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Omit listed product(s) from forecasting

Problem statement

I’m getting a forecast from SAP Customer Activity Repository’s (CAR) Unified Demand Forecast module when my product is not listed in that location.  Why would a forecast be generated in this scenario?

In Unified Demand Forecast (UDF), we want the ability to forecast new products or new locations.  Since this is the case, we have no way of distinguishing a new product that has no historical sales from one that is just not listed.  From a data point of view, these look the same.  In UDF, the design assumes that every product that is requested will get a forecast returned that is based off of 1) its own sales history, 2) a reference product locations history, 3) hierarchical priors, 4) global priors.  This translates to – every product location will get a forecast.  As a customer, you can control this by using the listing information that is functionally already available in SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).

In this blog, I will illustrate how you can use listing information to determine which products will be forecasted with the UDF module of SAP Customer Activity Repository. The purpose of doing this is to accurately assess the impact of a change on unit sales, for example a price or promotion change. An example of this would be running a promotion on a product that is stocked at one location and is not stocked in another. To get the most accurate forecast you want to remove the location that does not stock the item. By following this guide, we will show you how this can be done with standard integration.


  • You have installed SAP ERP
  • Listing information is maintained in your SAP ERP system.
  • You have the authorization to run transaction SPRO in your SAP ERP system and to make changes in Maintain Control Parameters.
  • You have the authorization to run transaction DRFOUT.
  • You have fully installed and implemented the following modules in SAP Customer Activity Repository:           
    • Unified Demand Forecast: modeling and forecasting engine
    • Demand Data Foundation (DDF): required data layer.
  • You have authorization and roles in SAP NetWeaver Business Client (NWBC) to run Services>Monitor Imports.
  • You have already configured and transferred your master data from your SAP ERP system to your SAP CAR system (This is just to add listing master data to your existing data set in SAP CAR).


  1. 1. In SAP ERP, change the setting for DRFOUT to send listings for all product-location combinations,  To do this:
    1. a. Execute transaction code SPRO



     b. Select SAP Reference IMG


     c. Select SAP Customizing Implementation guide -> Logistics – General -> Merchandise Lifecycle Optimization -> Outbound –> click execute on Maintain Control Parameters


     d. Under Plant Data for Material, check the Send Listing Information check-box.


Note: For more information on how to run DRFOut, please refer to this link.

2. In SAP CAR: Import the product listings to master data in DDF (if not run automatically as a scheduled job, also referred to as “bypass staging”)

     a. Run the Monitor Imports for Product Location

               i. Go to your NWBC

               ii. Go to the Services Tab

               iii.Select the Monitor Imports -> Monitor Imports



           iv.Select Manual Processing



                v.Select the Product Location check-box



               vi.Select Execute

               vii.Check the Product Location import on the Monitor Imports main screen for possible error messages. 

3. In SAP CAR: Verify your product-locations were processed into the master data table’s successfully. Internal ID lookup – all lookups in master data in DDF use internal identifiers. So you must first look these up using the SAP ERP identifiers as the external IDs.

     a. Execute transaction SE16     

     b. Enter Table Name: /DMF/PRDLOCEXTXR

     c. Press the Enter key or the Table Contents (F7) button on the top left

     d. Enter your SAP ERP product id in the EXT_PROD_ID filter and the location id in the EXT_LOC_ID filter

     e. Press the execute (F8) button on the top left

     f. You will need to copy and paste the PROD_ID and LOC_ID values to be used in later queries.

4. In SAP CAR: Verify the master data contains the listing status for your product location

     a. Execute transaction SE16

     b. Enter Table Name:  /DMF/PRODLOC

     c. Press the Enter key or the Table Contents (F7) button on the top left

     d. Use the PROD_ID and LOC_ID filters to access the data you are verifying has been transferred from SAP ERP


     e. Press the execute (F8) button on the top left

     f. Review the LST_STATUS_CD column for your product location combinations

    g. Check to see if it is a 0 or 1 for your product, where 0 is not listed

5. In SAP CAR: If your product has time dependent listings, you can also verify the time series results

     a. Go to transaction SE16

     b. Enter Table Name: /DMF/PRODLOC_TD

     c. Press execute

     d. Enter your Product(s) under the PROD_ID filter, using the internal product identifier from /DMF/PRDLOCEXTXR

     e. Enter your Location(s) under the LOC_ID filter, using the internal location identifier from /DMF/PRDLOCEXTXR

     f. Enter LST_STATUS_CD in the Field filter


     g. Review the VALID_FR, VALID_TO and VALUE columns for your product-location combinations

     h. The VALUE column is the listing status, where 0 is not listed.

NOTE:  Time dependent product-location combinations will only forecast from the time in the VALID_FR field to the time in the VALID_TO field where the VALUE field is 1.

Now that you have integrated the data from ERP into DDF, and you’ve validated the processing of that data in DDF, you can now configure forecasting to “pay attention” to the listing.

6. In SAP CAR: Set your forecasting configuration in IMG

     a. Go to the transaction SPRO

     b. Select SAP Reference IMG

     c. Select SAP Customizing Implementation guide -> Cross-Application Components -> Demand Data Foundation -> Modeling and Forecasting -> Define Forecasting Control Settings


    d. Select execute

     e. Specify that you want forecasting to use the product location listings, by selecting the check-box Use Prd Loc Listings. 

Note: You must select this check-box for all entries that correspond to your Diagnostic ID that is used for modeling and forecasting.  By default, the Diagnostic ID field is blank which means that forecasting runs in production mode.  Select your Diagnostic ID for all Time Series Source entries.



The end result of forecasting with listing considerations will be a zero forecast. You can now validate this within the UDF module of SAP Customer Activity Repository.

Run a production forecast via the Schedule Modeling and Forecasting (link).  Then, validate the results in the following way: 

     1. In SAP CAR: Go to transaction SE16

     2. Enter the table /DMF/UFC_TS.

     3. Click execute

     4. Enter your PROD_ID using internal identifiers from/DMF/PRDLOCEXTXR, as shown before.

     5. Enter your LOC_ID using internal identifiers from/DMF/PRDLOCEXTXR, as shown before.

     6. Check the timestamps in the TSTMP_FR and TSTMP_TO columns to see if this is within the delisted time frame.  Each entry in this table is for a time           period (day). It may require looking at multiple records to validate your product-location.

     7. Examine the FC_VAL column. A zero value in the FC_VAL column means that the product-location combination was not forecast during that time period           (day).

If you use SAP Promotion Management for Retail (PMR) that generates a what-if forecast for your promotion, you can view this via the user interface at the product location entries as the system forecast column.  PMR aggregates the forecast to the product location, so you may lose visibility to daily listing.

Note: The System Forecast is saved on the offer only if the Offer is in recommended status. You may need to re-forecast to see this value.

This document is meant as a guide to show how you can limit forecasting based on your listing information.  If you run into issues in this scenario, please refer back to this document as a reference to trace where the issue may be.  In most scenarios, it will be the listing in ERP that needs to be corrected.

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