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Author's profile photo Caetano Almeida

DDMRP: Buffer Positioning in S/4HANA 1809

When we talk about Demand Driven MRP, one of the key aspects is to position the DDMRP buffer correctly: if we buffer too many materials, we will end um with excess inventory, while not buffering enough materials or buffering the wrong materials may lead to material shortages and longer lead times.

To position a buffer for a material in SAP S/4HANA basically means to choose a DDMRP MRP type for a material, so that MRP uses the DDMRP logic and the buffer calculated to plan a material.

The first S/4HANA release to support DDMRP was 1709, and it was launched with the basic tools for DDMRP planning, such as the product classification and buffer calculation. In release 1709 buffer positioning had to be done through the Fiori App Mass Maintenance of Products (DD), which was effective, allowing a DDMRP MRP type to be set for several materials at the same time, but it was not exactly intuitive, as we could not see the whole picture when choosing to buffer a material.

In summary, a visual and intuitive tool to support the user on choosing which materials within the product structure should be actually buffered was missing in S/4HANA 1709.

The latest SAP S/4HANA release 1809, launched in September of 2018, solves this problem. In S/4HANA 1809 there is a new Fiori App called Buffer Posiitioning, which supports the user on choosing which specific materials within the product structure should be buffered.

In this blog we will explore this new Fiori App in detail and understand how can it help us to choose during the DDMRP buffer positioning.

Launching the Buffer Positioning app

We we open the buffer positioning app, we can apply filters and select one or several materials work with. By marking one or several materials from the list, we immediately see the options to calculate the Decoupled Lead Time, Buffer (set a DDMRP MRP type) or Unbuffer, as we can see in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Buffer Positioning initial screen

 

Buffer Analysis

Besides these options immediately available in the initial screen, we also have the option to click one a specific line and branch into a detailed view for the selected material, called Buffer Analysis, as shown in Figure 2.

In the Buffer Analysis screen, we see the sections Upstream an Downstream, with details about child and parent materials. By default, in the Upstream section, we see the Longest Path within the product structure. Please observe that this is not the longest path within the whole product structure, but the longest path until reaching the next buffered material (with a DDMRP MRP Type).

Figure 2: Buffer Analysis

In the Downstream section we will see by default the Immediate Parent material. In both cases, however, we have options to switch between different views. In the Upstream view we can see the whole bill of material, while in the Downstream view we can see the next buffers or the finished products above the selected material. Figure 3 shows the BOM in the Upstream view.

Figure 3: BOM in the upstream view. 

 

Network Graph View

Things get really interesting when we change to the Network Graph analysis, as shows in Figure 4. Here, we have a graphical view of the whole product structure and we can easily identify decoupling points to position the DDMRP buffer.

Figure 4: Network Graph

There are many options to improve visualization, such as Highlighting specific materials within the product structure. In Figure 5 we can see all the buffered materials within the complete product flow.

For products with a larger bill of material, we can also switch to a Top-Down visualization, by clicking the settings button.

Figure 6: Top-Down view

 

In the Network Graph we can also have details about any specific material and even switch to the Buffer Analysis of a different material.

With this kind of graphical display of the product structure we can identify what is the best point to add a buffer within the product structure, reducing the total product lead time. It also allows us to avoid unnecessary buffers, which would eventually increase inventory and the associated costs. In summary, it a great tool for buffer positioning, with a great and intuitive user interface.

 

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      Author's profile photo Saikrishna P
      Saikrishna P

      Dear Caetano,

       

      Appreciate your efforts in sharing the new features. ?

      Is this feature available in S/4 HANA Cloud?. Please confirm.

       

      Thanks& Regards,

      Saikrishna.

      Author's profile photo Caetano Almeida
      Caetano Almeida
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, it is available for could.

      Author's profile photo Saikrishna P
      Saikrishna P

      Dear Caetano,

       

      Thanks for the clarification.

       

      Thanks & Regards,

      Saikrishna.

      Author's profile photo Caetano Almeida
      Caetano Almeida
      Blog Post Author

      You are welcome!

      Author's profile photo RAJA SEKHARA REDDY BANNURU
      RAJA SEKHARA REDDY BANNURU

      Dear Caetano

      Thanks a Lot for sharing valuable & useful Info.
      For this new concept of DDMRP,  understanding & setting up the Buffers explained well in detailed.
      Thanks & Regards : Raja

      Author's profile photo Hrvoje Bogati
      Hrvoje Bogati

      Dear Caetano,

       

      Thank you for the great insight! I am wondering is ddMRP on S4 subject to additional licencing?

      Thanks in advance.

      Regards,

      Hrvoje

      Author's profile photo Caetano Almeida
      Caetano Almeida
      Blog Post Author

      Yes, there is an additional license for using DDMRP in S/4HANA.

      Author's profile photo Mahinth Gopal
      Mahinth Gopal

      Hi,

       

      Understand DDMRP is licensed, What is the technical process to activate  DDMRP within S4 ? is it via activate business functions?

      Author's profile photo My Khuong
      My Khuong

      Hello Caetano,

       

      if I want to use only the app to calculate the ABC, XYZ product classification. Do I need to pay the extra licence to use it? Can I use this app without activating DDMRP process and just use it for inventory analyses?

      Best regards,

      My

      Author's profile photo Caetano Almeida
      Caetano Almeida
      Blog Post Author

      Hello My

      I'm not the best person to talk about licenses. Please check with your SAP Account Executive.

      Regards,
      Caetano