Beginning of October this year we released SAP S/4HANA 2020. In the following blog, I will summarize the highlights that come for Sales. To name just a few highlights:
- Preliminary billing documents
- Uploading of prices using template-based spreadsheets
- Receive intelligent product and quantity proposals when creating sales orders
- New SAP Fiori app “Customers Overview”
- Flexible document numbering for customer billing
Sales is a core functional module in SAP S/4HANA that allows organizations to store and manage customer- and product-related data. Organizations use this data to manage all of the sales orders, shipping, billing, and invoicing of their goods and services.
Working together with the other modules, sales in SAP S/4HANA enables an order-to-cash business process and handles all the details in the sales and distribution part.
In a typical cycle, Sales in SAP S/4HANA generates a sales quote and the customer then places a sales order, the goods are picked from a warehouse or production facility and shipped to the customer, an invoice is sent with the order, and accounts receivable settles the payment with the customer. Each step in the process generates transactions in the Sales module, which then generate further transactions in the other SAP S/4HANA modules.
New SAP Fiori app “Customers Overview”
With this new SAP Fiori app “Customers Overview “, you can get an overview of the sales data of one or more selected customers. Let’s take an example: you are the internal sales representative in your company, and you need to respond to customer inquiries, or needs to call or visit your customer. To get quickly an overview of all relevant data, you need information concerning, for example:
- Frequency and the average net value of incoming orders
- Sales volume and margin
- Open and rejected sales orders
- Latest returns
- Open quotations
- Delivery performance over the last quarters
You can also navigate deeper with the intuitive forward navigation to the related application, for further analysis.
Let’s take a second example: Frequency of Sales Orders
- In this card, details of the sales orders created in the last 6 months are displayed (named as frequency). This information helps to quantify sales.
- In the header section of the card, you can view the average number of sales orders created (i.e., total sales orders/6) for the last 6 months from the current month.
- In the item section of the card, total sales orders created every month is displayed as a line chart.
- On clicking the header section, it navigates to the Manage Sales Orders app and displays the list of the total number of sales orders created in the last 6 months (note that the average amount is displayed only on the card).
- On clicking a graph point for a month, it navigates to the “Manage Sales Orders” app and opens a list of sales orders created in that month.
Figure 1: Immediate domain-specific overview of customer sales situations
Uploading of prices using template-based spreadsheets
Upload prices in sales from template-based spreadsheets
With this release, we introduce a new SAP Fiori app “Manage Prices – Sales”, and now you can create and update condition records by importing data from a template-based spreadsheet. You can also export condition records that match the filter criteria to a spreadsheet.
Let me quickly explain the background here: A Pricing Specialist wants to mass create or update condition records by importing data from a template-based spreadsheet.
The first step is to Download the Template: The template consists of two sheets, the first sheet is about the cover page, it explains all the attributes you are using to maintain prices and data format you need to take care.
The second part is about condition maintenance, and here you maintain your key attributes like sales organization, distribution channel, and so on.
In the next step you import your Microsoft excel data into SAP S/4HANA Cloud and the system check also for you the data consistency and, in the same way, you can check the error information and correct the errors.
Figure 2: Reduce administration costs through easy mass maintenance of pricing master data
Intelligent product and quantity proposals in sales orders
In this SAP S/4HANA 2020 release, you have now the ability to receive 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 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.
Figure 3: Get an overview of how you configure the intelligent product proposal
Stay tuned on the progress of this function as in the future release, SAP will continuously add more intelligence here.
Preliminary billing documents
Preliminary billing documents are intended purely for negotiation purposes. Similarly, to regular billing documents, you create them on the basis of billing due list items such as sales orders, debit memos, and deliveries. You can show preliminary billing documents to customers to align on exact details (such as prices, payment terms, and the billing date). If changes become necessary, you can make these changes before you create the final billing documents that customers are expected to settle. You can then send these final billing documents out to your customers, safe in the knowledge that both parties are fully aligned regarding the upcoming settlement. This functionality is aimed primarily at the professional services industry.
Overview of the delivery scope:
- Provide preliminary billing documents, which are the basis for repeated negotiations with customers regarding billing document details:
- Create preliminary billing documents based on items in the “billing due” list (sales orders and deliveries, for example) by changing prices, attachments, or texts
- Display a print preview of the preliminary billing document
- Create and post the final billing document
- Output preliminary billing documents the same way as final billing documents (print and e-mail, for example)
- Monitor the workflow
Comparison of duplicate sales documents
With this new SAP Fiori app delivered with the SAP S/4HANA 2020 release, you can search for duplicate sales documents, for example, sales orders, quotations, and returns, and reject the ones not required, to avoid duplicate sales documents being processing multiple times. By rejecting duplicates, you avoid high costs, for example, due to unnecessary returns, or by causing a product to be out of stock unnecessarily.
