1. Blog Brief
This blog tries to explain the functionality provided by Event Management called Expected Event. The business scenario where this functionality can be used is explained in non SAP terms and logic is built around the business benefit by configuring it in SAP EM. The reader will be easily relating the benefits in a business model which has a good thrust on supply chain efficiency.
2. Expected Event: Definition: An expected event is an event that can be defined before the corresponding business process has begun and that describes the normal flow of the business process.
Let us assume a scenario in which we have the following process between two organizations A & B. In this, we have an organization A which sends pallets & containers to another organization B. The stages in this supply chain are Pack, Load, Receive, Empty, Send and Receive. In this model, the company A rents out pallets & containers to the company B. Company B uses the pallets & containers fills with their products and returns the pallets & containers back to A once the use with them is over. So this is a classic example of Returnable Transport Item scenario.
Pack: The Pallets are packed as per the requirement. They can be packed in sets of 20, 30… N depending on the customer (B) requirements. They are sent to the next stage called Load.
Load: In this stage Loading is done into the trucks or transporting vehicles. Loading can be done depending as per the customer requirements, be it date of loading, quantity to be loaded etc. The next stage is Receive.
Receive: In this stage the customer (B) receives the goods (be it containers or pallets) and checks whether the quantity received is matching with his order placed. The next stage is Empty.
Empty: The customer empties the truck (for pallets) as per his requirements. It is not essential he empties and uses them all. He may partially empty them. After he is done with the usage of the pallets he sends them to the next stage Send.
Send: In this stage, the pallets which are used by the customer are sent back to A. This stage essentially a transporting phase where the customer returns the goods used.
Receive: In this A receives the pallets & containers sent by B. They will stock these pallets and containers and keep them in good condition, so that they can be sent and packed when there is the next customer order.
3. Concept of Expected Event in this Business Scenario
In the above business process, Expected Event can help the business users in many ways. By defining Expected Events we are going to tell the system that the event (pack, load, empty etc ) is expected at this time and system will show the list of expected events for that process in the event handler. This makes the tracking work easy for the organization A. The owner of the process can keep checking the performed and executed activities against the Expected Event. Let us take a scenario with timeliness in the above business process to understand the concept of expected event better. Prior to the implementation of the SCM package, the company has done time & period estimation across the entire supply chain. It is found out that:
Pack to Load takes an average of 5 Days.
Load to Receive takes an average of 10 Days.
Receive to Empty takes an average of 5 Days.
Empty to Send takes an average of 5 Days.
Send to Receive takes and average of 10 Days.
Receive to Pack depends on the next order in the book.
So now in this business process, if we set an expected profile say ABC and define the expected events as
The package now understands that the following events have to happen once the event handler is created. Suppose the first event (Pack) happens on 1st of July. Now the expected event profile created helps in letting the business process owner to get to know when the next expected event is supposed to happen. The system will show that Load has to happen 6th of July. On similar lines the date and time will be set up for all the events described in the expected event profile earlier.
Pack – 1st July
Load – 6th July
Receive – 16th July
Empty – 21st July
Send – 26th July
Receive – 5th August
Now the system will presume that the next event Load has to happen by 6th of July. If this event does not happen, the system will show that the expected event Load is Overdue.
Overdue Event: Any event that does not happen by the date and time set against it in the expected event profile.We can use this over due event functionality in various ways. We can integrate with an Alert Server and send an alert when an event is overdue. SAP AII & EM allows this feature. In a recent project executed by Infosys for a Logistics client, custom specific alerts have been set and done successfully.The business process owner of A might be interested to know what’s happening across his supply chain and may want a real time update on his goods.
If the Load event in the above process doesn’t happen by 6th of July, the Load event becomes overdue and an alert is sent by the system to the email id set up as a recipient of that alert.There can be another scenario that the goods might just get stuck up at the same place for more than the number of expected days. Like we might have a first alert for the overdue of it, but if we have a scenario where the goods don’t move for many days. In this case there can be excess storage alert that can be set up. So many customizations can be sent and molded and configured to the customer’s wishes.Another important feature is that the expected date and time is set up based on the previous event happening.
For e.g. Pack happens on 1st July, then Load is expected to happen on 6th July. If Load doesn’t happen by 6th and happens on 8th July then the expected date and time for Receive is updated and changed accordingly to 18th July.
Hence the business benefits and value of this Expected Event functionality provided by SAP EM is tremendous and can be helpful in tracking and making good business value.
4. How to create an Expected Event profile
Expected Event profiles: Expected event profiles are templates that enable the system to automatically generate expected events for an event handler, when it creates the corresponding event handler.
We can define the following for each profile:
A function for generating expected events: In this function we determine the activity that the system uses to generate expected events for an event handler. If we do not specify a function, the system uses the default function.
An activity for the expected event monitor: We use this activity to specify how the system reacts when the program for monitoring expected events determines that an expected event is overdue or when an event message confirms an expected event.
When generating expected events, we specify whether the systemgenerates on the basis of data from the application system or whether SAP Event Management (SAP EM) generates each expected event unconditionally for each individual profile item in the group.When generating on the basis of application system data, we specify the data source for generating the expected events for each profile item in the group. The expected event function that we have defined in the application system for the application object type assigns the values for expected events in SAP EM to the values for expected events in the application system.Expected Event items
For each event (for example, pack, load, receive etc) we specify an item, for which we can define the following:
An expected event: This is an event code that identifies an event. This is an internal event code group (for example, appointments, delivery events, tendering events) to reduce the number of expected events or to limit the number of conditions for a rule.An item in the milestone table in the application system, from which the system generates an expected event (Generated from field).If we want to specify a remote input help for the Generated from field, we call the input help for this field and choose the logical system for the application system and the application object type in this application system.An indicator is used to determine whether the system can reprocess an expected event if an event message has already been received by the system for this expected event, or whether subsequent event messages are no longer processed.
The expected event message date:A rule for the date of expected event messages that we use to determine when an event message confirms the expected event. For example, we specify that a business partner must send his event message within six hours of the event occurring.
The expected event date:This is a rule for the expected event date, which we use to determine when an expected event should take place.The application system data in the expected event data record, from which the corresponding expected event was generated in the system, is used by default as the basis.
We can associate the event date for an expected event to other expected events so that the system generates the date after the associated expected event has been updated.
Configuring the Expected Event Monitor in the system, setting up custom alerts can be taken up as next point of discussion in another blog.