This blog provides you with the latest and greatest innovations that our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2011 release has in store for you in the area of Sales. To name just a few highlights:
- Integration in SAP Self-Billing Cockpit based on SAP Cloud Platform (SCP)
- Automatic creation of sales orders from unstructured data
- Intelligent product and quantity proposals in sales orders
- Masking of billing document data for tax auditing
- Rapid editing of sales orders
- Preliminary billing document: PDF preview in MyInbox and job scheduling
- Workflows: approval workflows for sales contracts and e-mail notifications for credit memo requests
- Creation of multiple billing documents with partial quantities for one delivery
- … and more.
In case you do not need all the information below and just briefly want to get an overview of the release highlights, please watch this video with the top 2 key innovations:
Figure 1: SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2011 for Sales: Top 2 key innovations
Integration in SAP Self-Billing Cockpit based on SAP Cloud Platform
Starting this 2011 release, SAP S/4HANA Cloud supports the integration with the SAP Self-Billing Cockpit to help streamline and automate billing processes for suppliers.
SAP Self-Billing Cockpit provides features for reducing manual interaction by streamlining and automating the billing process for suppliers. It enables the supplier to receive self-billing documents from the buyer and then process these self-billing documents. The self-billing documents state the received product quantity and requested amount to be settled.
Figure 2: The SAP Self-Billing Cockpit based on the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) allows you to run self-billing processes with your customers. (note: no audio voice available)
When integrated with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, it provides key features that enable suppliers to do the following:
Receiving self-billing documents
SAP Self-Billing Cockpit receives and verifies self-billing documents that the customer sends after one of the following delivery procedures has taken place:
- Standard outbound deliveries (identified by delivery IDs)
- Outbound deliveries for consignment processes (identified by external delivery note numbers)
Self-billing with automatic posting:
After the corresponding billing documents are created in the integrated system, SAP Self-Billing Cockpit compares them with the received self-billing documents.
Based on the comparison results, you can trigger the following changes in the integrated system:
- Update of billing documents and accounting documents
- Creation of credit memos and debit memos
Monitoring self-billing processes
You can display details of self-billing documents (for example, the overall status and issue type).
Handling errors in self-billing documents
You can rectify errors in self-billing documents (for example, edit, deactivate, or reactivate self-billing documents).
Configuring self-billing processes
You can configure how SAP Self-Billing Cockpit processes self-billing documents (for example, you can define tolerance limits).
Automatic creation of sales orders from unstructured data
Artificial Intelligence technologies to automate routine tasks and identify opportunities for innovation, allows you to create synergy, and here I like to show you one example to illustrate how SAP S/4HANA Cloud is Delivering Value with Intelligent Innovations and how Intelligent Technologies helps Quote-to-Cash Processes.
Business example: A significant amount of sales orders are captured from an unstructured format like PDF documents. To generate the sales order, the internal sales representative needs to check purchasing details in these files, identify sales data based on the purchasing data (for example, identify the sold-to party based on the purchaser’s name and address), and enter the sales data manually in the structured format as required to be processed into SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Figure 3: Get an overview of the automatic creation of sales orders from unstructured data
Create Sales Order from unstructured Data allows to extract the sales order data from unstructured PDF source and create the sales order automatically.
The Business Benefits is very clear
- Cost Savings by reducing the manual effort to create sales orders
- Improvement of data quality by sales order process automation
- And Automation shifts effort towards better service quality
Short description of the new and as an additional process for sales orders creation
- When a new purchase order comes in, this order file in PDF format is uploaded in the new SAP Fiori app “Create Sales Orders – Automatic Creation”,
- The system automatically extracts data from the file and determines master data (for example, the sold-to party) from the extracted data. Here we will leverage the Intelligent Innovations to decrease manual efforts by automatically extracting additional information about sales orders from unstructured information.
- This data is saved in a sales order request, which you can later convert into a sales order. A sales order request (SOR) is basically a sales order draft that serves the purpose of preparing a sales order. It represents a preceding document of the sales order but is not part of the document flow from the business perspective, and a sales order request is created for each uploaded file.
