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Author's profile photo Peter Flensberg

Highlights of the SAP S/4HANA TM 2021 Release

Today, I am proud to announce the availability of SAP S/4HANA TM 2021. With this release we continue to strengthen the supply chain execution platform with new features for Advanced Shipping and Receiving and the traditional TM – EWM integration based on transportation units. Also, you will find many functional enhancements as well as usability improvements.

Find out some of the highlights of the SAP S/4HANA TM 2021 release in this blog.

Improved transportation planning & load optimization to support complex transportation scenarios.

Besides many new features to further improve the Transportation Cockpit, I would like to mention one specific feature – Planning with equipment types. Planning with equipment types is the most natural approach for subcontracting scenarios and offers a range of advantages compared to planning with multi-resources. If you regularly subcontract your transportation demands, you are usually not interested in specific truck or trailer resources, but rather in truck types or trailer types, which you can order from your carriers. By adopting this approach, planning becomes much simpler, as you do not need to define and assign resources any longer. All you need is to specify and assign an equipment type. The system treats equipment types similar to unlimited multi-resources, therefore you can work with equipment types in the same way as you work with resources.

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Figure 1. Equipment type content area in Transportation Cockpit

In addition, we made some enhancements for Load Planning. To improve usability, the load plan status on the item level can be displayed and changed consistently across the document chain. Displaying the load plan status for referenced capacity items in the assigned successor document allows better transparency of this status over the entire document chain. For example, if you have a road freight order with an assigned trailer unit, you can set the load plan status for the referenced trailer item hierarchy in the road freight order directly.

New fields have been added to the Unified Package Building (UPB) profile as well as the planning profile and the test cockpit has been reworked as well. Furthermore, UPB offers a new execution mode for determining UPB rules that work as follows:

  • The default execution mode is the building of packages. The system uses the best set of packaging master data or customizing settings it can find.
  • Further, the system provides the option to determine which packing instructions or packaging specifications (UPB rules) are available for certain products.
  • Optionally, you can start the building of packages with specific rules.

Enhancements for Scheduling and Automatic Planning

Transportation Planning and Optimization increases business productivity by streamlining logistics operations resulting in reduced freight spend and faster processing time. A number of new features and enhancements were made in this area to round up the planning functionality and increase the accuracy in package building and load optimization. As an example, with this release, vehicle scheduling and routing (VSR) takes consignment orders into consideration, which enables a higher degree of automation for companies using the consignment order concept.

In order to improve transparency on scheduling results, you can see on the overview page of the Explain Scheduling Results app by which action scheduling was called. It further helps analyze unexpected or undesired system behavior.

Figure%202.%20Scheduling%20Result%20Screen

Figure 2. Scheduling Result Screen

Enhancements in TU based EWM Integration 

Early Updates. The integration of Transportation Management (TM) with Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) based on EWM transportation units (TUs) now supports sending data updates from EWM to TM earlier in the process with status change “Loading Finished”. So far the the default behaviour is to send updates to TM with the truck departure from the checkpoint, denoted by EWM with status change to “Departure from Checkpoint”.

Cross-Delivery Handling Units. This feature enables you to support cross-delivery handling units (HUs) for outbound processes in the integration of Transportation Management (TM) with Extended Warehouse Management (EWM).

You can cross-pack and fill up handling units like cartons or pallets with freight units resulting from two or more deliveries. This helps improve packing and saves volume if a package or pallet has less than a full load from only one delivery. Single-stage freight units are supported.

Collaboration Apps

Already existing collaboration apps have been extended with new features. Also, new Fiori apps have been created in order to improve carrier communication. You can now allow your carriers to view and download attachments or view and add notes in the freight agreement request for quotation. The new app Manage Freight Agreement RFQ Masters allows shippers to work with freight agreement request for quotation (RFQ) masters to request quotations from your carriers for transportation service.

Figure%203.%20Manage%20Freight%20Agreement%20RFQ%20Masters

Figure 3. Manage Freight Agreement RFQ Masters

The new app Manage Freight RFQ enables your carriers to manage and respond to your freight requests for quotation (RFQs) that you send using the freight RFQ tendering process.

Furthermore, you as a shipper can enable your carriers to use the new Confirm Freight Orders app to view, confirm, or reject freight orders that you have sent to your carriers as part of the subcontracting process.

Figure%204.%20Confirm%20Freight%20Orders%20App

Figure 4. Confirm Freight Orders App

Finally, a standard integration between Transportation Management and SAP Analytics Cloud has been provided that is leveraging advanced analytics SAC functionality like Machine Learning and integrating transportation data with other parts of the organization for a more complete picture of current status.   The “TM Business Performance Dashboard” provides a general overview of the current transportation status, down to a single transport and its individual items. In addition, it also offs more detailed insights into the execution section of the business, covered by various performance indicators.

If you are interested to find more and detailed information on the current release, please check the following resources:

 

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