SAP SNC 7.0, Part of SAP Business Suite
SAP SNC 7.0 was released in Q4/2008 as part of SAP Business Suite and is currently available to our customers in Ramp-Up.
This latest release of SAP SNC continues to build on our vision to optimize supply chain visibility, enhance control, and increase efficiency in collaborative supplier and customer business interactions by enabling either web-based or fully automated cooperation and knowledge sharing across the supply chain. SAP SNC continues to deliver a consistent view of supply and demand information to manufacturers, suppliers, and customers with significant enhancements in the areas of Supplier Collaboration and Outsourced Manufacturing.
SAP SNC is part of the SAP Supply Chain Management application suite, enabling deep process integration into SAP ERP; it is built on the SAP NetWeaver platform to integrate with other SAP applications to fit our customers’ diverse environments.
The SAP SNC 7.0 release represents the so called “core release”, a concept adopted for all applications in SAP Business Suite with release level 7.0, which means that future functionality will be delivered to customers via “Enhancement Packages” (EhP’s), and no longer via entirely new releases of the software. As a comparison, the same approach has been in place for SAP’s ERP product since some time back. Through enhancements in software architecture and a focus on eSOA/Services that enable the Enhancement Packages concept, customers can take advantage of new functionality in an easier and more pointed way by applying EhP’s and activating selected functionalities that are required at a given time. The aim is to reduce the customer’s cost of upgrades and provide more functionality more frequently.
SAP SNC 7.0, Part of the Manufacturing Network Planning and Execution Value Scenario
SAP SNC 7.0 is a central component of the Manufacturing Network Planning and Execution Value Scenario. In this scenario, SAP SNC helps address the issue of increasing internal costs and lack of supply chain visibility for brand owners caused by the need to manage outsourced manufacturing operations on a global scale.As consumers we have all experienced the frustration of calling a manufacturer or retailer repeatedly about an order for an electronics product, a spare part for a car or a piece of furniture which seems to take forever to be built and delivered. We are often unaware of the complexities of the global supply chains that manufacturing companies have to manage today but we certainly all have experienced how slow manufacturing network responses ultimately result in poor customer service and increased costs. Without visibility of the supply chain, brand owners who need to outsource in order to compete in a global economy, are often at a loss as to how their orders are actually moving through the chain and as a result frequently experience longer than expected lead times, building inventories and disruptions in delivery commitments.
SAP SNC provides the necessary visibility and collaboration capabilities with outsourced manufacturing partners, independent of their technical sophistication in an orchestrated fashion with other SAP Business Suite applications in the context of the MNPE value scenario. All enhancements we have made in SAP SNC 7.0 and which are discussed in this blog, are directly relevant and applicable to the scenario.
New in SAP SNC 7.0
The following are some key developments in SAP SNC 7.0.
Outsourced Manufacturing is one of the prime examples of how SAP ERP and collaborative applications, such as SAP SNC come together to support complex processes within SAP Business Suite. Outsourced Manufacturing has been and remains one of the major focus areas in SAP SNC and one of the core contributions of SAP SNC to SAP Business Suite. With SAP SNC 5.1 (2007) we introduced the concept of Work Order Collaboration, which is aimed at improving cooperation with outsourcing partners, making the production progress more transparent for all parties involved. Work Order Collaboration allows subcontractors to report real-time production information, enabling customers and subcontractors to collaboratively identify bottlenecks early on and making adjustments in time to remove them. Work Order Collaboration covers all steps, from creating a (subcontracting) purchase order in the customer’s backend system to generating a corresponding work order in SAP SNC, to delivery and invoice processing. Not only can customers and subcontractors monitor the production progress in Work Order Collaboration, they can also view inventory and demand data in an n-tier environment for products and components at selected locations in their supply chain via Supply Network Inventory functionality in SAP SNC. This further leverages data residing in SAP ERP and extends the collaborative capabilities for inventory visibility in the SAP Business Suite.