- Check the data completeness of your sales order request. A complete sales order request must comprise mandatory fields (Sold-to party, Sales organization/distribution channel/division, Product, Requested quantity, Unit of measure (UoM), Sales order type (OR)) which are either automatically extracted or determined, or manually specified.
- If request data is complete, you can create a sales order from the list page or object page
Before using the Create Sales Orders – Automatic Extraction app, the following two prerequisites must have been fulfilled:
- The scope item 4X9 (Create Sales Orders from Unstructured Data) has been activated in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
- Key users have set up the required communication scenario to integrate with Document Information Extraction on SAP Cloud Platform
NOTE: The data extraction function in this app is provided by the Document Information Extraction service.
- For integration details, see Integrating Document Information Extraction.
- To learn more about Document information Extraction, see What Is Document Information Extraction?
- To learn more about scope item 4X9, see SAP Best Practices Explorer.
- You need more information on this? Read the following What’s New Document and Product Assistance
Intelligent product and quantity proposals in sales orders
The third key innovation that I treat in this SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2011 release blog is also in the sales order creation, and now you have the ability to receive an intelligent product and quantity proposals directly during the creation of sales orders. This enables faster selection of products during sales order entry in the Create Sales Orders and It allows you to predict whether the number of products ordered will increase or decrease.
Let’s look at one real business example:
Your customer receives buying requests from retail stores. The requested products are stable, but the quantities can vary. After entering the customer data in the sales order in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system, the sales clerk automatically receives the product and quantity proposals from the system in the sales order line items, and this could save lots of manual effort for the sales clerk.
The algorithm to calculate the quantity has been enhanced compared to the previous dynamic product proposal, by introducing an additional “trend” factor into the calculation.
The intelligent product proposal is dependent on the customer and sales document type as well as the sales area (sales organization, distribution channel, division), and is displayed in the sales document as soon as the user has entered a customer.
The system displays a product proposal in the item overview: the material number and material description. When the user chooses the “Copy Product Proposal Quantity” button, the system displays the determined order quantities from historical orders predicted with the algorithm parameter.
Customers: Define the customers for whom the intelligent product proposal should be enabled. This can be done by assigning the required product proposal customer procedure to the relevant customer in the Manage Business Partner Master Data SAP Fiori app. To do so, navigate to the details for the relevant business partner role under Roles, then navigate to the details for the sales organization under Sales Areas, then maintain the required product proposal customer procedure in the sales area details.
Background processing: Schedule background processing for the intelligent product proposal in the Schedule Intelligent Product Proposal SAP Fiori app.
The following configuration steps enable configuration experts to define parameters and procedures for the intelligent product proposal:
Maintain an algorithm parameter for double exponential smoothing to calculate and predict product proposals. In this configuration step, you need to maintain an algorithm parameter if you want to use double exponential smoothing to calculate and predict product and quantity proposals. Double exponential smoothing enables you to predict whether the number of products ordered will increase or decrease. The product proposal procedure is determined based on the Sales area, Customer determination procedure for the product proposal, and Document determination procedure for the product proposal.
Activities: Select the required parameters for your sales organization, including a smoothing factor between 0 and 1. You need the smoothing factor in order to work with double exponential smoothing.
The default smoothing factor is 0.2, but you can change this to any value between 0 and 1.
You can decide on the factor depending on your business. If, for example, your sales order quantities fluctuate significantly, a higher smoothing factor makes sense because this means the system will react more quickly to changes. If, on the other hand, your sales order quantities do not fluctuate significantly, a lower smoothing factor makes sense, as you will not require the system to react quickly to changes
Stay tuned on the progress of this function as in the future release, SAP will continuously add more intelligence here.
If you’re interested to learn more about these innovations, join our SAP Learning Hub and participate in our SAP S/4HANA Cloud Early Release Series. Read this blog to find out how you can license for the Enterprise Support Edition as a Customer / Partner and benefit from our regular release series either live or on-demand.
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 2011 Release Blog
- The Link Collection for Sales here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud Customer Community: register here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here
- Implementation Portal here