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Author's profile photo Gerhard Welker

Highlights for Supply Chain in SAP S/4HANA 2021

Beginning of October 2021 we released SAP S/4HANA 2021.

In the following blog, I will summarize the highlights for the LoB Supply Chain.

Table of content (for quick access, just click on one of the business area links):

Advanced Available-to-Promise (aATP)

Review Availability Check Result
Alternative-Based Confirmation
Supply protection

Inventory Management

Manage Physical Inventory Count
Manage Reservations
Serial Number Handling
Subcontracting in the Goods Receipt Process
Split Valuation in the GR Process

Extended Warehouse Management

Transportation Management

Kanban

 

Note that many of the described innovations are available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud already, since we have one code line for all SAP S/4HANA deployment modes, and again, all of these Innovations will also be available for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition.

 

Advanced Available-to-Promise (aATP)

Internal sales representatives, order fulfillment managers and order fulfillment specialists require mechanisms to configure, execute and monitor availability checks and optimize the distribution of supply. This is particularly important when the availability of materials needed to confirm requirements is limited.
You can use the advanced Available-to-Promise (aATP) capabilities to confirm on which date and in which quantity a requirement can be fulfilled.

Fig.1: Intelligent Order Promising with SAP S/4HANA advanced Available-To-Promise

 

Review Availability Check Result

First, let me highlight the new explanation screen for availability check results in SAP S/4HANA.

Now, the Review Availability Check Result has improved when it comes to Intermediate Results display. The pop over provides an overview for basic method and offers navigation to a comprehensive explanation for product allocation and supply protection.

Fig.2: Review Availability Check Result’ screen – Comprehensive explanation for product allocation

For further information, read the blog post Review Availability Check Result – Insights from Andreas Krause and watch the embedded demo video to get a feel for the new screen and to identify how the Review Availability Check Result screen can help you in your daily work.

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Alternative-Based Confirmation in an ATP check

Furthermore Andreas has started a blog series about Alternative-Based Confirmation, please read his blog post Alternative-Based Confirmation – An Overview.

 

Product Substitution in Sales Order Requirements

In addition to plant substitution, you can use Alternative-Based Confirmation (ABC) to substitute products requested in sales order requirements. For this purpose, the substitution capabilities of Alternative-Based Confirmation (ABC) in advanced Available-to-Promise (aATP) have been enhanced to enable you to replace requested products in sales orders with substitute products, also in combination with alternative delivering plants.

To use product substitution in an availability check and to enable the user to substitute one product with another suitable product, you must define a substitution strategy with substitution method Product Substitution in the Configure Substitution Strategy app.

Products can be substituted during order confirmation due to various factors like:

  • Unavailability of stock
  • Product is Out of Warranty
  • Substitute Product is abundant in Stock
  • Upgrade available

The next figure summarizes the key features of Product Substitution.

Fig.3: Product Substitution: Key Features

 

The next screenshot shows the new SAP Fiori apps which enable the Master Data Specialist – Product Data to manage the new product substitutions master data.

Fig.4: SAP Fiori apps to manage the new product substitutions master data

In the product substitution master data you can define individual product substitutions which form a product substitution graph. The alternatives are determined by traversing through the product substitution graph starting from the requested product. The system considers those substitutions that are active and relevant for aATP.

In the video below the Master Data Specialist – Product Data opens the SAP Fiori app Manage Substitutions – Products, reviews the general information and substitution chain of a product substitution with the predecessor substitutions and successor substitutions, and navigates to the Product Network Graph.

Fig.5: Display Product Network Graph with SAP Fiori app Manage Substitutions – Products

 

Quantity Conversion in Product Substitution

To achieve higher delivery rates and reduce out-of-stock situations, you can configure product substitutions. When a shortage of a product occurs, a different product can be used to substitute the originally requested product. In some cases, the quantity of the substitute product does not equal the quantity of the ordered product, for example:

  • One brick with a length of 20cm can be substituted by two bricks with a length of 10cm.
  • Three bricks with a length of 20cm each can be substituted by two bricks with a length of 30cm each.

This numeric relationship is maintained in the Numerator for Conversion and Denominator for Conversion fields in the Manage Substitutions app for substitution master data and consumed during availability checks using substitution strategies in which Substitution Master Data is maintained as the substitution method source. The numeric relationship is also displayed on the Configuration subscreen in sales orders.

Fig.6: Numerator for Conversion and Denominator for Conversion fields in the Manage Substitutions app. The numeric relationship is also displayed on the Configuration subscreen in sales orders.

