Sales in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition 2308
When a customer is dissatisfied with a product they have purchased, they may want to return it for a refund, exchange, or replacement. By prioritizing customer satisfaction in the returns process, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to providing a positive customer experience and building trust with their customers. See in this blog post, how this new release is addressing customer concerns about refunds in customer returns.
See in this blog how we continue our journey to increase key differentiators full of exciting innovations, enhancements, and features supporting your intelligent enterprise in the Sales area, and I will walk you through the selected key highlights for Sales of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2308 release.
To name just a few highlights:
- Mass change of output items in billing documents
- Harmonized document management for billing process documents
- Role-Based access to price elements in billing process documents
- Managing sales orders app – support of an available-to-promise (ATP) result screen
- Creation and editing of credit memo requests with the SAP Fiori app “Manage Credit Memo Requests – Version 2”
- Ability to suspend the product valuation that was initiated by a refund in customer returns
- … and more.
In case you do not need all the information below and just briefly want to get an overview of the release highlights, please watch this video with the top three key innovations:
Release video: SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2308 for Sales: Top 3 key innovations.
Mass Change of Output Items in Billing Documents
Sometimes, your system contains a large volume of billing documents with invalid output items that are no longer needed. This is typically the result of incorrect settings in output parameter determination.
For example, output items may have been determined using incorrect parameters such as the wrong form template — or an invalid email address. Rather than correcting these output items for each affected billing document individually, you can use this new SAP Fiori app “Mass Change of Output Items in Billing Documents” to perform the required changes across thousands of billing documents simultaneously.
With this SAP Fiori app “Mass Change of Output Items in Billing Documents” (App ID: F7491), you can perform mass changes on output items in billing documents that have already been posted to financial accounting. The app helps you delete erroneously determined output items, determine new output items to replace them, and send the resulting output to the relevant output channels.
Picture 1: Easily and quickly create a background job that will recreate or correct erroneous output items across high volumes of billing documents to ensure that all invoices reach customers exactly as intended.
You can use this app to do the following:
- Immediately start jobs or schedule jobs that perform one or more of the following mass changes on output items of billing documents already posted to financial accounting:
- Delete existing output items that the system has determined and whose status indicates that they are currently in preparation or still to be output
- Retrigger the determination of output items (typically after you have made corrections in the Output Parameter Determination app to ensure that the incorrect parameters have been resolved)
- Trigger the sending of output to the relevant output channels
- Use selection criteria (for example, a range of billing document numbers, a specific billing date or billing date range, or a certain sold-to party) to restrict your mass changes to the relevant billing documents only
- Copy and modify existing jobs
- Use the job log to check whether the mass changes were successful and analyze issues
For more information about this feature, see Mass Change of Output Items in Billing Documents.
This app and its business catalog SAP_SD_BC_BIL_OC_MASS_PC are not automatically available in your system as of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2308. To make them available, you must activate the feature Mass Change of Output Items in Billing Documents (SDBIL_OC_MASS_CHANGE).
To enable specific business users to access the app, ensure that they are assigned to a business role containing the SAP_SD_BC_BIL_OC_MASS_PC business catalog.
For more information about activating features, see Activate Features.
- While the app allows you to set a recurrence pattern that causes the mass change job to run at regular intervals, SAP recommends that you only perform these mass change jobs for output items on demand (that is, using the single run option). This ensures that mass changes are only performed consciously and exactly as intended.
- The job cannot make changes to billing documents that are currently locked by business users. To minimize the probability of encountering locked documents, SAP recommends running the job during non-working hours, such as on evenings or weekends.
Harmonized Document Management for Billing Process Documents
In the billing process, you upload a PDF document (that is intended for the customer) as an attachment to a billing document request. And you upload this PDF document as an attachment document type SAT.
Maybe, you can also upload a spreadsheet file that is only relevant for internal purposes in your company. And you upload this spreadsheet file as attachment document type ZIN.
During the billing process, both attachments need to be automatically forwarded, from the billing document request to the newly created customer invoice.
After that, the system needs to do the following when the billing document is posted, and the output is triggered:
- Automatically merges the PDF attachment with the PDF of the invoice and dispatches the combined PDF to output channels print and email.
- Do not output the spreadsheet attachment, which is only relevant for internal purposes.
This simple example demonstrated the following key capabilities of Harmonized Document Management for billing process documents, which are not available when using the standard attachment handling via Generic Object Services (GOS):
- Upload of attachments to billing document requests
- Automatic forwarding of attachments along the document chain
- Definition and automation of output for different groupings of attachments
Harmonized Document Management (HDM)
- Harmonized Document Management (HDM) is a central unified solution that harmonizes attachment handling for business documents across applications in your system.
- By activating HDM for billing process documents (that is, billing documents, preliminary billing documents, and billing document requests) you enable apps in sales billing to upload and handle these attachments using the Document Management System (DMS).
