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Dear readers,

during these last years I had been mainly working as Team Leader for Logistics areas or Junior Project Manager in SAP Projects(ECC)… but when I had the chance to try out the new S/4HANA 1610 demo environment in these last weeks(setup by my company for self-study and training)I didn’t hesitate to “dirty” my hand once again ūüôā

 

Introduction: why this blog?

After reading the S/4HANA Cookbook and most of its referenced files relevant for my expertise(Supply Chains, overall Purchasing and Logistics), my attention was caught by the “Supplier Evaluation by questionnaires”¬†functionality: how different is this new functionality from the one provided by ECC since long time?

Of course, a lot of other functionalities are of interests for comparisons… I hope to have more time in the near future to explore them and eventually share my findings once again.

 

So, coming back to this topic, I noticed that a lot of features concerning this functionality have been taken from¬†SRM. But, since all my previous experiences were based on ECC only, without any knowledge of SRM nor Ariba,¬†I’m sharing the following steps to make everything running fine, hoping that they might be useful to whomever¬†is in the same situation I was.

Finally, this blog is not intended to be a step-by-step config or user manual but just an high level document to successfully guide your across all the main steps. Indeed for all the details there is plenty of official SAP documentation; the difficult thing is to collect and sort it in the right way, so the aim of this article.

 

Supplier Evaluation: configuration steps

The following steps and print-screens are taken from the demo environment installed by SAP for our company and they are based on the sample data distributed along with it.

  1. create Questions Library under the following customizing path: Material Management > Purchasing > Supplier and Category Management > Supplier Evaluation > Basic Settings for Supplier Evaluation
  2. create all the number ranges under the following customizing path: Material Management > Purchasing > Supplier and Category Management > Supplier Evaluation > Number ranges for Supplier Evaluation
  3. create a SAP user ID able to run the RFC connection set up with the next step. This user must be granted with auth. role /SRMSMC/BG_SUP_EVAL_BUYSIDE 
  4. Setup a RFC connection for background processing(I created zBGRFC_SUPERVISOR by using BGRFC_SUPERVISOR as reference)
  5. assign your RFC connection to communication process type¬†under the following customizing path: Material Management > Purchasing > Supplier and Category Management > Supplier Evaluation >¬†Settings for Background Processing in Supplier Evaluation > Assign RFC connection…
  6. Be sure that every Purchaser responsible is granted with auth. role /SRMSMC/QUESTIONNAIRE_MANAGER
  7. Be sure that every Appraiser is granted with auth. role /SRMSMC/EVALUATION_APPRAISE. Moreover appraiser’s¬†SAP user ID has to be linked to his/her personnel ID (i.e. thru transaction PRMD, otherwise there is no way to be selected from the corresponding Fiori app).

 

Supplier Evaluation: process flow

As stated by SAP, this new functionality have been designed to collect data based on “soft facts”, it means based on designated appraiser’s feedbacks. How? All the steps are described in the following document:¬†SL4_S4CLD1702_BPD_EN_CN.docx¬†. Anyway I’ll provide a brief resume with some printscreens.

 

First step in this process is to create the questions to use to evaluate suppliers, sections and groups, by app “Manage Questions”(Business Role: Purchase Responsible):

Then we need to create questionnaires in order to group the questions created in the above step, by app “Manage questionnaires”(Business Role: Purchase Responsible):

When questionnaires are done, we need to create and release an evaluation template by app “Create Template(Group-based evaluation), in order to indicate which appraiser are going to evaluate which suppliers, based on which questionnaires(Business Role: Purchase Responsible).

Once these two steps are done, emails notifications are sent to the selected appraisers(below a screen-shot of transaction SOST):

After receiving the mail notification, the appraiser can evaluate assigned Suppliers by app “Evaluate Suppliers”(Business Role: Appraiser):

And the Purchase responsible can monitor responses by app “Monitor Responses” or “Display Scorecards”. Moreover he/she can graphically analyse the scorecards by using app “Supplier Evaluation by questionnaire”(Business Role: Purchase Responsible):

 

Tips & Tricks

So far, just one tip on my side.

Be aware of step 4.5: In our system I faced with the error “ Invalid key predicate type for ‘SupplierEvalResponse’. Expected type is ‘Edm.String’ ” and we solved it by applying Note¬†2450228 (hereafter a print-screen from transaction /IWFND/ERROR_LOG):

 

Conclusions

This new functionality brings more flexibility to the supplier evaluation process. Users can decide at any time which supplier to evaluate, by which appraiser and, overall, based on which criteria. Indeed, up till now in ECC, in case they wanted to change some criteria, even in terms of score, they had to change customizing settings. But thanks to S/4HANA, users that don‚Äôt want/need to buy additional products such as SRM or Ariba can anyway benefit of evaluation suppliers based on ‚Äúsoft facts‚ÄĚ.

And, last but not least, even our effort to train users on the whole process is eased. ūüėČ

 

 

Thanks for your time spent reading this article. And thanks to the colleagues who helped me in making this functionality working fine: @darionisoli @daniela_r @patrizia.rossi2 @marcon80

 

Regards

Saverio

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6 Comments

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  1. ANINDYA GUPTA

    This is an excellent article .One approach that SAP may need to explore is how supplier questionnaires can be exchanged in an offline manner bidirectionally with suppliers as an out of the box feature.Note such questionnaires need responses from specific supplier functions and so the current set up where emails are triggered to a general mail address or a clerks internet id may not be of much help.

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    1. Saverio Calvano Post author

      Thanks for your comment.

      I’ve always considered this feature more for “internal audit” than coordinating evaluations with suppliers themselves(obviously in case of outcome discussions with suppliers we need a way for sharing data: it might be offline/online/export… ).

      But, of course, the more different opinions there are the more interesting scenarios will be built.

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  2. O. ProjectMember-2

    Hello Saverio,

    Where did you find the S/4HANA Cookbook and the reference document SL4_S4CLD1702_BPD_EN_CN.docx ?

    Please share the link so that i can go through the document.

    <email address removed by moderator as posting email address is against the forum rules>

    Regards,

    Chirag

     

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