Supply Protection on the Level of the Storage Location
Supply protection in general is defined on the level of a material-plant combination. This means that the product availability check calculates the available stock for a specific material-plant combination and reduces the available quantities dependent on the matching supply protection object. In this case, supply protection works like a virtual restriction.
As this logic works fine in most cases, there is also the requirement to be a bit more specific. Customers might have a specific storage location that should be handled differently, for example, the logistical processes are faster, but the overall capacity is limited. In this case, the quantities of this storage location should be preliminarily reserved for important customers while other storage locations are unrestricted for every other demand.
The option to include a storage location in the request of a sales order is “old”, but there was no option to define protection also on the level of the storage location. If the requesting sales order includes a specific storage location, the available stock is already reduced, compared to the overall stock of the plant (which is the aggregation of all storage locations). It would be wrong to reduce this specific stock by restrictions defined on the level of the plant. Therefore, it is now possible to define supply protection on the level of a specific storage location.
This logic has the following implications:
If there is an activated supply protection object for a specific storage location defined, it is impossible to have another activated supply protection object for this article that is only defined on the level of the related plant. Activated supply protection objects for a specific material-plant combination must have the same planning level.
If supply protection is defined on the planning level “storage location” it must also be ensured that the requesting demands have a specific storage location included in the document.
What does not work?
It is impossible to define supply protection for a collection of storage locations or plan protection for the plant and exclude a single storage location. Protection is always defined on the level of a single storage location.
What is different compared to a request with storage location and protection on plant level?
If a request includes a storage location and protection is defined on plant level, the check is done on both levels. If the availability on plant level (respecting the restrictions of supply protection) is less than the availability at the requested storage location, only the available quantity of the plant can be confirmed.
As the Info API (Application Programming Interface) only retrieves availability information without the context of a real demand element there is no logic to limit a request if the quantities on plant level are less than the quantities for the requested storage location. However, the Info API also considers protection defined on the level of the storage location.
Other Planning Levels
If supply protection can be defined on plant level and on storage location level, it would also make sense to have the option to define protection on the level of a specific segment or batch. The planning level “storage location” is supported with release SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2302 (and SAP S/4HANA 2023). Other planning levels are not yet supported.