The feature is available in one of the SAP’s starter packs collection for Grocery processing and part of EHP 7.
Article substitution allows us to replace an article with another article based on the substitution records created by the user. The article which is to be substituted is called a placeholder article and the article which will be appear as substitute is called an Alternative article. So based on substitution method, a placeholder article will be substituted with an alternative article.
The process provides two types of substitutions methods:
- Follow-up Substitution: In this substitution method, a placeholder article will be always replaced by an alternative article. It does not check for available stock and replaces the article. This method is suitable for an obsolete article where the company has decided to discontinue an article and replace that with an alternative article (which is a new article in place of an old article).
- Replacement Substitution: In this substitution method, a placeholder article will be replaced by an alternative article only if there is sufficient stock available for placeholder article. So for example, a store is creating an STO for a DC and the entered article is defined for substitution, it will be replaced in STO with an alternative article if DC cannot fulfill the entered article. An important point here is the ATP check performed in STO. The substitution will be executed only if the entire ordered quantity is not available. If there is partial quantity available, it will not substitute.
Before I proceed to demonstrate the steps for substitution, we need to make sure the purchasing document type should be activated for new article substitution functionality. For this, we need to maintain the document types for which the substitution is to be used.
Use transaction code SM30 and provide the Table/View name as /GPA/SUB_PO_MAIN.
In “Purchase Order related Maintenance Table: Overview” screen, click on New Entries button to add all the document types required.
Following are the important pointers for this maintenance view:
- The table also provides to enter the specific purchasing organization for which the substitution is to be done. This way we can restrict the substitution for maintain purchasing organizations also.
- The substitution can also be restricted for specific supplying DC and for a specific validity period.
- In case of all fields except the document type are blank, it will always do the substitution for given document types.
Once the required document types are maintained in the above table, we are set to start using the substitution functionalities.
We also need to keep in the mind for the following restrictions with respect to article substitution:
- Single article can be replaced by a single article or a variant of generic article.
- In case of structured article, the header article will be replaced by another header article. Also for Sales set, sales set can be replaced by another sales set.
- The replacement substitution will not work if the partial quantity is available at supplying plant.
Now, lets have a look on defining these substitutions.
Definition of Replacement Articles
As mentioned above, this substitution method replaces a placeholder article only if there is no stock in the DC. SAP will perform the following steps in sequence to execute substitution if applicable:
- First an ATP check is performed for placeholder article.
- If there is no sufficient stock for placeholder article, it again performs the ATP check for the alternative article.
- If the alternative article has enough stock to fulfill the STO requirement, system executes substitution by replacing the placeholder article number with alternative article number in STO.
Follow the given steps to create the substitution record using replacement method.
- Goto transaction code /GPA/ARP_ASSIGN. This will bring the main substitution screen “Assignments of Placeholder Articles vs. Alternative Articles.
- Click on the Insert button on the toolbar to create the new entry for substitution record. This will create a blank row in the screen and the enter the data.
- On the Blank row, enter the following data:
- Placeholder Article: Enter the article number which is to be replaced by another article
- Profile: Select 02 from the drop down for replacement method
- Alternative Article: Enter the article which is to be used for replacing the placeholder article
- Factor: Quantity factor to be used in substitution. For simplicity, if 1 qty is to be replaced with 1 quantity, enter the factor 1 for both placeholder and alternative article.
- If the substitution is to be defined for specific time duration, the same can be entered in Date From and Date To columns.
- If the substitution is to be done when the placeholder article is to be supplied by specific DC, then enter the desired DC code in the Supplying Plant column.
- We can enter the Assortment name in the column is the substitution is to be used for specific assortment users.
- Once the substitution is defined, click on the Propose Priority button. When we want to define multiple alternative articles, we can use this button to generate the priority sequence number when multiple substitution is defined. This sequence number will determine which alternative article is to be considered for replacement. Of course, the suggested priority sequence number can be changed as per the business requirement.
- Finally save the above record.
Definitionof Follow-up Articles
The process of defining the follow-up articles is same as above. The only difference will in the Profile column where we have to select 01 for follow-up substitution.
Once all the substitution is defined, you can click on Display all assignment () button on the toolbar to list them. Alternatively, to filter the list with specific substitution records, you can use Selection Assignments () button on the toolbar.
The list will look like the image given below:
Further to this, if the substitution record is to be deleted or locked when they become irrelevant, you can select the record and use the Delete button on the toolbar.
Locking can be done by selecting the Locked column check box for desired entries.
Defining Multiple Substitution in Single Step
- In order to define the multiple substitution in single step, we can use Assign Alternative Articles () button on the toolbar. When the button is clicked, following selection screen will come to select alternative articles.
- Define your search criteria and click on Execute button to get the list of articles based on the selection screen parameters.
- Here, select more than one article from the list and click on Takeover button. This will create multiple substitution records for the selected placeholder article.
- Derive the priorities for the above substitution using the Propose Priority button and save your substitutions.
So, this covers the entire process of using the substitution concept and the screen which is newly created in starter pack.
Once the substitutions are defined and validated, during STO creation, SAP will execute them as and when the criteria meets.
I hope this will be helpful.