- DMS is the primary and recommended document management solution in the system and has many advantages compared to attachment handling based on Generic Object Services (GOS), which billing process documents use by default.
- While DMS is the primary and recommended solution, you can still view and delete existing GOS-based attachments in billing documents after you switch to HDM.
- Any new attachments that you upload to billing process documents after making the switch to HDM are saved as DMS-based attachments. Existing attachments are not converted.
Picture 2: Increase the flexibility of attachment handling across the billing process.
Activating HDM (and, thereby, DMS-based attachments) provides you with the following key features that go beyond the capabilities of GOS-based attachments:
- Upload attachments to billing document requests via the Attachments OData API (with GOS, billing document requests can’t have attachments at all)
- Automatically forward attachments along the document chain when a subsequent document is created, as follows:
- From billing document requests to billing document
- From preliminary billing document to billing document
- From billing document requests to preliminary billing documents to billing document
- From billing document to billing document cancellation (for example, from F2 invoice to S1 invoice cancellation)
- Define whether attachments forwarded from a preceding document or uploaded via API should be automatically output (for example, printed) together with the document they are attached to.
- Control whether PDF attachments that were forwarded from a preceding document or uploaded via API are automatically merged into the form template (and therefore into the PDF) of the document they are attached to.
Demo 1: Intuitively differentiate between internal attachments that support your employees and external attachments intended for your customers, processing each attachment type as appropriate.
For more information about this feature, see
- Harmonized Document Management for Attachments in Billing Process Documents.
- Manage Attachments in Billing Process Documents by Using the Attachments API
Effects on Configuration
Your configuration expert must perform configuration activities in your configuration environment to activate and fine-tune this feature.
For information about activating the feature, see Harmonized Document Management for Attachments in Billing Process Documents.
For information about using document types to control the output relevance and merging of attachments in billing process documents, see Controlling the Output Relevance and Merging of Attachments.
Role-Based Access to Price Elements in Billing Process Documents
Role-Based Access Control allows organizations to streamline their billing processes by granting appropriate access to price elements to relevant users. This ensures that users have access to the necessary information to perform their tasks efficiently while preventing unnecessary access that may lead to confusion or errors.
In the same way, role-based access enables organizations to enforce proper segregation of duties by assigning different roles and responsibilities to different users. For example, users responsible for creating billing documents may have access to price elements, while users responsible for approving or reviewing billing documents may have restricted access to price elements. This separation of duties helps reduce the risk of errors, fraud, and conflicts of interest.
Picture 3: Restrict access to sensitive price and cost information or control change capabilities for users in billing document requests and in billing documents.
With this feature, you can configure specific business roles to automatically restrict the level of access that business users have to price elements in billing process documents.
- Restricting price element access makes sense when certain information, such as the profit margin, should stay hidden for certain users, or when not all users should be able to edit specific price elements.
- You can restrict access to price elements on both header and item levels of billing documents, preliminary billing documents, billing document requests, and invoice lists.
- The system controls the level of access based on the following:
- Your definition of access levels
- Your authorization settings for specific business roles
- Your assignment of access levels to lines in pricing procedures
Picture 4: Define restrictions for the Access to Price Elements restriction type for selected price elements for business users in Maintain Business Roles app.
For more information, see Role-Based Access to Price Elements in Billing Process Documents.
Managing Sales Orders app – Support of an Available-to-Promise (ATP) Result Screen
The ATP process in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, plays a crucial role in ensuring accurate order fulfillment, improving customer satisfaction, optimizing resource allocation, providing real-time visibility, and integrating with other processes.
The ATP process considers various factors such as current stock levels, incoming stock, production capacity, and existing reservations to determine if a requested quantity can be delivered on time. This helps ensure that sales orders are only promised if the products can be delivered as requested, avoiding overpromising and underdelivering.
With this new 2308 release, we enable the analysis and adoption of confirmed delivery dates and quantities on the ATP results screen for sales-order items in the SAP Fiori app “Manage Sales Orders – Version 2“.
When you confirm an item in the Manage Sales Orders – Version 2 app, this triggers the ATP (available-to-promise) check in the background. It checks if products can be delivered in time and quantity, as requested.
From the items table, you can now choose the link to display more details at a glance, such as the schedule lines that the system created.
- You can also select an item in the table and choose to check the availability manually. This can be helpful in the following cases:
- You want to see more details about the check results (for example, the schedule lines and their dates) or you want to change the results.
You change an item and want to run another ATP check (for example, because your customer asks you about possible delivery dates).
You can see the confirmed delivery dates and the confirmed quantities that the system determined. You can adjust these confirmations and merge or delete single confirmations. If you want to prevent subsequent changes to confirmations (for example, by a later availability check or by backorder processing (BOP)), you can fix these confirmations.
In the intermediate results, you can display the basic methods and steps that the system used to calculate the availability check result.
Demo 2: Improve efficiency in managing planned product deliveries in sales orders.
For more information, see Functional Details: Manage Sales Orders – Version 2.