 

Location Substitution

With this feature, you can replace a location with a substitute location such as a plant or a storage location. Additionally, you can exclude plants and storage locations from being used as substitute plants and storage locations in the substitutions.

Managing Plant and Storage Location Substitution – Master Data

Master data for Location Substitution (Plant and Storage Location) can be defined and managed in the following 5 apps:

  • Manage Substitutions
  • Manage Exclusions
  • Manage Substitution Groups
  • Manage Substitution Controls
  • Manage Substitution Reasons

The Manage Substitutions – Locations is the main app, where the substitution master data is managed and defined. The app depicts the substitution chain in both tabular and graphical mode.

Fig.7: SAP Fiori app Manage Substitutions – Locations

 

Substituting plants on the basis of substitution master data

As an Order Fulfillment Manager, you can now replace the delivering plant for sales order requirements with an alternative delivering plant on the basis of:

  • The substitution method source Substitution Master Data in the Configure Substitution Strategy app
  • Substitution master data maintained in the apps for Location Substitution

In addition to enabling you to decide which source to use for substitution method Plant Substitution, this method enables you to maintain exactly which plants to use as possible alternatives and exclude specific plants from being valid alternatives. Furthermore, you can consider time constraints during alternative plant determination thanks to the optional validity data that can be defined in the Manage Substitutions app.

Fig.8: Configure Substitution Strategy app – Substitution Method for Plant Substitution

 

Substituting storage locations on the basis of substitution master data

You can now replace the storage location for sales order requirements with an alternative storage location on the basis of:

  • The substitution method source Substitution Master Data in the Configure Substitution Strategy app
  • Substitution master data maintained in the apps for Location Substitution

In addition to enabling you to decide which source to use for substitution method Storage Location
Substitution, this feature enables you to maintain exactly which storage locations to use as possible
alternatives and exclude specific storage locations from being valid alternatives. Furthermore, you can consider time constraints during the determination of alternative storage locations on the basis of the optional validity data that can be defined in the Manage Substitutions app.

Fig.9: Configure Substitution Strategy app – Substitution Method for Storage Location Substitution

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Supply protection

My blog post Highlights for Supply Chain in SAP S/4HANA 2020 describes the new ATP-check method for supply protection.

With SAP S/4HANA 2021, we have enhanced the Supply Protection:

Flexible Time Buckets in Supply Protection

Supply Protection enables an Order Fulfillment Manager to define protected quantities for defined groups based on specific characteristics.

With the period type “Flexible”, it is possible to define time buckets with a flexible length. In general it might make sense to have shorter time buckets in the high season or in weeks with a special campaign. Beyond these special weeks or days, it might make sense to have longer lasting time buckets. The usage of flexible time buckets can help to reduce the overall number of time buckets, and it allows a more specific protection.

Fig.10: ‘Manage Supply Protection’ app – Flexible time buckets

 

Multiple Matches Alert in Supply Protection (Situation Handling)

 

With supply protection it is possible to define protected quantities for defined groups based on specific characteristics. It might happen that one demand occurs in multiple protection groups, although this was not intended. In case of a multiple match the real stock is reduced by the amount of the confirmed demand, but the protection is reduced by the amount of the confirmed quantity multiplied with the number of matches.

If a sales order matches multiple supply protection objects, an alert is triggered by the Situation Handling framework, and the user assigned to this situation will get a notification for all supply protection objects involved in this multiple matches situation. The user can now check the related supply protection objects and do some changes. If necessary, a reassignment with backorder processing can be done.

Fig.11: ‘Manage Supply Protection’ app – Flexible time buckets

 

Protection Group Details

For every supply protection group there is an object page showing how the protection is planned for single time buckets.

The chart shows the planned protection, the consumed quantities, and the remaining protection.

In the table below the chart, the consuming documents are shown for every time bucket. Users can navigate to the details of the document, if they have the necessary permissions.

Fig.12: Manage Supply Protection app – Protection Group page

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Inventory Management

Manage Physical Inventory Count

Entering and changing physical inventory count results is an important step in the physical inventory process either as part of a cycle count or part of the annual inventory. A new SAP Fiori app, enabled for desktop and supporting a valuable user experience on mobile devices such as tablets and phones, offers the following features:

  • Barcode scanning via device camera or external scanner
  • BAdI to process customer specific barcodes
  • Draft mode
  • Users can define counting variance
  • Data source extensibility supported

Using the Manage Physical Inventory Count app, you can monitor the processing status of physical inventory documents and can navigate directly to the required physical inventory document for counting document items. All items are grouped in the sections Uncounted or Counted. If open items are available, you can direct start to edit them, that means to continue the count. An important feature is the integration of mobile scanner to optimize barcode scanning of physical inventory counts with internal and external scanner devices.

