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Author's profile photo Umesh Sharma

Product Interchangeability in APO SNP

Product Interchangeability functionality in APO SNP provides the system ability to plan discontinuation of products. The products are substituted or replaced with another product due to various business purposes, which can be addressed through product interchangeability functionality.

Possible business scenarios:

  • A product is planned to be replaced with a technically improved product.
  • A defective product needs to be discontinued and switched to a non-defective, good quality product
  • There are multiple products which are similar in their technical properties and can be substituted with one another
  • Temporary replacement of a product to promote another product

Product interchangeability function helps the organizations to achieve the following:

  • Better discontinuation planning and execution
  • Optimizing material inventory and availability
  • Minimizing scrap

Product interchangeability in supply network planning is used to transfer demand of a product to be discontinued on to a successor product or to use existing stock of a current product to meet demand for the successor product. APO SNP supports the following product interchangeability methods:

  • Product discontinuation
  • Supersession chain
  • Form-fit-function (FFF) class

1.  Supersession: A —> B <—> C

– Product A is forward interchangeable with product B. The product B and C have forward and backward relationship and are fully interchangeable. The substitution valid from <date>, use-up strategies as no/yes/restricted until <date> are used.

2.  Discontinuation A —> B

– Product A is replaced by product B

The supersession and discontinuation use the parameters like valid from date. The substitution valid from <date>, use-up strategies as no/yes/restricted until <date> are used.

3.  Form-fit-function (FFF) class: It is a grouping of interchangeable parts which are identical in technically properties (form, fit, function). The FFF class has fully interchangeable products with no validity dates. The FFF class contains at least one FFF subset, which has a leading product defined. The leading product is only ordered/procured.

FFF class.PNG

Pre-requisites and Master Data for Product interchangeability:

  • Activation of product interchangeability in SNP global settings
  • Maintenance of interchangeability group
  • Assignment of interchangeability group to model
  • Maintenance of FFF class and FFF subset

Interchangeability group- creation


Model assignment:


FFF Class and FFF subset:


Interchangeability in SNP:

To  address product interchangeability functionality in SNP, the below points should be ensured:

  • Use SNP planning book 9ASNP_PS with data view PROD_SUBST or create your own planning book based on this standard planning book
  • The use of the above standard planning book/data view is recommended because it contains the required key figures for Substitution Demand and Substitution Receipt.
  • The standard planning book/data view also contains the required macro for calculating the stock balance
  • Activate product interchangeability in SNP global settings
  • For SNP Heuristic/ Optimizer run, ensure that the checkbox “add products from supersession chains” is selected
  • In SNP heuristics- Only the location heuristic supports interchangeability. The network and multi-level heuristics do not support interchangeability.



FFF Class in SNP:

  • All demands of the FFF subset are transferred on to the leading product
  • If the stock of leading product is insufficient, stock of other products is used from the FFF subset
  • If none of the product in the FFF subset has sufficient stock then only the leading product is procured
  • If the stocks are not sufficient to fulfill the demand, a substitution receipt is created for the product which has demand and corresponding substitution demand is created for the leading product.

Interchangeability functionality in CTM:

  • CTM does not support “full interchangeability” and supports only forward interchangeability.
  • CTM also supports FFF classes.
  • In the CTM profile, in the product interchangeability field on the special strategies tab page you can set the “Use discontinuation” or “Use FFF classes” options

Interchangeability in SNP- Integration with R/3:

The following restrictions exist with respect to transfer of SNP planning results from APO to R/3:

  • The SNP planned orders and stock transfers generated during planning can be transferred to R/3.
  • The generated SNP product substitution orders linked to these orders can not be transferred to R/3.
  • The substitution orders can only be transferred to R/3 in PPDS planning.
  • Deployment and TLB do not support interchangeability functionality.