Creation and Editing of Credit Memo Requests with the SAP Fiori app “Manage Credit Memo Requests – Version 2”
With credit memo requests, organizations can efficiently manage returns, refunds, billing corrections, and other credit-related processes. This helps to maintain accurate financial records, improve customer satisfaction, and ensure compliance with contractual obligations.
In the returns and refunds processes, credit memo requests are used when a customer returns goods or requests a refund for a purchase. The credit memo request documents the return or refund request and initiates the process of issuing a credit memo to the customer.
With the newly introduced “Manage Credit Memo Requests – Version 2″ app (App ID: F1989A), you can create credit memo requests (document type: CR) without referencing a document. Also, you can display and edit all types of credit memo requests in your system and monitor their statuses and progress. In addition, you can extend this app by adding custom fields or additional standard fields to this app.
Picture 5: Efficient creation of credit memo requests without references.
Additional Details: To create credit memo requests with reference to a document, you should navigate to the Manage Credit Memo Requests app, which additionally supports the creation of other types of credit memo requests, output management, electronic payment, etc.
For more information, see Manage Credit Memo Requests – Version 2.
Ability to Suspend the Product Valuation that was Initiated by a Refund in Customer Returns
Suspending the product valuation allows customers to keep the returned product while the valuation process is on hold. This provides flexibility and convenience, as customers can continue using the product while waiting for a resolution.
This can lead to increased customer loyalty and repeat business. Additionally, addressing customer concerns and resolving issues promptly and effectively can help mitigate negative reviews or word-of-mouth publicity, which can impact a company’s reputation.
In the past design of customer return (BKP), when you refunded a customer, the returned product was moved to the valuated returns stock, and you take over the product ownership from the customer.
However, there may be cases where you want to refund the customer but do not want the refund to signal the decision on the ownership because the product inspection has not yet been completed.
For example, customers want immediately send a replacement to their customers during return order creation (even before the returned product is in your company), so that their customers can proceed with production, or other companies like to immediately send a 100% credit note to their
customers (assuming ‘customer is always right’). In this case, the customer should not have to wait for the inspection result, which might need months until done.
With this new 2308 release, we provide the feature ‘Suspend Product Valuation Initiated by Early Refund’ to allow users to postpone the product valuation until final inspection.
You can now suspend the product valuation in returns order items so that the system would delay performing valuation postings for any refund decisions made until the final logistical follow-up activity was confirmed in the inspection.
As a result, only the final logistical follow-up activity determines whether or not the product valuation should take place.
Demo 3: Enable customer returns with early refunds, without the valuation of corresponding returned goods during the posting of goods receipts.
Refund Control ‘R – Decide Later’ with Suspend Valuation = ‘X’
When you create a returns order, you did not decide how to refund. So you choose refund control ‘R’ to decide the refund later. After the return order creation, you got a customer call to ask for an urgent replacement product before you complete the product inspection.
The user needs to decide whether to suspend valuation or not at the time of the returns order creation. There is no opportunity to set the flag after returns order creation.
- If the user does not select the “Suspend Valuation” flag on the returns order, the returned products will be evaluated after the early refund.
- If the user selects the “Suspend Valuation” flag on the returns order, even if the refund happened before material inspection, the returned product is not evaluated, and the ownership of returned goods will not change.
To use this feature, you must first activate it by making the relevant setting in the configuration activity “Configure Returns Order Type for Standard Return“.
For more information, see:
Watch the Microlearning about the Settlement of Sales Rebate Agreements
With this microlearning, we will cover sales rebate processing using the functionality of condition contracts and the corresponding settlement.
The structure of this training will be divided into two main areas:
- First, we will have a look at a typical business process scenario and explain, based on real project implementation experience, how sales rebates are used and what kind of special requirements can occur.
- After the context has been given, the second part of the microlearning will show you directly in the system how to create the sales rebate agreement, highlight important price-relevant information, and finally triggers a settlement for a completed period.
Picture 6: Improved cash flow due to timely and accurate rebate claims is essential to help companies in achieving minimal disputes and faster conflict resolution.
See the Microlearning here
Watch the Replays of Our SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition 2308 Early Release Series!
This July, we hosted a series of compelling live sessions from the heart of the SAP S/4HANA Engineering organization. Missed the live sessions? Watch our replays on demand!
Here, you can find a 45-minute recording and a presentation for the sales topics as well as 19 other topics as part of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2308 release. For more information on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition Early Release Series, and how to sign up for it, check out this blog post.
Thanks for reading this blog post. Stay tuned!
- Highlights of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition release here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition release info here
- The Link Collection for Sales here
- The Link Collection for Product Compliance here
- The Link Collection for Environment, Health, and Safety here
- Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition release blog posts here and previous release highlights here
- Product videos for SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition Early Release Series here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- openSAP micro-learnings for SAP S/4HANA here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition community: here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here
- Feel free to ask your questions on SAP Community here.
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