All of you who heard about Lean Manufacturing also are probably familiar with KANBAN concept. It is not new anymore but surprisingly not that popular around production facilities using SAP, even though SAP ERP has the KANBAN submodule sitting there in Production Planning section (though often the actual process is much more present in internal and external logistics area the production).
If you are one of those who knew about SAP KANBAN and managed to get the customer to use some of internal, external or in house manufacturing scenarios of KANBAN, you might find topic of this post quite interesting. As the solution itself offers some very well thought, flexible and diverse standard customizing options, the problem is with maintaining of implemented KANBAN cycles.
If you take an example of automotive company using a lot of KANBAN cycles with a lot of small parts used for manufacturing, you will see the problem of managing these hundreds of records in the system. How to massively change status sequence if you decided to do it? How to follow the lifecycle of particular cycle? This is not easy in SAP… unless you know the add-on Kanban Enhancements for Lean Manufacturing.
This is the add-on that you can activate via Switch Framework in t-code SFW5. Technical name is LOG_PP_LMAN_02 located in DIMP Business Function Set. What is very good also is that the activation is reversible so if it clashes with some of your other settings or custom development, you can go back anytime.
There are several functions delivered with this add-on, I wanted to mention ones most useful from maintenance point of view:
Mass-Processing for Control Cycles – that, by adding ALV view for PKMC transaction (KANBAN control cycle maintenance), enables you to process several control cycles centrally and quickly gain an overview of the consistency of the control cycle data.
Lifecycle for Control Cycles – you get four new statuses to represent the state of your control cycles plus ability to turn on change documents for control cycles and trace all changes in the control cycle data
Authorization Concept for Status Changes – you can grant authorization for status changes on a targeted basis and restrict the steps in the Kanban process to certain user groups or individuals (only desired groups can trigger particular KANBAN statuses).
The full description of this add-on, together with some further customizing needed to make it work is available in SAP help portal under: