Purpose:          

The purpose of this document is to guide  the most appropriate SAP Planning Strategy(s) for each Material.  It is intended to supplement (by providing more detail and rational) the documentation for Determine Strategy for Independent Requirements and Determine Strategy for Dependent Requirements.

For each Planning Strategy, consideration will be given to:

The Business Environment best suited

The role of the forecast versus the Customer Order

Demand calculations within the system

Available to promise methodologies that apply

Through the selection of the best Planning Strategy(s), the user will achieve the right balance between customer responsiveness and manufacturing stability while maintaining up to date visibility of customer needs.  Forecasting, if performed for individual materials, will be supported at the desired level(s) in the BOM. 

Note:  Most of the Planning Strategies described below have been used as part of Business Scenario execution while a few have not. Regarding the latter, the descriptions below are based on SAP documentation only.

Summary:

There are many Planning Strategies to choose from in SAP.  It is anticipated that most of the strategies will be used at one time or another for at least one material.  The strategies range from  pure make-to-stock to  pure make-to-order including many hybrid strategies.  In most cases, the strategy will be associated with the finished item, however  the strategy can also be associated with a Planning Material or an Assembly.

The strategy is assigned on the Material Master – MRP 2  screen which is a plant specific view.  Some business  locations will have finishing / packaging / final assembly in a different SAP plant .


In this case, careful consideration must be given to the strategy of both materials (i.e. at the Manufacturing Plant and the Distribution Plant).  

Planning Strategies define how Planned Independent Requirements (i.e. forecasts) and Customer Independent Requirements (i.e. sales orders) interact and become visible to manufacturing planning and the Planning Run (e.g. MPS and MRP).  Additionally, they define whether Availability Checking is permitted and where costs are ultimately settled.  There are many Planning Strategies representing many (but not all) combinations of the above.

SAP offers many Planning Strategies to choose from.  Selecting the right Planning Strategy is critical for the successful balance between customer service, cycle time / inventory investment, and costs.

Outline:

1.  Key Definitions

2.  Planning Strategies

  a   Description of  the Planning Strategies

  b.  Environment(s) where the strategy would fit        

  c.  Characteristics that differentiate this strategy from others

3.  Combining Planning Strategies within a BOM.

Planning Strategy and Requirements Types

Strategy-setup.PNG

The above screen (SAP Transaction OPPS) shows the linkage between a Planning Strategy and Requirements Types / Class.  In this example,  Planning Strategy 10 will recognize Planned Independent Requirements with a type LSF and Customer Requirements with a type KSL.  Additionally, notice that CONSUMPTION (of forecasts by orders) will not occur.  Strategy 10 is the make-to-stock strategy where forecasts only are used in the planning run / planning process. 

Once Master Data is established, SAP will propose the valid requirement type for transaction data entry.


  1.   KEY DEFINITIONS

Availability Check – In SAP, there are two different kinds of Availability Checks.  First there is the  Available to Promise (ATP) check.  Here Customer Orders are compared to Available Stock and planned receipts into stock.  Specifics regarding which stock, receipts, and issues that are to be considered are defined by the Checking Rule .  Second there is the Planned Independent Requirements (AKA forecast) check.  Here Customer Orders are compared to the previously received forecasts.  The premise behind this latter check is that previously received forecasts should have been previously evaluated (material and capacity) and covered.  As long as orders do not exceed forecasts, material and capacity should be available to satisfy the Sales Order.  During the Availability Check, regardless of the kind of check, if SAP determines there is an issue, a pop up window will display for the person posting the Sales Order alerting them of the situation.  Neither kind of check can directly determine the capacity situation.

MRP GROUP – 

The MRP group contains all the materials from the point of view of MRP for assigning special control parameters for the total planning run. These control parameters include, for example, the strategy group, the consumption mode, and the planning horizon.

Use : For each MRP group, control parameters can be created for total planning in Customizing for MRP which deviate from the plant parameters.

Note

If this field has not been maintained, the system uses the material type instead of the MRP group. In this case, the material type has to be maintained as the MRP group in Customizing.

Strategy Group –  In SAP, Strategy Groups are assigned to Materials.  A Strategy Group contains one or more Planning Strategies.

Planning Strategy – In SAP, a Planning Strategy defines how independent demand will be used by the Planning Run (i.e. MPS, MRP, etc.) and other applications in SAP.  Fundamentally, there are two different kinds of independent demand.  They are forecasts and customer orders.  Forecasts may be created for Product Groups or individual Materials.  The Materials may be end items / finished product or semi-finished product. Examples of the latter include a key assembly, the core of a finished product not specific with respect to variants or options, etc.

