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Author's profile photo Christian Vogler

Sales in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition – Automated Order Process with SAP´s Intelligent Technologies

Customer behavior, post-pandemic economic recovery, extreme heatwaves, and drought due to climate change, inflation, supply chain disruption, and an energy crisis have caused many challenges for companies. This greatly influences the innovations that we bring to each SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition release, and our shift to include more of SAP´s Intelligent Technologies to help companies transform their processes and to better support them on the path to sustainable growth.

In the following blog, I will give you an engineering expert view of some selected highlights of our SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition for Sales, to demonstrate that automation, system integration, and end-to-end transparency can help companies to transform their order-to-cash process with the shift to low-touch sales order processes.

Background

Low-touch sales order processing is designed so that the user needs little or no interaction with the system during the process. It is a process that takes place mainly automatically, each step must be thought out and designed to be as easy as possible for the user to pass without assistance. This concept brings several advantages: it leaves more room for spending time on “high-value” tasks by employees, instead of repetitive tasks with little added value; it reduces or eliminates the need for input moments in the system, reducing or eliminating errors and increasing efficiency; and it reduces the time needed to process orders.

Automatic creation of sales orders from unstructured data

A significant number of sales orders are captured from an unstructured format like PDF documents. To generate the sales order, the internal sales representative needs to check purchasing details in these files, identify sales data based on the purchasing data (for example, identify the sold-to party based on the purchaser’s name and address), and enter the sales data manually in the structured format as required to be processed into SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition.

Video 1: Get an overview of the automatic creation of sales orders from unstructured data.

Creating sales order from unstructured data allows the extraction of the sales order data from unstructured PDF sources and the creation of the sales order automatically.

The Business Benefits are very clear

  • Cost Savings by reducing the manual effort to create sales orders
  • Improvement of data quality by sales order process automation
  • Automation shifts efforts toward better service quality

The first version of this innovation was delivered with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2011 release, and with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2102 release, the app has been enhanced to simulate order creation and to show these order simulation results, as well as to enable you to create custom logic (BAdI) to overwrite changeable sales order request fields based on your custom proposal rules.

Demo 1: Enhanced ‘Create Sales Orders – Automatic Extraction’ SAP Fiori app  (note: no audio voice available).

What is new with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2102 release?

  • Processing status is now visualized as micro process flow in the SAP Fiori list page
  • Customers can now influence the result of master data determination via a Cloud BADI. For example, propose a sales area or sales order type according to the customer’s own logic.
  • Ship-to party is now determined from ship-to address automatically, customer can double check or change the determined the ship-to party
  • Before creating a sales order from a sales order request, you can now simulate the order creation and get an overview of the to-be sales order:
  • Simulated net value vs. extracted net value
  • The actual sales order items to be created from the sales order request items
  • The last simulation result will be persisted in the sales order request as a reference to your next actions.

With the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2208 release, we continue our roadmap to bring Intelligence for Sales to automate routine tasks, and you can now open the purchase order file of a sales order request in an embedded pane and check file contents alongside the sales order request data. The embedded file view highlights extracted data by default, and you can hover over a highlighted area to show an extracted field or click on the eye icon to show all extracted fields.

Previously, it was only possible to open the file in a new window.

Demo 2: Increase salesforce efficiency and accuracy using the SAP Fiori app “Create Sales Orders – Automatic Extraction (including audio).

Enhancements since SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2011 release

Since the first version of this innovation, we have brought new features for almost every release. Below you will find a summary:

What’s New in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2105 release:

  • You can upload image files in JPG, JPEG, TIF, TIFF, or PNG format.
  • You can search for sales order requests using the order simulation filter.
  • You can view the change log of a sales order request. The log shows changes that have been made to the sales order request fields.
  • You can view the application log of a sales order request. The log shows system processing details regarding data extraction, data proposal, and BAdI calls.
  • More fields are available in simulated item data, such as the item category, confirmed quantity, and confirmed delivery date.
  • The product can be determined with reference to order creation history

What’s New in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2108 release:

  • View and change the requested delivery date in sales order request items.
  • Control whether the ship-to party is required for creating sales orders in the configuration activity Adapt Settings by Company Code.
  • Use a bot from the SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Factory to automate the creation of sales order requests from email attachments (PDF, JPG, JPEG, TIF, TIFF, and PNG file formats supported). For more information, see scope item 5LT, SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Factory, and SAP Intelligent RPA Store.

Picture 1: An iRPA bot will be released on the SAP Cloud Platform the bot will automatically monitor the email inbox, once receiving a purchase order email, it will download the attached PDF file and upload it to the Fiori app.

NOTE: The data extraction function in this app is provided by the Document Information Extraction service.

