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Author's profile photo Kevin Wilson

SAP S/4HANA – Situation Handling Overview

Situation Handling is SAP S/4HANA functionality provided to bring certain circumstances (situations) to the attention of a relevant group of business users. This allows for the proactive notification to the needed folks for a situation that has arisen. Situations may be seen as issues or opportunities.

Business users are provided the notification of a situation, together with the notification status (Open, Resolved, Obsolete, Invalid), contextual information relating to the object pertaining to the situation and lastly, any actions deemed necessary to address the situation.

When a user receives a situation they can see the following (based on configuration):

  • Instructions on how to proceed with the situation (situation text)

  • Related information to the situation (URL)

  • Link to another Fiori App (quick action)

  • Manually set the status of the situation

In addition to being shown as a notification in the SAP Fiori Launchpad, situations can be displayed “in-app” as in-app situation messages.

SAP S/4HANA Situation Handling – Intelligent & Proactive User Support from the Finance Organization

What is a situation?

A situation could be:

  • a deadline is nearing

  • an open task needs working

  • a demand for a product has deviated

  • a shift in turnover rate

  • a threshold has been reached

How do users view situations?

Users can view situations that have arisen, and that are applicable to them, using one of the following techniques:

  • SAP Fiori launchpad notification

  • Email notification

  • For specific apps – in-app Situation Management message

  • My Situations App: App

Components of Situation Handling

Situation Handling Components
Situation Handling Components
  1. Manage Teams and Responsibilities App: AppHelp

  2. Manage Situation Type App: AppHelp

  3. Monitor Situations App: AppHelp

  4. My Situations App: App

  5. Reuse Library for Situation Handling: Link

  6. Manage Date Functions App: App

Configure Situation Handing

Business Configuration Experts can leverage the “Manage Situation Types” Fiori app to modify situation messages and recipients.

  • Manage Situation Type App: AppHelp

Use the “Manage Teams and Responsibilities” Fiori app to define which recipients are going to receive situation notifications. Pre-defined rules may also be leveraged to determine recipients of notifications.

  • Manage Teams and Responsibilities App: App

Enable the required Notification provider before notifications can be leveraged.

  • IMG activity: SAP NetWeaver -> Notification Channel -> Notification Channel Provider Enablement -> Administration -> Notification Provider Settings -> Manage Notification Providers

  • Enter notification provider ID: SIT_NOTIF_PROV_EXT and activate

Operational considerations

SAP has provided a “Monitor Situations” Fiori app to monitor the status of existing instances of situations. Business Process Experts, managers or process owners would be the ones needing to monitor the status of open situations.

  • Monitor Situations App: AppHelp

2 jobs are needed to update and delete situation instance data (transaction SJOBREPO):

  • SIT_TECH_JOB_BATCH_DAILY – Trigger batch-based events

  • SIT_TECH_JOB_CLEAN_SIT_DATA (weekly run) – deletes situations that are no longer valid

You can extract all the contextual details of the situation using the SAP standard API: API_BUSINESS_SITUATION_SRV (Business Situation – Read). Note: “Monitor Instances” needs to be enabled before this data is available. This API is implemented as a synchronous inbound odata web service. This data would then be intended to be used for further analytics.

Situation Templates

SAP delivers situation templates that Business Configuration Experts can adopt and deploy using the “Manage Situation Types” Fiori app. It pre-defines a particular business situation. i.e. Not all situations are available to track. For each implementation, make a copy of the standard SAP template and adapt it according to your business needs. NB: You can change the text used in the situation notifications but you cannot change the underlying data available in the situation template.

SAP planned for 31 situation templates in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1911

12 Example templates:

  1. Errors and Warnings in Allocation Runs – informs Overhead Accountants of an allocation run that has completed and of any warnings / errors that were generated in the run (Help)

  2. Check House Bank Account in Payment Configuration – informs the needed users that a house back a/c is being used yet it is closed (Help)

  3. GR/IR clearing processor was changed – clarify differences between quantities or amounts between deliveries / invoices of a purchasing document item (Help)

  4. Invoice Skipped in Payment Advice – an invoice (with a significant value) was not included in a payment advice run (Help)

  5. MRP Material Exceptions – E.g. No requirements for a receipt element exist. The planned available stock exceeds the maximum stock. The actual stock and the receipt elements exceed the requirements. (Scope Item J44) With these situations the MRP controller would navigate to the “Manage Material Coverage” app to modify orders

  6. Stock Transport Order Overdue (Help)

  7. Quantity Deficit in Supplier‘s Delivery – Triggered if receiving quantity is less than the confirmed quantity. Notification is sent to the applicable buyer. (Scope Item 2TX)

  8. Sales Quotation Is Close to Expiring (Help)

  9. Cash Discount at Risk – If a supplier invoice is blocked for payment and the terms are nearing (Scope Item 2TX) – Also see “Due Date Reach Soon” (Scope Item J13)