Requirements Type and Class –  In SAP, the two fundamental kinds of independent demand (forecasts and customer orders) are further sub-divided into specific Requirements Type and Classes. Requirements Types and Classes are linked to specific Planning Strategies.  In other words, a given Planning Strategy will recognize at most one type of forecast and one type of order from Demand management. 

2. PLANNING STRATEGIES

SAP offers a wide range of Planning Strategies.  The application of a Planning Strategy(s) to a particular Material at a plant will determine it’s Demand Program.  In other words, the Planning Strategy will determine which Demand Requirement Types will be considered by the Planning Run for a Material and to what extent they are considered.  It is highly recommended that one of the SAP delivered strategies be chosen for each Material.  If a fit cannot be found, a new Planning Strategy should be created in configuration by copying an existing strategy (then making changes to the copy) rather than changing one of the as-delivered strategies.

Planning Strategies can be assigned either by Plant Parameters, MRP Group, or on the Material Master (MRP 2 screen) itself.  If it is defined at more than one level, the most detailed level will take precedence.  The Material Master is the most detailed level. 

Make-to-Stock Production (10/11)

As the name implies, Make-to-Stock Production is a strategy that utilizes forecasts as the basis to drive production of end items and components. It is particularly useful for mass production environments where product variants / options are at a minimum. One of the most important features of this planning strategy is the smoothing of the demand program.  As customer orders are booked, they do not impact the demand as seen by manufacturing planning.  Therefore, the manufacturing plans, themselves, will remain stable. Individual customer requirements play no role in a make-to-stock production environment from the Manufacturing Planners perspective.  In other words, in this planning strategy, planned independent requirements are not consumed by Sales Orders as Sales Orders are booked.  Planned Independent Requirements remain stable.

This strategy is very simple to use and is applicable for finished goods where the finished good is forecastable and the forecast horizon is far enough into the future to drive material planning via BOM explosion.  Planned Independent Requirements (i.e. forecasts) only are used by SAP to determine the requirements for a Material.  This is how stability is achieved.  Unpredictable Customer Orders, as received, do not change the view as seen by the Manufacturing Planner. 

Make-to-Stock Production is defined in SAP as two different Planning Strategies, 10 and 11.  They differ in the way they treat Available Stock.  Planning Strategy 10 will consider  Stock  (net requirements planning) while Planning Strategy 11 will not (gross requirements planning).  In Planning Strategy 10, Stock will count towards the coverage of requirements, in this case Planned Independent Requirements.   

These strategies are best used when stability is important in Finishing / Packaging as long as finished goods are forecastable  with reasonable accuracy and strategic safety stock of finished goods is in place to cover forecast error and supply variability across the  manufacturing lead time.  For businesses that cannot, or would prefer not, to forecast at the finished goods level, this strategy is not appropriate.

The Availability Check performed as a Sales Order is posted is based on ATP logic.  Customer Requirements, while not used in the calculation of demand, are displayed.

Choose this strategy if

the  finished item will be forecasted across a horizon that supports finishing manufacturing and component planning

customer service objectives can be achieved given the demonstrated forecast accuracy and the finished goods inventory investment permissible

manufacturing stability in the finishing / packaging operation is important during periods of  both soft and strong sales

Make-to-Order Production (20/ 21/ 25/ 26)

As the name implies, Make-to-Order Production are strategies that utilizes Sales Orders as the basis to drive production of end items and components. These strategies are applicable to finished goods as well as materials in the BOM of the finished good, thus enabling cost settlement to Sales Orders.  These strategies are useful when production orders need to be directly linked to sales orders.  These strategies would be applied to a finished good first, then to whatever direct children can / should be Make-to-Order as well, then their children, etc.  Once a material in the BOM is not identified as Make-to-Order, it’s children in the BOM can not either.  Materials identified as MTO will have manufacturing orders created in a lot for lot mode that pegs directly to the Sales Order.    Since production orders are linked to sales orders, finished goods are not inventoried.  The differences between the several MTO strategies are combinations of how costs are settled (in all cases to Sales Orders versus stock) and the degree with which configuration of the Sales Order (for a configurable material) is required. Strategies 20 and 21 do not allow configuration, 25 requires it, and 26 makes it optional.

