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…you will not be able to fix mistakes once you know better!

Not too long ago I was asked to improve on a customers finished goods planning process. Naturally, we explored their decision making and segmentation of MTS versus MTO and the according availability checking procedures, lead times and handling of the forecast with its consumption for MTS.

In SAP, the driving force and central object for this kind of thing is the ‘strategy group’ in MRP3 of its MMR.

And there we found a ZF, a ZS, a Z5 and many more. But there was not even one standard strategy group in use. As you know the strategy group has a main strategy which drives automatic requirements determination, so I was checking in customizing and found strategies ZS, ZF and Z5. Well… on I went to see what these Zs do. In the customizing table for the strategy I then found planning requirements types and customer requirements types… All starting with Z. Then the settlement rule: ZSFG and behind that were Z accounts. So I was digging into the requirements type and everything started – you guessed it right – with Z.

At this point I gave up because it was absolutely impossible to figure out anything about what the implementation team had in mind or what we could do to change a finished good from MTO to MTS when it was evident that the sales became very predictable.

All we could do was to recommend a complete reconfiguration. With a lot of effort we helped the customer to run everything off the standard strategies like 40, 10, 20, 30, 52, 81 and the like. Not one Z! They can now analyze and classify and flexibly, effortlessly apply the most effective strategy (or policy) for any given situation.

I have not yet seen ANY situation that could not be resolved with one of the standard strategies.

Don’t do the Z thing. And don’t let anyone tell you that every change requires the creation of a Z record. This is customization. This is why SAP gives you the customization tables. This is why when you want your own settlement rule, you change strategy 20 to customize the MTO strategy to your specific needs. You CUSTOMIZE SAP so it works for you and you don’t recreate an SAP system into a ZAP system that no one will ever understand.

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2 Comments

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  1. Jelena Perfiljeva

    I think you should trademark ZAP. 🙂

    Yes, I agree – ZAP is actually rarely needed. I see similar things in SD too often, makes me wonder what even was the train of thought. Even though it might mean less work for me as an ABAPer, my first recommendation is always to use standard.

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  2. raymar padilla

    i totally agree!!

    i’ve seen alot of Zs before that need a lot of Zix rather Fix.  The time to analyze and correct it is really a time consuming effort. Only to find out that the Z was an “almost” exact copy of standard. And the reason why it got broken is because there was one step missed to create a Zconfiguration to exactly copy the standard.

    And i was wondering on what previous consultants were thinking? The only answer i had in mind was someone who trained these consultants told them “if you need to configure DONT touch standard, create a Z”. And this may have been embedded through their minds. And ive heard this statement alot of times on trainings and implementations where I always argue and ask why? Until i see a very valid reason and requirement to really ZAP it with a full configuration analysis on the Z impact as per requirement.

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