  10. Low Number of Quotations Received – The deadline for an RFQ is fast approaching and we haven’t reached the minimum threshold for submissions (Help)

  11. Output Item Processing Error – a daily check on processed output is performed – any errors trigger a corresponding situation. This is equivalent to checking for NAST errors in traditional R/3. (Scope Item 1LQ)

  12. Unavailable Team Member in Resp. Mgmt – Inform a user’s manager that a user responsible for a task is unavailable (Scope Item 1NT)

SAP Best Practices

The following scope items in the SAP Best Practices Explorer are using this app – SAP Best Practices Explorer – Situation Handling Scope item 31N:

Conclusion

In conclusion, SAP Situation Handling is a neat and simple way to pro-actively alert the responsible user of a pending issue. It combines text on how the user needs to proceed to correct the situation (i.e. you can build in to your process your previous knowledge and learnings of how to correct issues). You can also direct users on the actions they need to perform and also link to any needed additional info to help them make quality decisions in resolving the situation.

On the downside, I see that this functionality is created and published by SAP and is not available for objects of our choosing. As time goes, more and more scenarios will be enabled but it would be nice to allow customers and partners to create and deploy their own custom templates.

In general this functionality is a great add-on to helping to smooth out the discrepancies in your Supply Chain. With the ever-increasing need to collapse the Supply Chain cycle time, organizations have to react quickly to deviations (or situations) that could disrupt your on-time delivery promise to your customer… This functionality goes a long way towards providing you this capability. SAP Global Track and Trace is another complimentary piece of functionality looking at filling in this space.

Let me know if you have any additional questions of comments on SAP Situation Handling.

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      11 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Jocelyn Dart
      Jocelyn Dart

      Nice summary Kevin!

      One suggestion: Since Situation Handling is a SAP Fiori capability it would help more people find this blog if you added the official SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA tag as an additional tag.

      Author's profile photo Leigh Mason
      Leigh Mason

      Why did I not know about this feature, we need to hang out more JDART, damn virus!!!!

      Author's profile photo Jocelyn Dart
      Jocelyn Dart

      Hi Kevin

      So that more people are aware of your excellent work...

      Would you mind if I added this blog to our SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA wiki > All About apps page?

      https://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/Fiori/SAP+Fiori+for+S4HANA

      This is the wiki we consistently send all customers and partners towards for the latest and best collection on SAP Fiori for SAP S/4HANA info.

      Thanks

      Jocelyn

      Author's profile photo Alexey Fedoseev
      Alexey Fedoseev

      Brilliant capability, is there any API (planned or existing) to be used for custom situations development? It looks like a perfect framework to buld a "helli-view" on top and define mission critical actions for certain processes (e.g. scenarios).

      Author's profile photo Knut Manske
      Knut Manske

      ​Hello Alexey,

      customers may use the Situation templates provided by SAP and configure the conditions according to the individual requirements. Depending on the use case and the Situation template provided, the flexibility of this configuration may vary.

      Customer created templates are not supported yet.

      Best,
      Knut

      Author's profile photo Jack Reynolds
      Jack Reynolds

      Hi Knut,

      I'm just wondering when it will be possible for customers to create their own situation templates in the on-premise version?

      This is a fantastic framework for handling exceptions and we have many use cases which we would like to use this for.

      In the past, on ECC, we used the Alert framework where it was quite easy to create custom alerts from custom programs or enhancements so it would be great if we could do the same kind of thing to create situations.

      Thanks!

      Jack

      Author's profile photo Knut Manske
      Knut Manske

      Hello Jack,

      thank you for your question and the positive statement!

      We know, that it's important for customers to create own use cases and we are intensively working on that and hope to deliver this soon. (This is the current state of planning and can be changed at anytime.)

      best,
      Knut

      Author's profile photo Wolfgang Lindner
      Wolfgang Lindner

      Hi, any update concerning the ability of customer enhancements?

      Regards Wolfgang

      Author's profile photo Thomas Lupton
      Thomas Lupton

      Great overview! I have a requirement and maybe Situation Handling could help with it:

      If suppliers do not send a Advanced Shipping Notification (ASN) along with their delivery, I would like to set up an automatic "dunning" to remind the supplier to provide an ASN.

      Is this possible by utilizing Situation Handling to solve this requirement?

      Best,

      Thomas

      Author's profile photo Leigh Mason
      Leigh Mason

      OMG, this is what I've been looking for, for the past 12 months.  Thanks Kev for sharing this,  even though I work for SAP we don't always know everything about everything, this is brilliant 🙂 thanks man.

      Author's profile photo Knut Manske
      Knut Manske

      Hello,

      you might be also interested in the series of five blog posts starting with

      Situation Handling: What is it and why do you need it? (1/5)

      best,
      Knut