The Individual / Collective requirements field on the MRP2 screen of the Material Master should be set to Individual for this strategy.

Choose this strategy if

Finished item forecasting is impractical or too inaccurate

Another planning process exists that will provide  enough demand visibility into the future for components not identified as Make-to-Order

Customers are willing to wait for the total lead time of all materials (finished item and optionally components) tagged as Make-to-Order

Finished goods inventory is not desired

Finishing manufacturing stability is not important

Linking of production orders to sales orders is desired / required

Settling product costs to sales orders is desired / required

At least one component of the finished item will be identified as Make-to-Order (otherwise  one of the Assembly-to-Order planning strategies should be used (81 / 82)

Production by Lot Size for Sales and Stock Orders (30)

This strategy is particularly useful for companies that mainly produce for major customers but who also require the option of selling smaller requirements from stock.  Several sales orders, depending on the dates, can be grouped together to be produced in one single lot.  Therefore, this strategy is not make or assemble to order since production quantities are not directly tied to sales quantities.

In addition to recognition of Sales Orders, this strategy will also plan to cover Planned Independent Requirements like the Make-to-Stock Strategy. Instead of Sales Orders consuming Planned Independent Requirements, they are additive in nature.   Therefore, the forecast represents just the smaller customers whose orders are sold from stock.  As with Planning Strategies 10 and 11, this strategy is applicable for finished goods and require forecasts at the finished good level for the portion of the business that will be sold from Stock. 

The Availability Check performed as a Sales Order is posted is based on ATP logic.

Per SAP documentation, the Individual / Collective requirements field on the MRP2 screen of the Material Master should be set to Collective for this strategy.

Choose this strategy if

All  finished items sold from stock will be forecasted across a horizon that supports finishing manufacturing and Component planning, the forecast represents just customers who buy from stock

Customer service objectives for customers who buy from stock can be achieved given the demonstrated forecast accuracy and the finished goods inventory investment permissible

Customer service objectives for customers whose sales orders drive manufacturing can be achieved given the demonstrated lead times of manufacturing

Planning with Final Assembly (40)

Planning Strategy 40 is useful when finished goods are somewhat forecastable, some level of stability is important in Finishing / Packaging, and customer service objectives cannot be achieved by the demonstrated forecast accuracy and an acceptable level of strategic safety stock of finished goods.  ‘Somewhat forecastable’ means that as dependent demand is created for components of finished goods, they are accurate but the forecasted mix of the finished goods requires less accuracy.  As opposed to make-to-stock production (Planning Strategy 10/11),  planned independent requirements are consumed by incoming sales orders.  This strategy, like others that allow consumption of forecasts, requires maintenance of the Consumption Mode and Consumption Periods fields on the Material Master to define the scope of consumption.  If sales orders exceed Planned Independent Requirements, this higher level of demand will be recognized by the Planning run. Thus, the important feature of this planning strategy is that you can quickly react to customers’ requirements in excess of the forecast while sacrificing some stability.  Manufacturing stability is less important than customer service (or the additional inventory required to achieve customer service goals) when sales are strong.

If sales orders fall short of the forecast, production will cover the entire forecast and  temporarily increase finished goods inventory.  Stability of production schedules in Finishing / Packaging will be preserved and is decided to be more important when Sales are soft than a temporary increase in inventories.

As with Planning Strategies 10 and 11, this strategy is applicable for finished goods and require forecasts at the finished good level.

The Availability Check performed as a Sales Order is posted is either based on ATP logic or as a Planned Independent Requirement check. The later is a check to determine if Planned Independent requirements have been exceeded by Sales Orders.

Choose this strategy if

The finished item will be forecasted across a horizon that supports finishing manufacturing and component planning

Manufacturing stability in the finishing / packaging operation is important during  periods of soft sales

Customer service  is more important than finishing manufacturing stability during periods of strong sales

Planning Without Final Assembly (50/ 51/ 52/ 54/ 55/ 56)

It makes sense to use these planning strategy when the main value added process is final assembly or when forecasting is not accurate for finished products.  In the case of the later, these strategies assume that after a BOM explosion, the dependent demand on components becomes fairly accurate.  In other words, while the finished good item mix might not be accurately forecastable, the forecast error will diminish to an acceptable level for the fewer, major components that go into the finished good.  Manufacturing stability in the final operation must be of lesser importance.  These strategies do still require finished goods forecasts if the Planning Run is to create Dependent Demand on lower level assemblies in the Bill of Material.  Alternately, the components could be forecasted separately which would eliminate the need to forecast the finished item.  Planned Orders for finished goods resulting from forecasts are not used to determine Finishing / Packaging manufacturing schedules.