What’s New in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2111 release:

  • Simplified setup for scope item 4X9, which no longer requires an enterprise account on SAP Business Technology Platform (a separate license) to use this app.
  • Activation of duplicate check on uploaded files in the configuration activity Adapt Settings by Company Code
  • Two new situation templates, allow you to activate automatic notifications about sales order requests that require manual processing

References

  • To learn more about Document information Extraction, see What Is Document Information Extraction?
  • To learn more about the iRPA (Intelligent robotic process automation), read the blog from Eugene You in the SAP Community here
  • For additional information about the automatic sales-order creation from unstructured data, see SAP Help here.

 

Mass Changes of Sales Documents

Low-touch sales order processing is a process that requires minimal human intervention.

The Mass Changes of Sales Documents innovation continues to raise our journey to this low-touch sales order by automating as many steps as possible in the sales order processing without impacting the flexibility or speed of the process

One more innovation concerning the low-touch sales order process is mass changes in sales documents.

Typically, updating sales orders in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, requires the user to manually open and make changes to the correspondent Sales Orders Header Data or Sales Orders Items Data, one after the other. Maybe this is a possible process for a very small list of orders, but it becomes time-consuming for larger ones.

Since the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2105 release, we have a new SAP Fiori app to manage mass changes of sales documents. This allows sales representatives to manage different sales documents with the possibility to change them massively without any development effort.

We support the Mass Changes for:

  • sales orders,
  • sales orders without charge,
  • sales scheduling agreements,
  • sales contracts,
  • debit- and credit memo requests,
  • and customer returns.

Video 2: The new SAP Fiori app enables you to trigger mass changes of sales documents and to manage and make changes to multiple documents at a time.

Triggering of mass changes to sales documents across document categories

With the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2202 release you can use the Mass Change of Sales Documents SAP Fiori app to access and make changes across all types of sales documents in one step. For example, you can make changes to multiple sales orders and sales quotations at the same time.

Remark: The Mass Change of Sales Documents app now supports the consumption of multiple addresses for a customer for all the sales document categories.

Demo 3: Ability to trigger mass changes at a header and item level across multiple sales document categories (including audio).

 

Create new sales orders through spreadsheet upload

With the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 1911 release, we deliver the first version of the new SAP Fiori app “Create Sales Orders”. The SAP Fiori Create Sales Orders application is the new face of order management in SAP S/4HANA, public edition. With this application, the classic VA01 SAP GUI transaction is renovated into an SAP Fiori application for an intuitive user experience. Complexity has been reduced without compromising on transactional business requirements. In addition, the application offers in-app analytics leveraging SAP S/4HANA, public edition, and customization features for end-users.

See here Journey of Managing Sales Orders in SAP Fiori: #1 Overview | SAP Blogs

With SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2005 release, we improve and increase sales force efficiency with a new option to create sales orders by uploading spreadsheets with the required data. You can use this process when creating sales orders as a result of mass upload capabilities.

Video 3: Click here to watch the video and see the improved efficiency in creating sales orders.

Business background

You regularly receive orders maintained in MS Excel files. As sales orders are fundamental to any inventory and order management system, sales orders should be entered into your system as soon as possible. You have now to create sales orders based on the data maintained in these MS Excel files, and you need to manually enter the order data and create them one by one in the Create Sales Orders app.

With the new SAP Fiori app “Import Sales Orders”, you can batch-create sales orders directly from MS Excel spreadsheet files. After an order data file is uploaded, the system automatically creates sales orders, thereby reducing manual workload and enhancing work efficiency for internal sales reps.

Note 1:

The sales order fields provided in this app do not suffice for creating sales orders with a billing plan or for one-time customers. If you have created these sales orders using the app, you must make order data complete later in the “Change Sales Orders – VA02” app.

Note 2:

Technically, the import of sales orders requires field names that uniquely identify sales order fields. Currently, only a limited number of order fields are available for import. You can find their field names in the template

For more info about this innovation see my blog for SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2005 here.

What’s New in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, 2108 release:

With the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition 2108 release, we extend this feature, and you can now import pricing element data, texts, and custom fields using the Import Sales Orders app.

Prior to an import, we recommend downloading the standard template directly from SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. This template provides the list of sales order fields that are either required or optional for importing sales orders.

Demo 4: Improved efficiency in creating sales orders, as a result of mass upload capabilities (including audio).

Thanks for reading this blog post. Stay tuned!

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition release info here
  • The Link Collection for Sales here
  • Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition release blog posts here and previous release highlights here
  • Product videos on our SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition, and SAP S/4HANA YouTube playlist
  • SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
  • Early Release Webinar Series here
  • Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
  • openSAP Microlearnings 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

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

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