It is the 6th release of SAP S/4HANA. You probably have found the official SAP documentation describing the release news and the overall scope. If not, I have collected some useful links for the complete SAP S/4HANA 2020 release scope in the end of this blog.
This blog highlights some of the new features coming with SAP S/4HANA 2020 for the sales line of business, or previously known in ECC as SD (Sales and Distribution), which I believe will raise the interests of the order-to-cash leads.
- Intelligent product proposal
First, let’s look at one real business example. Many German beer breweries regularly receive buying request from retail stores. The requested beer types are stable, and the quantities can vary. After entering the customer data in the sales order in the SAP S/4HANA system, salesclerk automatically receives the product and quantity proposals from the system in the sales order line items. This could save lots of manual effort for the salesclerk, thinking of the broad range of German beer offerings?. The algorithm to calculate the quantity has been enhanced compared to the previous dynamic product proposal, by introducing additional “trend” factor into the math. The scientific term for this method is called “double exponential smoothing”. Stay tuned on the progress of this function if your sales office can benefit from it – it is certainly relevant also outside the beverage business. In the future release, SAP will continuously add more intelligence here.
- Preliminary billing document
- Again, let’s start with a real SAP customers’ business request. Often SAP customers need to have a kind of “pre-final” version of invoice for the negotiation with their customers. This holds especially true in the professional services industry. Another use case is, when operating in certain countries, companies always anticipate additional edits in the invoice, for example, to add additional information requested by their customers. SAP S/4HANA provides the preliminary billing document, which is an optional intermediary document between the billed reference document (for example, a debit memo request) and the final billing document (usually an invoice). It is structurally identical with a standard billing document and is relevant for output but not for posting to financial accounting. Preliminary billing document can be changed as often as necessary following discussions with customers and can be converted into final invoice once both parties reach to an agreement.
- To remind: the pro-forma invoice is a printout of a customer invoice, which gives the importer or the responsible authorities in the import country or region details about forthcoming shipments. It serves different business requirement.
- Flexible billing document numbering
If you know the SD table RV_BELEG, it is self-explaining how important and beneficial it is to have the capability of being able to flexibly extend and assign billing document number range intervals and /or prefixes across the sales organization. In SAP S/4HANA you can do it without the need of SAP code modification.
With SAP S/4HANA 2020 SPS00 release, you can use filter-enabled BAdI “Flexible Billing Document Numbering” (SD_BIL_FLEX_NUMBERING) to allocate newly created billing documents of a given billing document type to designated internal number range intervals and, optionally, number range prefixes.
In the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2008 release, the configuration expert can use the Configurable Parameters and Formulas (CPF) to configure flexible billing document numbering. The advantage of the CPF implementation over the BAdI implementation is that it doesn’t require any programming effort. SAP is working on downporting this CPF approach to SAP S/4HANA On Premise release soon. Once it is available, I will update this blog accordingly.
- Delivery insight empowered with Internet of Things
- Traditionally, a salesclerk loses control, once the products are loaded in a truck and are on the way to the customer. Now a salesclerk can continuously monitor transportation conditions in real time with the integrated IoT capabilities in SAP S/4HANA. All the critical parameters – such as temperature and vehicle vibration – are measured. Once conditions outside predefined norms are detected, SAP S/4HANA sends the responsible salesclerk a warning message to immediately act in order to reduce any potential business loss to the minimum. For example, a salesclerk can trigger a customer return with replacement product before the damaged product arrives at the customer’s doorstep, so to ensure the maximum customer satisfaction.
- New dashboards in SAP Analytics Cloud
- Customer Overview is a new dashboard, collecting all important sales KPIs of a customer, for example, the frequency of sales orders displays the average number of sales orders per month for the last 6 months. A salesclerk can further drill down into the related App Manage Sales Order for more details. This dashboard summarizes the overall sales order transactions towards a customer and helps the salesclerk to identify unhealthy trends to trigger immediate improvement.
- The predefined order-to-cash dashboard sits in SAP Analytics Cloud, analyzing SAP S/4HANA data such as sales volume, profit margin and incoming orders. This dashboard can be taken as a template and be extended with your own additional data analysis requirement. For SAP S/4HANA on premise customers, it is necessary to setup the connection between SAP S/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud. The dashboard itself can be embedded in the SAP S/4HANA Fiori Launchpad for a harmonized user experience.
- I’d say that this is a fruitful release for sales capabilities. To have a complete view of the news in SAP S/4HANA Sales, you can refer to What’s New or check the interactive SAP S/4HANA roadmap on the SAP Roadmap Explorer.
- For the complete SAP S/4HANA scope, you may want to check:
- SAP S/4HANA Feature Scope Description: http://spr.ly/6009Ds0UT
- SAP Fiori Application Library: http://spr.ly/6006Ds0Uw
- SAP S/4HANA Trials: http://spr.ly/6005Ds0UcAlso interesting: SAP S/4HANA 2020 release highlights in 90 seconds