The assemblies are produced or procured before the creation of the sales order. Production is not carried out for finished product level. Instead, the material is produced up to one level below the finished product level and the assemblies and components required for producing the finished product are placed in stock to await the incoming sales order. Final assembly is then triggered by the incoming sales order.

Typically, Planned Independent Requirements are entered at finished product level. The system creates special planned orders at the finished product level for these planned independent requirements that are only relevant for production in finishing once a sales order for the finished product is booked. These Planned Independent Requirements can trigger the production and procurement of all the lower levels of the finished product.  Lower level materials must have the Individual / Collective Requirements field (MRP2 screen of Material Master) set to Collective for dependent demand to be generated on them.  In either case, when Sales Orders are booked for finished product, dependent demand will be created for lower level materials after a Planning Run.  After dependent demand is created for lower level materials, the Planning Run will then create manufacturing orders for these materials.

These strategies provide even less manufacturing stability in finishing / packaging than Planning Strategy 40.  Manufacturing of the  finished product occurs only when a Customer Order exists.  Unlike other strategies that delay making assemblies until receipt of a sales order, this strategy will trigger the stocking of assemblies prior to sales order receipt since forecasts for the finished good are allowable.  It is therefore very useful when the lead time for assembly manufacturing is longer than customer wait time and finished good stock is not desired.  Final Assembly lead time must be shorter than customer wait time otherwise a make-to-stock strategy is the only strategy that will protect customer service.

The Availability Check performed as a Sales Order is posted can only be a Planned Independent Requirement check of the finished good.  The differences between the several strategies are combinations of how costs are settled, the degree with which configuration of the Sales Order (for a configurable material) is required, and Availability Checking.   

Strategy

Cost Settlement

Sales Order Configuration

Availability Check

50

to Sales Order

not allowed

no

51

to Sales Order

not allowed

yes

52

to Stock

not allowed

no

54

to Sales Order

mandatory

no

55

to Stock

allowed

no

56

to Sales Order

allowed

no

Choose this strategy if

The finished item can be forecasted across a horizon that supports finishing manufacturing and component planning  (if not forecasted, provisions must be made to provide demand visibility for lower level components and finishing capacity planning)

Customer service objectives cannot be achieved given the demonstrated forecast accuracy and the finished goods inventory investment permissible, therefore if customer orders exceed forecasts, they are used

Finishing manufacturing is flexible enough (material, labor, and capacity) to react quickly to surges in customer orders that exceed forecasts

Finishing manufacturing is flexible enough (material, labor, and capacity) to react quickly to softness in customer orders that fall short of forecasts

Manufacturing stability in the finishing / packaging operation is less important  than an unplanned build of finished goods inventory  or ignoring surges n customer orders during under and over under selling periods

Planning with Planning Material (60/61/63/65)

These planning strategies are particularly useful for planning BOMs that contain variant as well as common parts. Here, the common parts are planned using the BOM of a so called “planning material”. In this instance, the planning material is used purely for planning purposes. It is not actually produced itself but is used to hold a forecast and pass on the dependent requirements to the common parts. The variant parts can be planned using the strategy “Planning at assembly level” or another planning technique. The advantage of planning with a planning material is that you can plan all the common parts included in several finished products together.

You must create a separate Material Master record for the planning material. You must enter the planning material in the Material Master record (MRP 3 screen) of all finished products that are to be planned using one of these planning strategies. The finished products and the planning material are also assigned the strategy “Planning with planning material” in the Material Master record.

Planned Independent Requirements are entered for the planning material and not for the finished product. In the planning run, the Planned Independent Requirements of the planning material trigger the production and procurement of the components of the planning material. As the planning material is not actually produced itself, the system automatically creates a separate planning segment, “Planning without assembly” in the planning run. The planned orders created for the planning material in the planning run are given the order type “VP” and cannot be converted. However, these planned orders pass on dependent requirements to the components and assemblies which are then produced and procured. Sales orders for the finished product consume the planned independent requirements of the planning material.   The availability check is based on this consumption.

Assemblies and components that are maintained in the BOM of the finished product and that are not contained in the BOM of the planning material are only planned once a sales order exists.  The differences between the several strategies are combinations of how costs are settled and the degree with which configuration of the Sales Order (for a configurable material) is required.

