The annual SAP SAPPHIRE® NOW and Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) Annual Conference is right around the corner. As an SAP Gold Partner for Services and Global Premium Supplier of SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, we’re looking forward to sharing and hearing best practices at the event.  And in that spirit, we want to share some configuration and master data setting tips to help you implement the Advanced Available to Promise (aATP) process available with the S/4 HANA 1610 release so you can improve order fulfillment execution and supply chain processes. The October 2016 S/4HANA 1610 release introduces advanced available-to-promise (aATP) with new functionality to better execute order fulfillment and improve supply chain processes. This blog explains the detailed configuration and master data settings necessary to implement the aATP process.

Before we explain the actions to set up the systems, we need to first address the larger questions:

  • What is the compelling reason my company should move to 1610 and purchase the aATP license?
  • What do I gain from this investment?

Let’s Begin with a Sample Business Scenario

Let’s pretend a company manufactures and sells toys based on licensing agreements with major movie studios, a business with some hits along with a fair share of misses. This year the business developed a toy elephant based on the fictional lead character, “Newton”, in their new animated movie. Immediately following the late summer release, sales went vertical. The movie turned into the megahit of the year and global demand for Newton flowed into the holiday season.

Let’s say that even though you quickly ramped up new contract manufacturer capacity, you still could not keep pace with the demand, raising the proverbial “good problem to have” of more demand than supply. What could you do now? How can you best prioritize your Newton stock to maximize sales and profits? What solution could organize the chaos before Newton became old news?

If you were using the standard ATP, you could see sales and inventory for each plant and distribution center in your network. With a global business, that is not enough. Global ATP perhaps? An improvement for sure, as it provides visibility across the network and allows you to allocate inventory via production and stock transfers that can be pegged to sales orders. But is that sufficient for this situation? Or do you need something better?

aATP to the Rescue

With aATP, the something better is here. Now we can achieve improved performance with the in-memory S/4HANA platform, customize and execute our process with new Fiori apps and, most importantly, assign inventory to our prioritized customers with the new “Win/Gain/Redistribute/Fill/Lose” strategies. These powerful strategies are built into the system, running with the improved backorder processing (BOP) to ensure our key accounts are delivered on time and in full, even with a last-minute, short lead-time order.

Whether they are major accounts, higher-margin businesses, strategic relationships, or less-critical channels, we can rapidly optimize our network and respond to changing circumstances to best suit our business requirements.

How to Implement the aATP Process

With our example scenario in mind, let’s walk through how you can manage inventory with aATP.

Our first task will be to Activate aATP functionality in our 1610 system. The IMG path is the first entry: SAP Customizing Implementation Guide > Activate Business Functions.

aATP_1

In this object, open the folder S/4H_ALWAYS_ON_FUNCTIONS and scroll to the bottom. You will see the entry S4H_AATP below and can confirm the activated status.

aATP_2

After activation, we proceed to sections of the initial configuration, which will appear similar, as these are aligned with the standard ATP process from earlier ECC versions.

We begin by defining the Requirements Classes and Types with their assignment to specific Item Categories and Schedule Line Categories. The documentation icons outlined in the screenshot provide detailed descriptions of each IMG object for reference. The standard system will deliver core values with flexibility to create new or update existing values as needed.

Following the IMG path: Sales and Distribution > Basic Functions > Availability Check and Transfer of Requirements > Transfer of Requirements > and the subfolders displayed next.

aATP_3

Checking Groups make up the next section, with the IMG path: Sales and Distribution > Basic Functions > Availability Check and Transfer of Requirements > Availability Check > Availability Check with ATP Logic or Against Planning, followed by another set of subfolders.

aATP_4

We find an important change to Activate aATP within the first task, Define Checking Groups. Note the far right column now lists two choices, Active and Blank. Set the indicator as appropriate for each Checking Group.

aATP_5

When this configuration is complete, Checking Groups are assigned to each material in Master Data.