Fig.13: New SAP Fiori app ‘Manage Physical Inventory Count’

The benefits of the new app are obvious:

  • Reduce incorrect counts while minimizing the processing time with barcode scanning
  • Improves inventory transparency
  • Enables faster and more-efficient processing of inventory adjustments

Watch the video in which I show you how easy it is to use the new SAP Fiori app on a smartphone and scan a material barcode with the device camera.

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Manage Reservations

The new SAP Fiori app Manage Manual Reservations enables a warehouse clerk to manually create and manage reservations for goods movements for a warehouse. Based on initial user’s input, the app calculates a predefined set of rules for reservation processing and adds relevant default values. You can search for reservations using different filters and display general information and details of individual reservation items. It’s possible to plan goods issues, goods receipts, and transfer postings.

Fig.14: New SAP Fiori app ‘Manage Manual Reservations’

In addition, the new SAP Fiori app Manage Reservation Items enables you to view, mark as deleted, or copy the items of a reservation as well as create a new manual reservation. Both apps are closing an important functional gap which was requested by customer.

Fig.15: New SAP Fiori app ‘Manage Reservation Items’

 

Note: Both SAP Fiori apps for managing reservations support the Advanced ATP (aATP) availability check only. If a dynamic availability check is required, activate the aATP in the customizing configurations of your checking group.

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Serial Number Handling in Inventory Management

With the OP2021 release, we have enhanced the following SAP Fiori apps to support serial numbers in the goods receipt process:

  • Stock- Multiple Materials
  • Stock – Single Material
  • Material Documents Overview
  • Manage Stock
  • Transfer Stock – In Plant
  • Transfer Stock – Cross Plant
  • Post Goods Receipt for Purchasing Document
  • Post Goods Receipt for Inbound Delivery
  • Post Goods Receipt for Production Order
  • Post Goods Receipt without Reference

This enhancement allows you to

  • track a material from the very beginning of the internal logistics process,
  • streamline the tracking process by creating serial numbers automatically,
  • keep a transparent picture of the serialized materials in stock,
  • ensure that serial numbers are correctly maintained in internal goods movements,
  • consider serial numbers during picking to track the material until the Goods Issue,
  • track a material along the internal logistics process in a transparent and intuitive way.

The following figures show you serial number support on particular apps:

Fig.16: ‘Post Goods Receipt for Purchasing Document’ app – Assign (auto-created) serial number to a material during goods receipt.

Fig.17: ‘Display Serial Numbers’ app – Display a list of serialized items in stock for a particular material. 

Fig.18: ‘Delivery Item’ app – Enter serial numbers of picked materials during goods issue process. 

 

Fig.19: ‘Transfer Stock – In-Plant’ app – Indicate serial numbers during stock transfers within and across plants.

By the way: The Physical Inventory Document Overview app has always supported the display of serial numbers. The new SAP Fiori app Manage Physical Inventory Count will support entry/selection of serial numbers from CE2208/ OP2022 onwards.

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Subcontracting in the Goods Receipt Process

Subcontracting is a procurement process in which you instruct a supplier or subcontractor to process a finished material for which you provide the individual components.

It is now possible to post the goods receipts for the finished material and at the same time the goods issue for the related components in the SAP Fiori apps:

  • Post Goods Receipt for Purchasing Document (F0843)
  • Post Goods Receipt for Inbound Delivery (F2502)

The following movement types are now supported in the above mentioned apps:

  • 543 (Goods Issue Subcontracting Stock)
  • 545 (Goods Receipt for By-Product)

Post Subsequent Adjustment

With the new SAP Fiori app Post Subsequent Adjustment (F5476), you can carry out a subsequent correction posting of components from the subcontracting purchasing document. This is the case if a subcontractor has consumed a larger or smaller quantity of components than you originally planned and posted.
This app focuses on the special process step of the subsequent adjustment posting after the goods receipt process for the subcontracting purchasing document.

Supported movement types are:

  • 543 (Goods Issue Subcontracting Stock)
  • 544 (Goods Receipt Subcontracting Stock)
  • 545 (Goods Receipt for By-Product)
  • 546 (Goods Issue for By-Product)

Fig.20: New SAP Fiori app ‘Post Subsequent Adjustment’

The Post Subsequent Adjustment app provides the following capabilities:

  • Component information area for the subcontracting process for the purchasing documents types purchase order and scheduling agreement with item category L (subcontracting).
  • The app displays for each material whether components exist
  • Serial numbers are supported at both header and component level
  • Support different process variants on component level such as shelf life expiration date and reason code
  • Special stock types E/Q (Process available in OP only)

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Split Valuation in the GR Process

The Goods Receipt SAP Fiori apps

  • Post Goods Receipt for Purchase Document
  • Post Goods Receipt for Inbound Delivery
  • Post Goods Receipt for Production Order
  • Post Good Receipt without Reference

support now the process of split valuation.

