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AFS – Stock Allocations for New Demands and MRP’s Behavior for standard orders

SAP Apparel and Footwear or also knows as SAP AFS is an industry specific solution provided by the leading ERP vendor SAP. SAP AFS is mainly used by major fashion companies to manage their operations centrally. While the industry is volatile and dynamic to different demands such as types based on customer delivery priority or based on regions, the process becomes cumbersome when different factors are considered and on which basis demands are to be catered for.

While this can be effectively managed via SAP AFS and its necessary features this blog intends to help the reader understand how demands are created and managed via the transactions VA01, /N/AFS/MD02 and /N/AFS/M0D4.

Before we start on the main process flow, let’s create the necessary master data that we need in order to proceed. Below are the main categories of master data that we will need in this case.

 

  1. Customer Master

A customer in SAP is maintained as master data and prior to running the business process and creating documents this needs to be maintained. Let’s see how this is done via transaction XD01.

Figure 1: SAP Easy Access Path: Create Customer

Customers can be created in different transactions as highlighted in figure 1, we can create a customer via VD01 or XD01. Screen changes based on the transactions we use in this scenario we will create via XD01 which will create data for all of the segments specified (General Data, Sales Area Data and Company Data)

Figure 2:XD01: Create Customer Master

Once all of the segments have been filled successfully we will then save the customer, for this blog we will be using a customer which was created before.

 

Customer No: 100143

Figure 3: Customer List

 

 

 

  1. Material Master – AFS Enabled

 

The next main master data is the material or the product the business will sell to the customer. In this case we will be creating a material with the AFS functionalities enabled. We create materials with the transaction MM01.

Figure 4: MM01 Initial Screen

As you can see in figure 4 we are in the screen where materials can be created since this is AFS we select the respective industry sector as above, then select the “Select View(s)” on the title bar and select all the necessary views we wish to populate the data to.

Figure 5: MM01 Select Views

Now it’s important to note the below, in an AFS system we make sure to indicate the material as AFS Enabled which runs a background program (SAPLMGMM)  and ensures the material inherit AFS functionalities.

Figure 6: MM01 – AFS Basic Data Tab

If you see above it is important to click “AFS Status” and make it an AFS specific material this also needs to be done in the tab “AFS MRP”. Once this is done we cannot revert it back hence, be cautious.

 

 

Figure 7: MM01 AFS MRP Tab

Once this is done we can create the material and we are ready to create our demand and proceed with the order to cash cycle. The material that we created for this scenarios is as below:

Material Number: 2222

 

Figure 8: Material List

 

Create New Demand

 

Once the system has its master data now we can execute the cycle and understand how demands are handled in an AFS system.

Let’s create a new demand via the transaction VA01 or using the following SAP Navigation path menu.

Figure 9: VA01 Create Sales Order

 

Before we do this lets have a look at our stock level for the new material we created, since this is a fresh material ideally we will not have any stock inhand. Lets use the transaction MMBE to view our stock levels.

 

Figure 10: MMBE Stock Overview Initial Screen

Once we execute the transaction as you can see we dont have any stock at our plant.

 

Figure 11: MMBE Stock Overview

We will also check our MRP screen via transaction /N/AFS/MD04 to see our demand overview for this material.

Figure 13: MRP Screen with Demand Overview

 

As you can see in figure 12 our MRP shows a status of green since we don’t have any demands to fulfill for the new material we just created.

Let’s create a new demand for our material and customer via the transaction code VA01 or you navigate to the menu path highlighted in figure 9.

 

Figure 14:VA01 Initial Screen

 

Enter the customer number and proceed.

Figure 15: VA01 Sales Order Creation Screen

 

Figure 16: VA01 Sales Business data view

 

Enter the material we created as the first line item, and for our schedule line item enter the grid value and enter the quantity required and delivery date.

 

Figure 17: VA01 Schedule Line Item

Then check if the order is completely filled via the incompletion log.

