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Author's profile photo Dennis Sledge

SAP Screen Personas for Confirmations

We are a discrete manufacturing shop and leverage use of CO11N to handle confirmation tickets. While the process works fine on paper we discovered that the actual implementation for end-users was very much far away from ideal. Each time a shop floor worker completed a task it required several steps to complete the process. In general they had to:

  1. Log into the workstation.
  2. Open the SAP Windows GUI shortcut.
  3. Open the correct connection from the GUI.
  4. Log into SAP.
  5. Open the CO11N tcode.
  6. Satisfy the CO11N field requirements.

From the last step there are many opportunities for an end users to enter incorrect information. While we do have barcode scanners available and the confirmation numbers include a barcode on the production orders many users preferred to manually enter the numbers. A similar issue existed for entering the personnel numbers where the barcode was present on the employee badge.

As noted on the screenshot, there we several areas a user would need to understand the process of how to properly fill out the transaction and it was not uncommon to have incorrect data.

In addition to these input issues we also were unable to understand the amount of time required to actually complete an operation. Some questions were asked such as: How long does it take to make a part/assembly/operation? How many people worked on the operation? Are people working on several jobs concurrently?

We had many problems with the “old” CO11N paradigm and wanted a much simpler solution that would require very minimal training for the end users. This led us to (cue angelic music) SAP Screen Personas!

Over many weeks we met with our various stakeholders and hammered out requirements, wishlists, and demands. We performed extensive testing, designed custom reports, and some complicated JavaScripts that take advantage of BAPIs via RFC. The end result is a much simpler UI that our shop floor users can learn to use in just a couple minutes.

There are other development details that lead up to this screen but now most of it is simplified via SSO. The end user now uses their employee badge to sign into the computer. We have enable barcode scanner interaction with our Personas instance which allows user to complete each action without using a keyboard or mouse (although the option is still available).

The browser automatically opens Personas and logs them into SAP and presents them with:

Here the user will typically access the ‘Work Center Schedule’ button. The drop down list allows selection of the correct Work Center or it can be scanned via the Barcode menu (scanning automates moving to the next page).

Now we have a schedule of operations to guide the worker on what to work on next. The confirmation number can either be scanned in or selected from the list.

This leads to our simplified CO11N transaction. There is much going on behind the scenes that makes this so simple for the user. Notice that the Employee number is already populated and is based on the current user. Each button (left to right) is familiar to anyone that has used a DVD player. “Play” initiates a partial confirmation and updates the confirmation text with the word “Started”. “Pause” does the same as “Play” but with the word “Paused”. “Stop” performs a final confirmation and enters the work “Completed”.

Each of the button alternates its selectivity based on the confirmation’s current state. If is “Paused” then the Pause button is grayed out and cannot be selected for example.

There are many other cool details that go along with this project (and I hope to update this blog at a later time) but this should give a good idea of how we leverage Personas to provide a simple yet powerful UI to our end users.

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