     

Strategy

Cost Settlement

Sales Order Configuration

60

to Sales Order

not allowed

61

to Sales Order (different account assignment category)

not allowed

63

to Stock

not allowed

65

to Sales Order

allowed

Choose this strategy if

Forecasting will not be performed for finished materials, but rather for a planning material

An availability check is required relative to the planning material forecast

Another strategy should still be chosen for the variant parts.

Planning at Assembly Level (70)  / Planning at Phantom Assembly Level (59)

This Planning Strategy combines features of previously defined strategies and is specific to non- finished items.  This strategy fit’s best where it is desired to delay manufacture of the finished good until Customer Order receipt but components need to manufacture in advance of this time, like Strategy 50.  Unlike Strategy 50, this strategy moves the point of forecasting from finished good to key assembly.  This strategy therefore, does not apply to a finished good.  When using this strategy on an assembly, several strategies could be used for the finished good.

This strategy should be used on assemblies when finished goods cannot or should not be forecasted.  Finished item forecast accuracy or forecasting cost  could drive a decision to use this strategy.  Consideration needs to be given to finished good planning strategies and other materials that are not part of the manufacturing BOM of the assembly being forecasted.  Additionally, a method for the planning of finishing capacity needs to be developed. The optional materials need to be quickly available since they might have the same demand horizon as the finished good (i.e. short).  That being receipt of Sales order.  Several strategies would be available for the options when using strategy 70 on a major assembly.  Instead of a planning strategy, Forecast Based Planning  or Order Point functionality (MRP Types) within SAP could be used for these optional materials.

As Sales Orders are booked, and after the next Planning Run, dependent demands result on the major assembly.  These dependent demands consume the forecasts.  If the dependent demands exceed the forecasts, they will be used otherwise the forecasts will be used.  This strategy will provide some stability for the major assembly.  If sales are soft, we will still build assemblies based on the forecast (i.e. stability) however if sales are strong we will build more than the forecast (i.e. customer service more important than stability).

The Mixed MRP field on the MRP2 screen of the Material Master must be set to Assembly Planning for this strategy.

Planning Strategy 59 behaves very similarly to strategy 70.  The difference being that instead of forecasting a major assembly, a phantom material could instead be forecasted.  This material would sit directly below the finished good in the BOM and would have buildable components below it.  These components would be produced like a kit.  All components would receive dependent demand. An application of this planning strategy would be to plan both the major assembly and the variant / optional parts (using planning factors) from a single forecast.  Restructuring the BOM would be necessary for this application. As stated above, there are other ways to plan the variant / optional parts (i.e. forecast- based planning or re-order point planning) if planning factors cannot be derived for the variants / options.

Choose this strategy for components if

Forecasting will not be performed for finished materials, but rather at the assembly level

An availability check is not required relative to the component forecast

Another strategy should still be chosen for the finished materials from the recommendations above.

3. COMBINING PLANNING STRATEGIES

Many combinations of Strategies within a BOM are possible.  Typically  at least one level of the BOM requires a forecast so selection of a strategy should make sense from the perspective of the entire BOM.  Below I will outline some of the more widely applicable combinations.

Finished Good Strategy

Components Strategy

10 or 11

None for all components

10 or 11 (short range)

70 for major assembly

80 (assemble to order)

None for all components

20’s

20’s for the MTO components

30

None

40

None

50

None

50

70 for major assembly

50

59 for phantom assembly

60’s

60’s for Planning Material

70 for materials not in BOM of planning material

60’s

60’s for Planning Material

none for materials not in BOM of planning material  (i.e. re-order point)

As a final note, several other methods exist within SAP that will determine a materials’ demand and or trigger production that are independent of Planning Strategies.  These methods do not rely on forecasts nor customer orders.  They are Consumption Planning,  ReOrder Point Planning, and KanBan.

Assumptions/Comments:

People will be impacted by the Planning Strategies chosen.

The Planning Strategy will determine how the forecasting process will take place (if at all) and how many materials require a forecast.

The Planning Strategy will determine how responsive manufacturing planning and scheduling must be.

The Planning Strategy will influence manufacturing order quantity and the degree with which strategic safety stocks must exist throughout the Supply Chain.

The Planning Strategy will influence manufacturing schedule stability.

The Planning Strategy will affect customer response time and therefore the people dealing with our customers.


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