Uploading discontinuation information from R/3:

XML upload functionality can be sued to upload the interchangeability or discontinuation information from R/3 to APO. XML upload can be done in the following two ways:

  • Manual upload using report /INCMD/GROUP_CREATE_VIA_UPLOAD
  • Through background job using report /INCMD/GROUP_CREATE_VIA_BATCH
  • SAP notes for more information on uploading the discontinuation data to APO are 617281 (from R/3 4.6C onwards) and 617283 (below R/3 4.6C)

Restrictions in Supersession chain:

The following restrictions exist for the maintenance of supersession chain:

  • A product can only be included in one supersession chain.
  • The base unit of measure must be the same for all products of a supersession chain.
  • A supersession chain can not contain configurable products.
  • Parallel discontinuation e.g. discontinuation of multiple products is dependent on one another, is not supported.
  • Only 1:1 relations/ substitutions are supported. Complex interchangeability e.g. where one product can be substituted by several other products is not supported.


Scenario 1: Forward interchangeability with restricted use-up strategy

Consider the below interchangeability group with forward interchangeability and use-up strategy- restricted. As per the group, the product 1000-01 needs to be substituted with product 1000-02 from 14th July and the stock of product 1000-01 can be used up to 28th July to meet it’s demand, after this date even if the stock of 1000-01 exists, that should not be used to fulfill its demand instead distribution orders should be created.

demo-1st screen.png

Before planning situation:

In the below screenshot the stock of 70 is not used to fulfill the demand from 28th July onwards as the use-up date is 28th July in the interchangeability group.

demo-2nd screen.png

SNP planning is executed: Planning creates substitution receipt for product 1000-01.

demo-3rd screen.png

Corresponding substitution demand is created for successor product 1000-02.

demo-4th screen.png

Scenario 2: FFF classes with CTM planning

Below is the FFF subset consisting 3 products 1000-03, 1000-04 & 1000-05 with the leading product as 1000-03.


Demand exist for member products: 1000-04 & 1000-05

demo-5th screen.png

demo-6th screen.png

CTM planning is executed using FFF class, product interchangeability option:

demo-7th screen.png

The substitution demands are created for the leading product 1000-03.

demo-8th screen.png

demo-9th screen.png


SAP Note: 1405601- Implementation recommendations for APO 7.0 SNP, CTM and VMI

SAP Note: 1405636- Implementation recommendations for APO 7.0 MD, INT, INC

SAP Note: 617281- Migration of discontinuation data: SAP_BASIS 610 as above

SAP Note: 617283- Migration of discontinuation data: SAP_BASIS 46C and below

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      Author's profile photo Pradipta Sahoo
      Pradipta Sahoo

      Hi Umesh

      Very Nice Document. We are having a requirement where I feel Form-fit-function (FFF) class can suffice it. I will follow the steps as suggested by you and let you know if any help required.

      Thanks again

      Pradipta Sahoo

      Author's profile photo Umesh Sharma
      Umesh Sharma
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks Pradipta for your feedback.

      Please let me know should you require any help on this.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Very detailed and informative document Umesh.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thanks Umesh for sharing detailed information.


      Rajesh Tiwari

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Umesh,

      Thank you very much for sharing the information on product interchangeability.


      Ranga Davala

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Umesh

      Very nice and detailed information .Thanks for sharing the information.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Great Infirmation

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Umesh! Great info!

      I have a scenario that I´m currently trying to implement in my work.

      Supose I have products A and B for locations 1 and 2. The location 1 is a client that I´m trying to fulfill a demand and location 2 is my central storage warehouse, where I have the stocks of products A and B.

      Product A is the predecessor and product B is the succesor in my Supercession Chain, with a FULL direction. Supose that the demand in location 1 of product B is 10 units but I only have 6 units in location 2. How can I fulfill the demand of prduct B with product A WITHOUT creating a Class FFF Interchangeability?


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      This is absolutely great article. very informative.

      Author's profile photo Andy Yeri
      Andy Yeri

      Insightful document. Can this interchangeability functionality be extended to the DP area? If YES, it would mean that when the FCST are released to SNP, the interchangeability requirements will be taken care of before the demand hits SNP. i.e. the demand/FCST released to SNP would be for the right product anyways, so, there shouldn't be a need to invoke this functionality in SNP, true?


      Author's profile photo Velmurugan S
      Velmurugan S

      Really good document explained clearly !! Thanks lot Umesh for sharing !