Figure 18: Incompletion Log

 

 

 

Figure 19: Order Created Message

 

Let’s have a look at how the MRP is indicating us with the new demand that we just created. Go to /N/AFS/MD04.

 

Figure 20: MRP Screen with New Demand

 

If we execute now we will see how the MRP and how the demands are fixed to their respective tabs and it is important from this point onwards that we understand the behavior of the MRP tabs.

Figure 21: MRP Block Stock Screen

For all new demands that we create in an AFS system all new requirements fall under the blocked stock TAB as depicted in figure 20. This just says that there is demands and stock is not allocated for them and it’s on blocked status.

Once the order is created now we should plan accordingly this is done by running MRP. You can run to MRP via the transaction /N/AFS/MD02. Enter the material and plant to the following MRP screen and we need to execute MRP and plan our demands.

Figure 22: MRP Screen – Planning

 

Once MRP is executed the planning is done for that respective material and system will generate plan orders, Purchase Requisitions or Production Orders automatically based on the configurations.

Figure 23: MRP Results Screen

 

Finally after MRP is executed then we get a message of the latest MRP run for that material. Let’s now go to the /N/AFS/MD04 Screen and see the situation after running MRP and understand how the requirements are allocated in their TABs.

Figure 24: Requirements to T Tab

 

As you can see in figure 23, the requirement is now moved into the “T” Tab. This in AFS is called the soft allocation as MRP has now generated a plan order for this demand and can be converted to a production order or a purchase order. The reason why this is temporarily allocated is because the stock that we will generate from this plan order can be used for a different sales order based on priority and can be removed from the above order.

 

Let’s now use a another functionality in AFS called “Allocation RUN” what this does is we say to MRP that we need the stock that we will produce to FIX it to the respective demands, lets then see how MRP behaviors after allocation run is executed.

 

AFS Allocation RUN

In SAP AFS system we cannot make deliveries to demands unless we run SAPs allocation RUN, this is also known as “ARUN” for short.  This is one of the main features that we come across when using the ERP system. The allocation run mealy ensures automatic assignment of the available stock on your plant to the open demands according to your business process.

Let’s now see how we can run ARUN for our demand and fix the stock to the sales order that we just created. The transaction that we use to run allocation is J3AT.

Figure 25: SAP Allocation RUN Screen

 

Select the ARUN type and execute and then on the subsequent screen you can add different parameters to be more specific as, running ARUN will utilize a considerable amount of server resources and this might slow the process depending on the number of requirements the system has hence in this scenario I’ll be more specific and on selection screen.

Figure 26: ARUN Filter Screen

 

Once you execute the report for the above parameters we will get our demand listen in the following screen as below.

Figure 27: ARUN Screen for our Demand

 

If you observer above we see that the QTY is 0 this is because we have not started to produce or procure the materials since production execution is not part of this blog post let’s assume production was executed and we have brought in stock to out plant and lets re-execute ARUN.

Figure 28: ARUN Screen with Stock Availability

 

As you can see now we have stock in our storage location and a quantity of 1000 is picked for our sales order 1100.  Now we can select this and allocation the stock for this sales order in this step what happens is ARUN does a hard allocation and assigns stock for this requirement. Doing a hard allocation does not allow us to utilize this stock for a different demand.

Figure 29: ARUN Success Message

 

Now we have saved the allocation run, let’s now check the MRP screen and see what has happed.

Figure 30: MRP Screen “F” TAB

As you can see the stock is now allocated and reassigned to the “F” Tab in the MRP Screen and its now fixed stock and open for delivery on the respective delivery date.

In an AFS system there are different stock tables and in this case once we execute allocation run there is one important table that gets updated indicating fix quantities this table is : J_3ABDBS (AFS Requirement – Stock assignment ) and for our new material we can see the respective record updated in this table.

Figure 31: AFS Stock Assignment Table

 

Conclusion

The intention of this blog post was to help users understand some important functionalities in an SAP AFS solution from a sales perspective and how sales orders are created, managed and understanding how MRP screen behaviors while going through the different processes.

 

 

 

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