Capability of Partial confirmation for Plant substitution in Advanced Available-to-promise in S/4HANA 2020 Release
Advanced available-to-promise (aATP) is being developed from scratch in SAP S/4HANA and will be a successor to Global ATP (GATP) of Advanced planning & optimization (APO). aATP was initially introduced in S/4HANA in the 1610 release and is evolving in every release of S/4HANA.
APO GATP has a functionality of ‘Plant substitution’ i.e. if the material is not available in the Sales Order plant, then the availability check is automatically carried out in other plants. APO GATP requires the ‘Substitution rule’ to be set up e.g. if the material X is not available in plant A, then it is set up in substitution rule to check the plant B or C. So, APO GATP requires a pre-determined rule to determine the alternative plants. However, aATP does not require any such ‘Substitution rule.
aATP’s algorithm is dynamic and intelligent – it automatically checks all the plants of the sales organisation of the sales order. Until the 1909 release, aATP forces the original plant to be changed to a new plant as described in my earlier blog. If multiple plants are able to confirm the availability of the material, then aATP also provides ‘Tie Breaker’ logic to determine the most appropriate plant. This is described in my blog post here.
There are several new features and innovations for aATP in S/4HANA 2020 (released in October 2020). This blog post will discuss the enhancements and new features of ‘Plant substitution,’ also known as ‘Alternative-based-confirmation (ABC)’ in aATP of S/4HANA 2020 release.
• Partial confirmations with multiple plants as Sub-item in Sales order
Enabling confirmations with multiple delivering plants is one of the most desired requirements for many customers, and the same is now possible with ABC in the S/4HANA 2020 release. The below image depicts a scenario in which the sales order has been created with original delivering plant as 1010 with order quantity of 25 EA. The system has proposed the material to be delivered from two plants 1011 and 1020 with confirmed quantity of 15 EA and 10 EA respectively. Material FG2021 is not available in plant 1010 and hence why the system has proposed the material to be delivered from 2 different plants 1011 & 1020 as sub-items of the original (higher level) sales order line item.
Set up for aATP is mostly done through Fiori apps and is much simpler compared to APO-GATP. Settings for the above scenario are shown in the below image. A Substitution strategy ABC_05 is defined to ‘Force Sub-item generation’ for ‘Plant substitution’ in Fiori app ‘Configure Substitution strategy’ and the same strategy ABC_05 is assigned for the Sold to party or customer 0010100001 and material FG2021 through Fiori app ‘ Configure alternative control’.
Apart from the above Fiori set up, following assignments (as highlighted) for item categories need to be done for the creation of Sub-item in sales order in customising table T184 or IMG menu path IMG->Sales and distribution->Sales->Sales document item->Assign item categories.
SAP has also provided the option of Mixed ‘Substitution strategy’ allowing ‘Allow Inline Substitution and Subitem Generation’ as in ABC_04 as depicted in the below image.
With this strategy, if an alternative plant can fulfil the entire order quantity, then the system does ‘Inline substitution’ i.e replaces the original delivering plant of the sales order to an alternative plant without creating any sub-item. The below image shows that the original delivering plant 1010 has been replaced by alternative plant 1020 (as Inline substitution) without creating any sub-item in sales order as the plant 1020 has fulfilled the entire order quantity 7 EA.
• Use of Custom and additional standard fields to define alternative control
Custom and additional standard fields can now be defined in characteristic catalogue for Alternative control as shown in below image. These extra fields will increase individualisation capabilities for the activation of ABC to suit business requirements.
These new features/enhancements will enable increased and automated confirmation capabilities from multiple plants to fulfil a customer requirement and to improve customer satisfaction.
SAP is also expected to release ‘Material substitution’ in S/4HANA 2021 release e.g. suppose a customer wants a black iPhone 12 64GB. If it is not available then the system will be able to propose a black iPhone 12 with 128GB or an iPhone 12 64GB in white, etc.
aATP is becoming one of the most mighty and intelligent tools in the SAP ecosystem.
Author: Mrinal Kanti Roy
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