User Experience Insights
Delivery Date mismatch between SAP ECC Purchase Order and the corresponding Order on Ariba Network
When a supplier is onboarded to Ariba Network (AN), the Purchase Orders (POs) which were earlier sent via email or EDI channel will start flowing to the supplier via Cloud Integration Gateway (CIG) to Ariba Network or even to the supplier ERP system directly (if the supplier is fully integrated).The NACE based PO output layout gets replaced by the Ariba Network PO layout. Its crucial to verify that all the necessary information is correctly flowing on the Ariba Network PO layout before a supplier is onboarded to Ariba Network. Out of all other information, PO delivery time may get overlooked because not all POs may have the delivery times specified, some POs just contain the delivery date.
To avoid negative impact on business operations at a later stage, it’s important to switch on the important parameters beforehand that will ensure that correct delivery date and time is displayed on the PO layout. In this blog post, I am going to describe one such parameter with the help of an issue encountered by suppliers just after Ariba onboarding.
Delivery time in a PO on Ariba Network differs from the delivery time specified in the PO in SAP ECC resulting in early or delayed deliveries for POs from suppliers, thus causing a negative impact on business at the buyer’s side.
- There are time zone differences between buyer location (delivery plant location in PO) and supplier location and/or the SAP ECC system time is set up for another different time zone
- The parameter Plant-Based Time Zone Conversion is not enabled for Ariba Network
For global companies which operate in multiple locations across the world, the system time in SAP ECC is most commonly set up as Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). (ECC time zone can be checked from the SAP ECC Menu -> System -> Settings)
The system time zone set up as UTC implies that the date and time which is entered in the PO under the Delivery Schedule tab during PO creation will be recognized by the system in the UTC time zone.
On AN, this date and time is firstly converted to the local time zone of the user who has logged into the AN and then displayed on the PO layout accordingly.
For example, let’s assume that a PO is created for an Amsterdam-based plant and the delivery date entered in a PO is 18th Aug 2021, 14:00:00. A supplier who has logged in from India will see the delivery time in the Ariba PO layout as the IST equivalent of the aforementioned date i.e., the date will be visible to the user on AN as 18th Aug 2021, 19:30:00 IST (UTC+ 5:30).
The buyer will expect the delivery to happen on 18th Aug 2021 at 14:00 Amsterdam time (17:30 India time) but the supplier will deliver the items at 19:30 India time i.e., with a delay of 2 hours.
This can be resolved by enabling the Plant Specific Time Zone Conversion parameter for Ariba Network. When this parameter is enabled, it converts the dates on Ariba inbound and outbound documents to the PO delivery plant-specific time zone.
In the previous example, after enabling the parameter Ariba will recognize the delivery date 18th Aug 2021, 14:00:00 on the incoming order document as per the plant time zone (Amsterdam time zone) and therefore the date on AN PO layout after conversion to India equivalent time will be 18th Aug 2021, 17:30. Thus the delivery will happen in line with the buyer’s expectations.
- Navigate to the relevant SPRO node by following the path mentioned below: SAP Customizing Implementation Guide-> Integration with Other SAP Components -> Ariba Cloud Integration Gateway -> Ariba Network Integration-> General Settings-> Plant Specific Time Zone Conversion
- Click on the Modify button and maintain the following values for variable USE_PLANT_TIMEZONE
- Variable Name: USE_PLANT_TIMEZONE
- Field Name: Leave it blank
- Number: 0000
- Low: X (to enable)
- High: Leave it blank
The difference in time zone between the ECC system and the buyer location as well as supplier location may not be a matter of concern before the adoption of Ariba Network because the PO layout sent to the supplier via email or EDI, explicitly states the time zone based on the delivery plant location.
However, after onboarding a supplier on Ariba Network, it becomes imperative to take into consideration these time zone differences and enable the Plant Specific Time Zone Conversion in order to avoid any negative impact on the PO delivery times.
If this blog post helped you, please do share and thoughts and feedback in the comment section below.