Checking Rules will be assigned to each Checking Group and this IMG object is available in several different folders. We will follow this path to access the Checking Rules:

Cross-Application Components > Advanced Available-to-Promise (ATP) > General Activities for Advanced Available-to-Promise (ATP) > Stock Movements > Set Up Dynamic Availability Check. Four different buttons are within this structure, where we again begin with standard values and make adjustments as needed.

aATP_6

After the Checking Rules are established, we proceed to Product Allocation setup. These values guide the system in deciding how inventory per material is confirmed for sales orders. The first step is to define the Allocation Procedure, followed by further definition details in the remaining folders. Once complete, these procedures are assigned to each material via master data.

Sales and Distribution > Basic Functions > Availability Check and Transfer of Requirements > Availability Check > Availability Check Against Product Allocation > followed by a group of subfolders.

aATP_7

We will complete each of the objects listed, beginning with Maintain Procedure:

  • Planning Version 000 is required and can be created with MC93 and Planning Type COMMIT
  • Planning Hierarchy is also required and created with MC61
  • For the object “Process Flow for Each Schedule Line Category,” there are three check boxes to activate for all Schedule Line Categories that will use aATP:

aATP_8

The last task in this section is the Check Settings in Product Allocation item. This is a system check to identify any errors that will prevent proper functionality: red messages equal errors. You can click any line item to display the error and corrective actions.

aATP_9

Moving forward, we now open the new IMG path for aATP: Cross-Application Components > Advanced Available-to-Promise (ATP), where we see six folders, each containing further setup points.  We can skip the Product Availability Check folder, as this has repeated settings that we completed earlier.

aATP_101.General Activities for aATP:

  • This folder has four subfolders, two of which contain duplication updated earlier.
  • Opening the new folders, for Production/Process Orders and Stock Transport Orders, we define the aATP settings to guide the system in these two areas.

aATP_112. The Product Allocation folder contains the essential on/off switch to activate Allocations. We also have optional number ranges that we can create as needed.  The Documentation icon also provides further details to validate all applicable settings.
aATP_123. The folders Backorder Processing and Rules-Based Availability Check contain default settings that apply to most common scenarios, but can be revised if desired.

4. Optional BAdIs are available in the Business Add-Ins (BAdIs) for Advanced Available-to-Promise (ATP) folder.

The last IMG task requires updating the Logistics Information System (LIS) control for the Product Allocation Info Structure S140. IMG path:

  • Logistics > General > Logistics Information System (LIS) > Logistics Data Warehouse > Updating > Updating Control > Activate Update for the Sales and Distribution item
  • Select S140 and display the details
  • Set to Updating radio button to Synchronous UpdateaATP_13

With our IMG activities completed, we next change applicable Material Master records with two settings: Product Allocation Procedure on Basic Data 1 and Checking Group on Sales General/Plant or MRP 3.
aATP_14

Our remaining task is to implement three SAP Notes that will set up the HANA Rules Framework (HRF) and Business Rules Framework Plus (BRF+ necessary for BOP operations. Further details are included within each note.

  • 2400537: Backorder Processing in Available-to-Promise (ATP) in SAP S/4HANA
  • 2345697: BRF+ analytical decision table check Call CL_FDT_XS=>GET_INSTANCE with RFC destination
  • 2351188: BRF+ Analytical function generation – Derive default schema dynamically

Now that we completed the detailed configuration, activated aATP and Product Allocations, and revised our Master Data, we are ready to move forward with the transactional data to put the aATP process in motion.

Watch this space where we will soon share the next blog post: Advanced Available-to-Promise (aATP) in S/4HANA 1610 Execution.

If you have recommendations to improve the processes above, please leave us a comment or tweet us at @CenturylinkEnt.

Attending Sapphire NOW 2017?

If you’re attending SAPPHIRE, I encourage you to fill your itinerary with sessions that address these foundational areas. You can also attend the following sessions to hear from our SAP experts firsthand:

If you aren’t going to the event, here are a few blogs that I referenced from Sven Denecken on the aATP technical view and aATP business view to add to your reading list.

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