Based on the configuration settings, end users can either select a valuation type or the apps show the assigned valuation type for the split valuated material.

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Extended Warehouse Management

Read the blog post SAP® Extended Warehouse Management in SAP S/4HANA 2021 – What’s New from Joerg Michaelis.

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Transportation Management

Read the blog post Highlights of the SAP S/4HANA TM 2021 Release from Peter Flensberg.

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Kanban

At the end of this blog I would like to point out the innovations in the area of KANBAN, which are described in in my blog post Highlights for Manufacturing in SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Part 2: Production Planning, Engineering, Operations.

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Thanks for reading this blog. Stay tuned!

 

For more information on SAP S/4HANA 2021, check out the following links:

  • SAP S/4HANA release info: sap.com/s4hana
  • SAP S/4HANA Community here
  • SAP S/4HANA 2021 – The Link Collection here
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Manufacturing & Supply Chain – The Link Collection 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
  • Feature Scope Description here
  • What’s New here

Follow us via @SAP and #S4HANA, or myself via @GerhardWelker and LinkedIn

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      3 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Angel G. Reyes
      Angel G. Reyes

      Hi Gerhard,

      Nice features released in this sprint, couple of questions:

      1.- Regarding the Product substitution, when it comes to the scenario "Product is out of warranty", how the system is doing that evaluation? Using a specific field? Classification Chars?

      2.- Now, about location substitution, is it possible to substitute a plant by an MRP area?

      Best,

      --

      Angel

       

      Author's profile photo Andreas Krause
      Andreas Krause

      Hi Angel,

      the answer of question 1 is: It depends.

      • If the whole product shall not be sold anymore there is the possibility to use app Manage Exclusion - Products to set a date/time. During ABC this is considered such that the product is not a valid substitution anymore. By the way, even when the product is actually the original request, this works.
      • If a specific batch of that product has information holds warranty information then batch determination needs to be considered. However, this is then not qualified for product substitution anymore. PAC does not consider characteristics.

      In context of location substitution we talk about plant and storage location. Plants can be substituted by plants and storage locations can either be determined (!) or substituted. There is no dedicated MRP Area Substitution.

      Regards,
      Andreas

      Author's profile photo sousheel paul
      sousheel paul

      Hi Gerhard,

      i have couple of questions on the aATP capabilities.

      1. Earlier for Product Interchangeability we were unable to use the functionality in gATP because when we try to replace a 50ML Bottle = 1unit , with a 25ML Bottle = 2 unit , the standard SAP was not changing the qty in ECC as it was hardcoded as "no Qty change"
      • so with the "Quantity Conversion in Product Substitution" hopefully this problem is resolved with aATP. Is this also taken care in gATP? we still use gATP and ECC = S4 Hana.

      2. Is there a Possibility of doing an RBA with STOs, there is a growing requirement in this area where the destination wants to see the available stocks in multiple sources.

      3. Today in gATP (Replenishment) for specific lot requirement , although gATP can see the Batch available in the alternate locations, and if its an STR generated by gATP then the information of the Batch is not in the STR/PR Created by gATP

      • will this problem be resolved with aATP?
      • or is there a way aATP can understand this requirement with a specific Batch  to switch from MTS to MTO - so the batch available  at an alternate location cannot be stolen

      4. BOP - There is a need of a BOP to be shared between SO, STO, Process orders with priorities,

      eg: FG can also be used in a Process order as a component, also can be sold to a customer by direct or via replenishment (STO)

       

      5. We have currently EGM - Expected Goods movement in APO - will this be available in the near future ? as we need to see the GR in future between storage locations.

       

      6. Scheduling - today we have overlap between scheduling , when planning creates a PR it looks at the TLane, but when we run ATP on STOs, it looks at the scheduling master data - will there be a simplification in this area?

      and we would also like to allow multiple possible durations between the locations for the same product.

       

      7. any idea on how aATP is integarted with TM? today we have several issues where in TM Does not allow Backward scheduling as MAD and Delivery date does not talk to each other. would there be a solution for this problems?

       

      8. in case of multiple MOTs gATP always chooses the cheapest one, is there a way we could drive a fastest MOT if its available.

       

      Regards

      Sousheel.