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Author's profile photo Sven Denecken

Situation Handling – Don’t just tell me there is a problem, help me solve the problem… more examples

Further to an earlier overview of Situation Handling as an integrated automation capability, let’s explore the value-add for Procure-to-Pay and Order-to-Cash processes via SAP S/4HANA.

We troubleshoot issues and errors every day. What has happened? What are the effects? What can be done – now? A response should be coordinated: send the right information at the right time to the right person. A recommendation for the best course of action should be quickly realized. These outcomes are possible with SAP S/4HANA Situation Handling in the intelligent enterprise.

Example: How SAP S/4HANA Intelligent Technologies Help Employee in Procurement


Another example, imagine this: a new smartphone model is released – nothing new. What’s refreshing for a purchaser is receiving an alert that the model has been ordered several times as free-text item and recommended as a catalog addition. Also, the notification identifies potential suppliers. The purchaser just needs to review and accept the proposed data, which creates a new catalog item quickly and efficiently keeping maverick spend under control.

Situation Handling offers intelligent support enabling the user to make right decisions guided by the system, which proposes solutions leveraging machine learning.

Let’s look at new contract release – routine stuff. What comes next, however, is a break from the past as Situation Handling informs purchasers to which Purchase Requisitions the new contract applies. Purchasers quickly review details and click the “Assign Contract” button. Done! And it’s that easy to assign the new contract as source of supply to realize negotiated savings.

Situation Handling provides information in an easy-to-consume format; it offers functionality relevant for user and context. The user does not have to open different applications searching for an issue’s root cause or for the right contact details. Instead, the user is equipped with relevant information with which to quickly act.

Now, a third purchasing example: overcoming potential delivery quantity deficit, a detriment to production. Here, SAP S/4HANA alerts the purchaser to deficits and contextual details, so that the purchaser does not lose time searching for contacts. The notification also includes alternative suppliers if the purchaser needs to place an order immediately.

Situation Handling anticipates potential setbacks and helps the user be proactive. Rather than the user searching through tedious reports, the system identifies urgent, important issues. When business situations are based on pre-defined conditions (i.e., thresholds, rules), an event falling outside bounds triggers notification and recommended action to the responsible user. Complications are tracked and problems automatically detected for the user’s attention.

Example: How SAP S 4HANA Intelligent Technologies Help Account Receivable Manager

Switching gears, let’s look at how Situation Handling helps a sales department proactively manage an expiring quote. A sales manager receives a message on his SAP Fiori Launchpad—it informs that a sales quote is expiring soon and predicts likelihood that the quote can be closed. With Situation Handling, the Quotation Conversion Rate App goes beyond simply pushing tasks to a user at the right time, it also provides the decision maker with relevant sales quote information (on one screen) along with a recommendation on how to proceed. With these intelligent insights, the sales manager sends out the RFP on time and wins the deal.

Example: How SAP S/4HANA Intelligent Technologies Help Strategic Purchaser

Since Situation Handling is embedded into business processes with continuous data collection and analysis, over time and coupled with machine learning, routine task automation and optimization are possible.

Situation Handling is already part of the S/4HANA system, and all you need to do is activate this hidden gem’s business value in:

  • Helping identify urgent and important issues
  • Bringing recommended actions to relevant users and expediting resolution
  • Offering intelligent support to take the right decisions
  • Minimizing missed issues, because users act proactively and immediately
  • Continuously optimizing business processes paired with machine learning


To help you make the most of your investment in SAP S/4HANA and in SAP AI Technologies, we have for you the SAP S/4HANA Co-innovation FrontRunner team.  This is a team dedicated to helping you to accelerate your understanding of Machine Learning, Intelligent RPA, Conversational AI and Situation Handling.  We can help you answer questions like “What use cases work with my release of S/4HANA?” or “How can I create an ‘Intelligent Roadmap’ to help me define a path for adoption of RPA in my company?” and many more. You can easily contact us via email at

The team has actually recorded a number of examples that demonstrate end-to-end persona-based demonstration models to showcase a few of these full models that focus on business outcomes and even perhaps to show you a little of the “art of the possible”.  Just drop us a line!

For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:

Follow us via @SAP and #S4HANA, or myself via @SDenecken


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