More traceability and visibility in Work-in-Process with SAP S/4 HANA
An update on process batches and work in process batches for SAP S/4 HANA 1610 and following releases
In 2009, we introduced a new modelling option to better track production progress in SAP ERP PP: the WIP batch. (Find more information here.)
With WIP batches, you have:
- Increased visibility and traceability of work-in-process through ability to put WIP on stock, send WIP to subcontractors and describe individual items in WIP by characteristics
- Detailed tracking of material flow through production or process order from component to finished product on level of individual items
(which of the above metal strips were manufactured in the same operation, and came from the same coil?)
- More precise recalls (especially when you cut or merge rolls in your production process – see below graphic)
- Abilitity to capture and collect product characteristics throughout production
The WIP batch was a “standard” successor of a previous industry functionality, the process batch.
in 2009, we wanted to provide the industry functionality for a broader community and with a number new features like integration to production order split, QM, batch info cockpit, subcontracting. Also, WIP batches allowed to model WIP in inventory and valuation correctly.
Unfortunately the standard functionality could not access industry code, and thus was not able to work with the frequently used mill order combination, and did not yet support process orders (despite the name “work in process batch”)
S/4 HANA to the rescue – “There can be only one”
Following the internally called “highlander principle” we revisited this issue with SAP S/4 HANA. We decided to discontinue the industry-function process batch (do not worry and see below), and build out all the delta functionality that was not yet in WIP batch to match the features. Well, actually the result is the best of both worlds.
WIP batch and combined order
Combined order functionality was not supported in WIP Batches (SAP ERP), because combined orders were used by Mill customers only (available via Process batches features)
As Process Batches are deprecated starting from S/4 HANA 1610, combined order functionality is now available also for in WIP Batches
What’s new with WIP batches anyway
WIP batches did so far not support process orders, only production orders – with 1610 this is supported.
WIP batches were enhanced to support also combined production and process orders in the area of time ticket confirmations (CO11N, COR6N), WIP batch where-used / WIP batch tracing (CO02/CO03, COR2/COR3), and goods receipts (MIGO).
If you had used process batches in the past, well, the WIP batch is the stronger, younger brother and supports subcontracting, integrates to QM, the production order split, and can even be managed in inventory like a valuated, properly costed material.
Where is my industry solution in SAP S/4 HANA?
DIMP was enabled with S/4HANA 1511 on premise.
To spell this out: the industry extension discrete industries mill products was already available in 1511.
DIMP features are now „always on“ for every SAP customer & industry, SAP Note 2240360
As industry boundaries blur, and the Mill Products functionality was used and requested from companies in health care, chemicals, life sciences or automotive, SAP decided to make the former industry functionality available as part of standard S/4 HANA. No more discussion whether to activate or not, and whether DIMP is compatible with another industry solution.
When you move to S/4 HANA you will always have the mill products solution “switched on”.
Mill Products functionality of SAP ERP is nearly 1:1 available in S/4HANA.
As mentioned above, we were analyzing our functionality, and applied “simplification” and “harmonization”. Nearly all the Mill Products funcationality from SAP ERP is available also in SAP S/4 HANA. The few exceptions are indicated in the Simplification List (SAP S/4HANA in Help Portal).
One of those is the disappearance of the process batch, or more precise the replacement of process batch with WIP batch.
Migration Path from Process to WIP Batch
As said before, Process batches will be deprecated starting from S/4 HANA 1610
To ensure that the migration from Process Batch to WIP Batch is smooth for existing customers, all* the Process Batch functionalities are available in WIP Batches from S/4 HANA 1610 release
Refer to SAP Note 2326769 for further details on the migration itself.