You search according to various criteria, such as creation period, sales document, sales document category, sales organization, sold-to party, created by, and overall status.
The system detects duplicates according to the following criteria:
- SD document category
- Sales document type
- Sales organization
- Distribution channel
- Sold-to party
- Net value (of the sales document)
- Transaction currency
- Creation date
- Customer reference
After checking the duplicates, you can reject the ones that are not relevant. The system then refreshes the list of duplicates, and the rejected duplicates are no longer displayed.
However, some sales documents might have differing entries and therefore not be duplicated at all. In order to be sure, you can compare sales documents to check possible different entries to analyze which ones you want to reject. The following entries might differ between sales documents:
- Created by
- Requested delivery date
- Rejection status
- Overall status (for example, if one item has already been delivered)
You can also branch to the sales document object page to see further details.
Manage Duplicate Sales Orders
Duplicate sales documents can lead to unnecessary handling time, shipping costs, and return fees and in many types of business, duplicate orders are a problem, particularly in business-to-business mail orders.
You may, for example, receive an order over the phone followed by confirmation fax. These may be inadvertently treated as two separate orders. You can use the app to analyze and clean your system from duplicate sales documents (e.g. sales orders, quotations, contract, returns).
Thus, you avoid duplicate sales documents being processing multiple times
The system detects duplicates according to the following criteria: ▪ SD document category ▪ Sales document ▪ Sales organization ▪ Sold-to party ▪ Net value (of the sales document) ▪ Transaction currency ▪ Creation date ▪ Customer reference
Flexible document numbering for customer billing
With this feature, you can implement custom logic to allocate a newly created billing document of a given billing document type to one of several number range intervals. This enables a flexible allocation of billing documents to number range intervals that are dependent on one or more attributes (header fields) of the billing document that is to be created. The document number of a newly created billing document is then drawn from the number range interval that the custom logic has determined for that particular document.
This enables, for example, a multinational corporation that consists of companies in different countries to create billing documents in a specific number range interval for each one of its international branches. This method can help satisfy legal requirements for invoice numbering, which can vary from country to country. By optionally using number range prefixes, billing document numbers can be made instantly recognizable (for example, US1234567 or DE1234567).
Comparing planned and actual order quantities in sales plans
With this new SAP Fiori app, you can compare planned and actual sales data on different dimensions, such as sales organization, customer, and product. By doing so, you can analyze to what extent your sales targets are being achieved and thus gain insights into your current sales performance.
With the tile for analyzing quantity-based sales performance, you can select quantity plans to compare the planned and actual quantities in your sales area. After a quantity plan is selected, the plan and actual data are compared as follows:
- Planned and actual quantities represent either incoming sales orders quantity or sales volume quantity, depending on what you have planned in the selected quantity plan version
- Planned and actual quantities are compared by month, quarter, or year within the planned period, depending on how you have defined this in the selected quantity plan version
Situation handling for expiring sales quotations
Just setting the scene: As an internal sales rep, you have to monitor valid-to dates of sales quotations in the Manage Sales Quotations app and check quotation conversion rates in analytical apps such as Quotation Conversion Rates -Valid/Not Completed and Sales Quotations – Flexible Analysis.
Tired of such complexities, you want to quickly identify expiring sales quotations with a low conversion rate and view details about such quotations. This allows you to proactively follow up with customers who have not placed orders yet.
Now with the SAP S/4HANA 2020 release, you can use this situation template to inform specific users about their sales quotations that are about to reach the validity end date but still have a low conversion rate. This situation template is now available for the sales quotation object page. When a situation occurs, the users can get an in-app message in the relevant sales quotations.
Automatic notifications for expiring sales contracts
With the SAP S/4HANA 2020 release, you can now use this situation template to inform specific users about sales contracts that are being fulfilled at a faster or slower rate than expected. This situation template is now available for the sales contract object page. When a situation occurs, the users can get an in-app message in the relevant sales contracts.
