To follow and understand this document, basic understanding of SAP Oil & Gas module is required.
Oil and gas industry uses various Mode Of Transports (MOT) to move crude, finished and by-products from one place to another. Various MOT used for such movement can be:
When commodities are moved in Vessel, Rail, Fleet of trucks then it becomes difficult to track smaller units of transportations (e.g. One rail car out of whole Train, One truck from fleet of trucks OR One container from fleet of containers on a vessel).
Most of the energy companies (Oil & Gas OR Mining) use inventory movements involving Vessel, Rail or use Batch Management to control quality of production. Subitem functionality provided by SAP can be used in various ways to support these movements. In this document I am going to describe some of the use cases for Subitems.
- Vessel movement related Use cases
- Rail movement related use cases
- Batch Management Related Use cases
In all above use cases, it becomes a challenge to track inventory at granular level than vehicle itself. For such situations, subitem functionality available in Nomination / Ticket transactions becomes very useful. Before we get into details of each of the above use cases, let me walk you through general details about Subitems.
Subitems are located under each Nomination Item. Each nomination item can have its own subitems. Based on usage subitems can be segregated in different categories. These categories are defined under Application Code field on subitems. Each subitem will have its own application code. Some of the common Application Codes provided by SAP are:
Custom application codes can be defined in configuration if needed. Some of the common information you can populate on subitem is Application Code (e.g. Container, Rail Car, Batch, etc..), Scheduled volume, Material code, Status, Deletion Indicator. Each Subitem can have its own event as well. This allows users to capture events (e.g. Start of Load, Start of Rent).
There are additional field available, which gets populated when a ticket is actualized at subitem level. These fields are Actual volume, Ticket Key, Follow-on document number fields. When ticket is created against a nomination item, subitem gets copied over into the ticket. Based on configuration done in the system, ticket gets actualized either at subitem level or at the nomination item level.
Now Let’s talk about each of the above use cases in detail.
Vessel Movement related Use Cases:-
When solid bulk material (e.g. Polypropylene) is packaged in containers and loaded onto a vessel, then it becomes difficult to track individual container. Subitems can be used to overcome from this situation.
Nomination line item will have schedule quantity as total volume loaded onto the Vessel and then container wise inventory can be maintained at subitem level.
Example:- Nomination item will look like:
Subitems under nomination item will look like as below:
- If ticket actualization at subitem level is activated, then a single ticket will be created for volume 275000 LB but at the time of ticket actualization follow-on documents will get created for each subitem. That means each container listed under subitems will have its own set of follow-on documents.
- If ticketing at item level is used then, ticket can be created for the total actual volume and subitem information can be used just for documentation purpose. With custom enhancement this information can be passed into follow-on documents and can be used for traceability or audit purpose.
Rail Movement related use cases:
Unit Train as whole can be used and tracked as a vehicle on the nomination header. Information of each railcar under this unit train can be stored at subitem level. See example below for Nomination item and Railcar details maintained at subitem level.
With minor enhancement in the design, following situations related to railcar movement can be handled in the system.
- Uploading Railcar manifest received from Railroad company: In Railcar chartering terms, Railcar Manifest is provided by Railroad company. With custom enhancement, Manifest received from Railroad can be uploaded on nomination subitem. Once uploaded, Manifest maintenance / change can be handled from nomination transaction itself.
- Split / Rejoin OR removal of Railcar from Unit Train: There can be situation when a railcar listed on original manifest, brakes down and needs to be removed from physical train. In such situation inventory loaded on the railcar is not lost and can be tracked at Nomination transport system level. In Mining industry, it is very common to split or join multiple unit train in-transit to customer. Subitem functionality can be used to track such Splits / join or diversion of unit trains.
- Another scenario in rail car movement can be where a unit train consists owned and rented rail cars. For rented rail cars, rental start and end can be captured as part of subitem events. For each subitem in the nomination separate events can be maintained. It is out of the box solution available in TSW.
It is a common practice to take physical dip reading for each railcar and note inventory level. Physical measurement tickets can be created for each railcar to record dip reading at subitem level.
Batch Management related use cases:
In Mining Industry as well as Oil industry, materials are managed by Batch (e.g. Coal, Specialty Coke or Polypropylene). During Bulk movement situation can occur where inventory from 1 or multiple batches can be shipped to the customer. In such situations, subitems can be used to keep a track loaded inventory by batch in a vehicle (e.g. Vessel, Rail). In below example you can see that 2 rail cars have been loaded by 2 different batch of material.
I have tried to highlight some of the common use cases for Nomination subitems but based on the requirement this functionality can be customized to cover specific business process for any Energy company (Oil & Gas or Mining). If implemented with proper understanding, then it can provide inventory tracking information at granular level.