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Author's profile photo Stefan Weisenberger

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.

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      Author's profile photo Caetano Almeida
      Caetano Almeida

      Hi Stefan
      Thank you for this clarifying blog. Do you know if there are any enhacements implemented of planned for the existing WIP batches solution?



      Author's profile photo Stefan Weisenberger
      Stefan Weisenberger
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Caetano,

      if you compare the S/4 WIP batch to the ECC WIP batch, there are several enhancements as mentioned above. Our goal was to overcome legacy software layer restrictions and basically combine the features from process bafch & WIP batch, namely supporting process orders & the mill order combination.

      On planned features, we will see. There are a few topics customers have asked about, but there are also many other ideas in the area of batch management. I am currenly working on a blog about how to include batch classification characteristics in standard Fiori screens.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hello  Stefan Weisenberger ,


      What about Wip Batches in S4hana Cloud? I didn’t find any information about it anywhere.



      Author's profile photo Stefan Weisenberger
      Stefan Weisenberger
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Guita,

      A very happy new year to you.

      This is currently not yet available in the public cloud offering. I have asked about future plans to make this available. I will get back to you once I know more.

      Thanks and warm regards,

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Thank you very much for your response.

      Happy new year to you too.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Professionalism and Education go hand in hand.


      Author's profile photo Orlando Dócimo Cillo
      Orlando Dócimo Cillo

      thanks a lot for the post, Stefan
      I have a question regarding the batches in S4:
      I need to make consumptions in the batch and also to register the finished product. How could I do it?
      I'm looking at various sites and blogs, but I can't get what I need to do ...
      Anyway, thank you very much again.

      Author's profile photo Lhoucinne Ydir
      Lhoucinne Ydir

      Hi Stephan,


      Thanks a lot for your interesting post.

      I am wondering if this S4 WIP Batch solution is relevant for co-product scenario.

      Best regards