# Supply Protection and Segmentation

With the help of supply protection, there is an effective and flexible way to ensure that a company is reliable for its important customers or markets, as it is possible to make a virtual reservation for these groups.
The definition of supply protection is always done on the level of the material-plant combination. This means that the stock of a specific material for a specific plant will be virtually reduced dependent on whether a demand matches the supply protection object or not. If the demand matches the supply protection object, the available stock is higher. If the demand doesn’t match the supply protection object, the available stock is restricted.

How does supply protection work on a lower level, for example, on the level of a stock segment?

Supply protection and segmentation are no complementary solutions, as the restriction of supply protection ignores segments. If you have a material XY with segments A and B, and you want to ensure that your A-customer always has access to a guaranteed quantity of segment A, you can define supply protection by using the characteristic “requirement segment”.

The characteristic value is only used to identify the relevant protection groups that contribute to the restriction of the material-plant combination.

Let’s illustrate this with the following example:
A supply protection object has been set up with the following characteristics: Customer group “A-customer”, requirement segment “A”, and a protected quantity of 200 pieces.
The stock for the material is 500 pieces (200 pieces of segment A and 300 pieces of segment B). What happens if a B-customer creates a sales order requesting 500 pieces of segment A?
The calculation is quite easy: This demand doesn’t match the protection group. Therefore, the available stock for this material is 300 pieces (500 pieces of the total stock – 200 pieces of the restricted quantity). At the end, 200 pieces of segment A will be confirmed, as only 200 pieces of segment A are available.

Supply Protection and Segmentation

The logic would be very similar if the demand comes from an A-customer requesting segment B.
Here, the demand doesn’t match the protection either.
The available stock is 300 pieces (500 pieces of the total stock – 200 pieces of the restricted quantity). In this case, the confirmation would be 300 pieces, as 300 pieces for segment B are physically in stock and available from a supply protection perspective.
The issue from the perspective of an A-customer for which the protection has been set up is that there is no guarantee to get enough stock from the required segment as supply protection only ensures that there are 200 pieces left for material XY.
A very similar issue is the protection of a single storage location as this is also below the level of the material-plant combination. The option to setup protection on the level of the storage location is supported with release SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2302 (and SAP S/4HANA 2023).