I am writing this blog post not in S/4HANA space but SCM – APO space for a particular reason. The title of the blog post says it all – why should we APO consultants pay attention to S/4HANA On Premise version 1511 released mid-November 2015 (hence the version 1511 – yymm). Ever since SAP announced SCM 7 support availability date initially 2020 then 2020 but now 2025, there has been some concern amongst APO consultants about future work. There are at least 2 schools of thought –
a) Still 10 years away and hopefully SAP will extend it further or come up with a new release of APO
b) I shall retire / move on to other roles much before the deadline, so not to worry.
Both divine and rational thoughts but rather than getting bogged down into it, as consultants we look for challenges, new learning and transition to new areas.
Considering that as I outlined earlier in this blog – APO it will get split into two parts, DP and SNP capabilities moving into SAP IBP while PPDS and GATP capabilities likely to get into S/4 HANA in future. Remember it would not be 1:1 mapping but similar capabilities brought in this Cloud & On Premise applications.
Coming back – going through the published Simplification List that you can find here in help.sap.com 1511 Section 3 [note its heavy reading and there is reference to around 100 more SAP notes] happy to note Simplified Sourcing (page 127) and MRP in HANA or MRP Live (page 134) are very similar to key APO capability of SNP and PPDS Heuristics. Simplified Sourcing logic very much follows source of supply selection exactly as in APO. Procurement Type E and X will cause In-house Production master data as Source of Supply, Production Version in S/4HANA that map to PPM/PDS in APO since beginning combination of BOM and Routing from ERP. In case of Procurement Type F, External Procurement Source of Supply selection will be first Delivery Schedule i.e. Outline Agreement then Purchasing Contracts and finally Purchasing InfoRecord. In APO all these 3 types of Master Data upon transfer from ERP creates Procurement Relationships that automatically create Transportation Lane (differentiated by Document Type) which is the Source of Supply for external procurement requirement. Note Source List is not required any more in S/4HANA and in APO there is no corresponding master data but only Quota Arrangement. Finally in S/4HANA Quota Arrangement is used to prioritize between sources of supply when multiple simultaneously are valid – this is same logic in APO.
Next MRP in HANA or MRP Live; while the key to simplification is Data Model change (MATDOC as single table for all Material Document postings) the other fact is removal of MRP Lists, MRP Run will be real-time (Interactive Heuristics Run in APO PPDS), MRP Run to create Planned Order in case of Procurement Type E and X and Purchase Requisitions for F. BOM explosion will be real-time after MRP Live determines the sequence in which Materials need to be planned across several plant locations considering supplying plant and receiving plant combinations. Again no doubt about similarity to APO Heuristics logic.
These two functionalities apart there are key Master Data changes. Material Master code now is extended from 18 CHAR to 40 CHAR, Production BOMs must have valid Production Version for BOM explosion and pickup during MRP Run, Business Partner is the central Master Data element to maintain Customers and Vendors (no longer there will be separate XD* and XK* transaction codes to manage Customer and Vendor master). There are very similar capabilities in APO too 9AMATNR is CHAR 40 data type, Production Version translates to PDS and PPM in APO while Business Partner is must in SNC for Customer and Vendor master (in addition to the respective masters).
So keep an eye on the Logistics portion of stuff coming up in S/4HANA – by bet we will find more and more APO PPDS & GATP like functionalities in future.
For more details you can refer to this document that summarize the Simplification List document.