With SAP SNC 7.0 and SAP ERP EhP4 we now offer additional capabilities in Outsourced Manufacturing such as batch traceability across systems and in-time component consumption recording. This allows customers to trace batch and characteristics data, as captured in SAP SNC, in a ‘where-used’ list for semi-finished and finished products in their SAP ERP system. The ability to record component consumption in SAP SNC and update inventory information in SAP ERP in real-time enables customers to maintain an accurate picture of their inventory, both from a monetary as well as a quantity perspective at all times. Additional features include enhanced processes integration between SAP SNC and the SAP ERP Production Order in EhP4 , a Worklist for mass processing of work order data in SAP SNC 7.0 as well as a new inventory overview screen for all relevant stock categories.
SAP SNC provides extensive supplier collaboration capabilities, particularly in direct material procurement, in the context of SAP Business Suite. Functionality such as purchase order processing on item, schedule line and component level, delivery collaboration and invoicing have been introduced in SAP SNC over the course of previous release cycles. We further extended supplier collaboration capabilities by integration SAP ERP Manufacturing Part Numbers with SAP SNC. A supplier who provides a particular product to a customer may be able to procure the same product from various manufacturers. The products that these different manufacturers provide (known as the “manufacturer parts”) may be of varying quality or the customer may prefer one manufacturer over another. For these reasons, a customer can decide on the source of a product by requesting a particular manufacturer part number and manufacturer in the purchase order. SAP SNC now supports MPN data as received from SAP ERP in purchase orders and advanced shipping notifications. This enables suppliers not only to view the MPN data on the SAP SNC purchase order but also to confirm MPN data and provide MPN information to their customer in the advanced shipping notification. In addition, we also enabled price confirmation by the supplier as well as batch and configuration information that can now be transferred from SAP ERP to the SAP SNC PO.
SAP SNC 7.0 also focuses on usability enhancements, such as enhanced worklists to allow mass processing of purchase order confirmations from one simple screen that contains all necessary data for the end-user.
In SAP SNC 7.0 we introduced a new concept – Quick View – which helps guide users to critical tasks that need to be executed. This allows particularly external users, such as suppliers, to become more efficient and effective in their response with the Quick View helping them to prioritize their daily work.
The Quick View is a web screen on the SAP SNC UI that can be set as an entry screen, displaying application-specific key figures for tasks that need to be completed for various order documents, for example purchase orders (POs) that require confirmation. Users can take immediate action by drilling down to the detail screens or worklists. Quick Views can be customized extensively to show only data relevant to the users’ tasks, modify key figures according to a companies’ needs and even change the ‘look & feel’ by adjusting colors, sizes and texts.
File Up- and Download
Reaching your business partners and efficiently integrating them into your business processes can be a challenging task. SAP SNC had so far addressed this problem by providing web-based access for less sophisticated, low volume suppliers and XML based integration with high volume suppliers running their own backend systems. With SAP SNC 7.0 we now introduce File Up- and Download capabilities which enable external partners to download data that they would otherwise see on the given SAP SNC web screens, allowing them to edit the downloaded file locally on a PC and update the application with the latest changes by uploading the modified file to SAP SNC via an up/download feature in the application or through an email service. This further extends the SAP SNC supplier collaboration capabilities in SAP Business Suite. For example, purchase orders which are created in SAP SNC as a result of an MRP run in SAP ERP, can be downloaded by the supplier via File Transfer. They can in turn create confirmation data for the PO based on their internal planning and ultimately upload the confirmation data manually or via email to SAP SNC, which in turn updates SAP ERP to further utilize the data in future MRP runs. This capability extends beyond simple purchase order processing to also include offline processing and upload of Advanced Shipping Notifications, as well as demand and inventory and planned receipt data in the Supplier Managed Inventory scenario.
There are a number of topics I did not cover in this blog, such as Customer Collaboration capabilities, user administration, deployment, technology, and a significant number of new core features. Stay tuned because we will cover some of the additional functionality in future blogs. Further information will also be available in the SAP Service Marketplace (https://websmp102.sap-ag.de/scm, Supply Network Collaboration), such as overview presentations, solution briefs and customer success stories. If you want to learn more about Supplier Collaboration with SAP SNC you may also want to check the following publication: Supplier Collaboration with SAP SNC by Mohamed Hamady and Anita Leitz, ISBN 978-1-59229-194-6.