Intelligent ERP Update: SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 Release for Sourcing & Procurement
This blog post provides you an overview of key highlights in the area of Sourcing & Procurement of our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 release.
Before I go into key highlights of procurement, I would like to mention that there is a SAP Whitepaper describing the combinations and integrations between SAP S/4HANA, SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass solutions in detail. I would ask to read the whitepaper to understand which solution set SAP recommends to address digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA in the area of sourcing and Procurement.
Fig 1: SAP Whitepaper about transforming procurement with SAP Solutions
Intelligent Approval Workflow (43E)
The first highlight I would like to talk about is Intelligent Approval Workflow which is a machine learning functionality available as part of the 1908 release. It allows purchasing managers or Functional approvers to classify important and unimportant purchase requisition approvals. Basically, this is done by analyzing the approval pattern history based on price, source of supply, material group, approvers, attachments, so on. And further weighting them with a confidence factor. It supports the approver to approve all less critical approvals and only focus on his/her critical work items instead. In general, the purchase requisition details are sent to SAP Cloud Platform which calculates the confidence level for the approval. The calculated confidence level is displayed to the approver in the app “My Inbox”.
In the future, we planned to deliver functionality to mass approve all less critical approvals based on recommendations.
Completion functionality during purchase requisition approval workflow (18J)
Along with the Intelligent Approval workflow, we also released completion functionality for purchase requisitions with 1908 release. With this purchasing managers no longer have to reject Purchase requisitions and send them back to requestors when changes are required. Purchase managers can partially edit purchase requisitions while they are in the approval process or add approval notes and approval attachments before approving the purchase requisitions.
Situation Handling for RFQ Submission Deadline (1XF)
The next highlight is from the area of Sourcing and Contract Management, Here we have a new situation handling functionality which notifies purchasers about RFQs with the approaching submission deadline and a low number of submitted supplier quotations. The purchasers can keep an eye on such RFQs and contact invited bidders that haven’t yet submitted a quotation if necessary.
The situation is triggered when the set number of days that are left until the submission deadline is passed, and the number of received quotations is less than defined in the template. The situation can be configured on a daily basis and checks all existing RFQs in status Published for the defined conditions. one can also define the exact time when the situation should be triggered in the Batch Job Scheduling section.
Automate business processes for purchase requisitions (2XT)
The next highlight I‘d like to talk about is from central procurement area. Purchasing department can now manage rules that are required to automate business processes of purchase requisitions in central procurement Hub. The automation is helpful if processes in a company want to be handled at Headquarter level rather than the subsidiary level. Using this, you can define and automate custom actions for implementing checks and modifications. Based on the rules that are activated and configured, the central purchasing department can automate actions like Assign Source of Supplier, Purchase Order creation, etc.,
Once the rules are in place, can further schedule jobs according to requirements using the Manage Rules for Automation of Business Processes app.
Central Sourcing & Central Invoicing (3ZF, 41G)
Next highlight is also from the area of central procurement, with this release central procurement hub offers Central Sourcing & Central Invoicing functionalities. Central sourcing provides an overview of purchase requisitions across various plants in the connected systems and allows you to carry out the sourcing process centrally. For eg., you can bundle purchase requisitions from different connected systems and create central RFQs. And when you receive supplier quotations, you can create central supplier quotations in the hub system on behalf of the suppliers. After awarding the best quotations, either a purchase order is created in the connected systems or a central contract which is then distributed to the connected systems.
Secondly, central Invoicing provides a single point of access to display and monitor invoice documents centrally. These documents can be those that are created in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system (which acts as a hub system) or the ones that have been extracted from the connected systems. In the future releases, we planned to bring more functionalities into central sourcing and central invoicing.
Another hot topic is ‘SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation’. As part of the “SAP Best Practices for SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation Integration with SAP S/4HANA” we provide end-to-end automation stack for self-driving enterprise with a strong focus on SAP S/4HANA. If you explore the solution scope for Sourcing & Procurement area, you will find the scope items
- Purchase Order Confirmations (48K)
- Simple Purchase Requisition Creation from Excel (48M)
- Supplier Master Data Check (48O)
Last but not least I would like to draw your attention to the new SAP Enable Now framework, our harmonized onboarding and continuous enablement concept which is embedded directly in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. The framework provides standard enablement content which is constantly updated and comprises context-sensitive help, guided tours and tutorials directly within SAP S/4HANA Cloud. In addition, you can customize or produce your own enablement content and upload to SAP S/4HANA Cloud. For more information on efficient End-User enablement with SAP Enable Now, check out the following links:
- Increase SAP S/4HANA User Adoption with SAP Enable Now Framework
- SAP Enable Now Introduction Video on SAP
- SAP Enable Now Web Assistant Authoring Guide
For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease
- Sven Denecken’s SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 Release Blog
- The Link Collection for Sourcing & Procurement here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud User Community: register here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here
- Implementation Portal here