescence, or to convert a special order item to become a stocked item.

Bear in mind that items that exist in a storeroom are supposed to be stocked. The purchase of a special order item with charge to a storeroom will add the item to the storeroom on receipt and its stock category will be STK, and not SP.

If you had a stocked item and now you have an alternative which might be used in most cases, you might not want users thinking the item is stocked and if balance falls below a certain point it will be reordered. Therefore, it might be considered reasonable to change the stock category of the inventory item to NS. Changing it to SP at the inventory level should require you to add business meaning to this, perhaps to alert purchasing. It would be preferable in these examples to change the status to Pending Obsolescence (PENDOBS) or a synonym at this state, rather than exposing the inventory stock category and allowing it to be modified.

Work Order Tracking

On the Work Order Tracking application in the Plans – Materials tab, the Storeroom Site field is defaulted to the current site. When you pick an item then the stock category at the Item/Organization level is checked:

It is then only the stocked items at the Item/Organization level that appear to allow you to enter a storeroom, only items with a stock category of STK. However, if for a NS item you uncheck the Direct Issue field, or if for a SP item you check the Direct Issue field and then uncheck it again, the Storeroom and Storeroom Site fields become enterable allowing you to select an item of either type that is in a storeroom, if there is a balance in the storeroom for this item. On approval of the work order this will create a reservation on the storeroom.

There is a Stock Category field on the Plans – Materials tab which is read-only and which shows the stock category at the item/organization level, but only if a storeroom has been selected. If the Storeroom field is blanked, then the Stock Category field is also blanked. This field should be changed to reflect the Stock Category in the selected storeroom. All three stock categories can exist in inventory and you should be alerted if the item is anything other than STK.

It also makes sense to show the Stock Category of the item from the ITEMORGINFO table when Direct Issue has been manually selected. If it shows STK then this would alert you to perhaps make a check in the action View Item Availability from the item’s detail menu, to see whether it is stocked in an accessible storeroom to where you work. Some Maximo users might request a purchase by checking Direct Issue for a stocked item if they see that the balance is insufficient, without examining whether there are existing approved purchase orders.

Purchasing Documents

There is a stock category field (CATEGORY) which exists through the purchasing records, MRLINE, PRLINE, RFQLINE, POLINE and MATRECTRANS – Material Receipts. It is displayed on Purchase Requisitions, Request for Quotations, Purchase Orders and Receiving applications. It is also shown on the Invoices application, but it looks at the associated PO line stock category field. It is not displayed in the Desktop Requisitions (MRLINE) – Create Requisition application.

The field is copied from the item/organization value (ITEMORGINFO), when the item is selected. It is then subsequently copied to the other purchasing documents that follow. If you add a storeroom in the Charge To section, the value of the Category field is not changed to reflect the stock category that is set for this item in the selected storeroom.

If the stock category in item/organization is NS, then the “Issue on Receipt” field will be checked, and the storeroom field is read-only. If you uncheck this field a storeroom can be entered but you may receive the error message “BMXAA7922E – The item cannot be added to the storeroom. The stock category of the item is Non-Stocked for the current organization.”

To place existing items into a storeroom, you need to first change the stock category in the Item Master application and Item/Organization Details to STK. Maximo is expecting Inventory items to be of a STK category.

Special Order Items

Special Order Items are not enabled by default, you need to enable the check box “Allow the Generation of Special Order Items?” in the PO Options action in the Organizations application.

Once enabled the Line Type drop down for an Item has Special Order enabled. This screenshot is from the Work Order Tracking application, the Work Plan Materials, but it is also available on the line of a Desktop Requisition (MR), Purchase Requisition (PR), Purchase Order (PO), Request for Quotation (RFQ) and Purchase Contract.

A special order item can be made into a rotating item. It can be condition enabled and capitalized. It cannot be added to a storeroom using the action “Add Items to Storeroom” in the Item Master application, you will get the error message:

However, it can be added to a Purchase Order with the destination of a storeroom and so can exist with balances in a storeroom after the purchase order has been received.

Special Order items were more often used in Maximo many years ago, before item statuses were introduced. There used to be an action called Remove Special Order Items, but this deletion of an item was not compatible with the statuses of an item at the item, item/organization and inventory levels and the validations that take place when moving to obsolete status. Today, you would need to set them to Pending Obsolescence and then Obsolete, which you can do from the List tab against multiple item records. To use today you need to consider the implications of an ever-growing set of items.

When a special order item is created an item/organization record is created for all organizations. It is unlikely to be Active unless that is how you have defined the Default Item Status in the Organizations application.


In Maximo 7.5 there was a change to the handling of stock categories. A STK item used to indicate an item that would be selected by the reorder process and this was replaced with the Reorder check box in the Inventory application. Another change made was to stop a non-stocked item from having an inventory record and deriving its unit price from the inventory cost records, but instead use the vendor record for NS items.

I think the intention was for the Category field in Inventory to be no longer required, and for it to always be set to STK:

However, there may be some business reasons to change the category at inventory level to NS, but I am not endorsing this, I think you should think hard about the consequences of enabling this field in the Inventory application and object structure.

Items which are marked with a NS category in item/organization details are not expected to be in inventory, consequently the unit cost will be derived from the Last Price field on the Vendor record in Item Master (INVVENDOR). For items with a category of STK at the item/organization level then the Inventory Cost tables INVCOST or INVLIFOFIFOCOST or ASSET provide the unit cost.

With regard to Tools the category is set at the item/organization level depending on whether the tool will be added to a storeroom and visible in Stocked Tools application. There is no reorder process for tools, the Reorder checkbox is not displayed in the Stocked Tools application and is defaulted to 0.

For Service Items the category field at the item/organization level is set to NS, but the field is hidden.

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