Automatically notify the responsible employee of the following situations:
- Sales contracts are not fulfilled as expected considering the elapsed time
- Sales contracts will expire within 30 days, but no follow-on contracts have been created
- Sales contracts have high fulfillment rates considering the elapsed time
Use of external electronic payments in billing document requests and billing documents
With the integration of authorization data for external electronic payments into billing documents created from external billing data, you can now offer customers the convenient option of settling invoices through an external electronic payment service provider.
- When using the Billing Document – Create a web service to create a billing document in your system, you can include the required authorization data with the rest of the external billing data. After billing document creation, the authorization data is forwarded to financial accounting for revenue account determination and subsequent settlement. This service is available on the SAP API Business Hub (https://api.sap.com).
- When you use the Manage Billing Document Requests app to create billing document requests from external billing data in spreadsheet format, you can include the required authorization data with the rest of the external billing data.
- When using the Billing Document Request – Create web service to create billing document requests in your system, you can include the required authorization data with the rest of the external billing data. This service is available on the SAP API Business Hub (https://api.sap.com).
Integration of legal content management into sales contracts
Legal content management is available on SAP S/4HANA 2020 and you can display corresponding legal transactions in the SAP Fiori app “Sales Contract”
The legal transaction can be assigned to a sales contract. After a legal transaction is linked to a sales contract, the legal transaction shall be visible on the sales contract.
Seller-side integration in SAP Ariba Network
This feature automates the order-to-invoice process and connects suppliers that use SAP S/4HANA with buyers that use Ariba Network. You as a supplier can exchange data with your buyer by using Web services based on SOAP.
Customer returns – support of workflow and bill of materials (BOM)
With this feature, you can now create approval workflows for customer returns. You could, for example, define that a customer return exceeding USD 10,000 should always be approved before it can proceed to the next step of the returns processing.
The key features are:
- Display and manage your approval workflow for customer returns with the approvals inbox app
- Handling of BOMs enabled for accelerated returns management. Relevant BOM variants are:
- Logistics and pricing on the item level
- Logistics and pricing on the header level
- Pricing on the header level and logistics on the item level
- Provide the customer returning a product with a replacement by:
- Selecting an alternate material to replace the original product in the sales order or customer invoice document
- Replacing the product from a plant that is different from the original plant
- Enhancement to the existing synchronous OData API to create, read, update, or delete return orders with new functionality to create a return order with reference to a preceding document
Ability to Analyze Price Elements of Billing Items
With this new SAP Fiori app, you can analyze a pricing element, that is, a condition type in billing documents (for example, to check current discount conditions and pricing strategies). In the same way, you are also able to analyze a condition type with quantity and amount over sales organizations and other dimensions, by a freely definable quarter, for example, starting on 16.11.2020.
The app provides the prerequisites for answering the following business questions:
- How is a specific condition type distributed over my sales organizations in a specific quarter?
- Which pricing elements or condition types influence my sales volume by either lowering or increasing it?
- Is the current pricing strategy adequate?
- Are the current discount conditions adequate?
- Which elements, for example, discounts or price, affect my net price?
Retroactive creation of a returns purchase order from an order confirmation
In customer returns scenarios, a buyer sometimes returns additional materials that were not specified in the returns order request. In these cases, after receiving the additional materials, the supplier must create a new returns order to process them. Correspondingly, a new returns purchase order should also be created retroactively at the buyer side when receiving the confirmation of the new returns order from the supplier. With this feature, a new returns purchase order can be created based on the IDoc of the returns order confirmation sent from the supplier. When the confirmation is received by the buyer system, the system performs an inventory check for the materials and then creates a returns purchase order. If there is enough stock for the items, the system creates the outbound delivery and posts the goods issue automatically. In case of insufficient stock, the items are directly marked as delivered. The number of the new returns purchase order is then sent back to the returns order through the order changes IDoc.
The new features for advanced returns management:
- User ability to send a special order-confirmation IDoc for a returns order to trigger retroactive creation of a returns purchase order
- Automatic, retroactive creation of the returns purchase order using data from the order-confirmation IDoc
- Business add-in for enhancing data from the returns purchase order
- Automatic delivery of an order-change IDoc back to the supplier’s system, which adds the document number of the returns purchase order to the returns order for process linkage
- Automatic creation of the outbound delivery for the returns purchase order and automatic posting of the corresponding goods issue
For more information on SAP S/4HANA 2020, check out the following links:
- SAP S/4HANA release info: com/s4hana
- SAP S/4HANA Community here
- The Link Collection for SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Sales here
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- Join the SAP S/4HANA Movement
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA here
- Help Portal Product Page here