The Possibilities of Product Segmentation in S/4 ATP

Author: aRmando Chavez

Did you ever wish Global ATP (GATP in SCM-APO) could schedule orders at a lower level than just product/location, maybe down to a characteristic level? Has the promise of Characteristics Based Planning been elusive to everyone outside of the fashion industry? Well… SAP S/4’s new Product Segmentation capability might finally have bridged that gap.

The simplest definition of Segmentation: an attribute level extension to the material master. The concept comes from the fashion industry, where you can plan your supply/demand at the higher product level without explicit consideration of characteristics explosion such as size, color, and so on. But when the finished good is to be produced and sold, it is necessary to distinguish by the characteristics of the product. In SAP’s new solution, the segment is simply a 40 character field that can be partitioned and configured to store the applicable characteristics of your material. In the segment you can define an intelligent concatenation of the characteristic values or a numeric pointer enabling identification of differentiated elements of material stock. But, probably the most exciting thing about segmentation is that it is supported across the entire logistics process from planning and procurement to production and sales. Basic transactions like the Stock & Requirements list (MD04), Sales order creation (VA01), Stock Overview (MMBE), Purchase Order creation (ME21N) and other transactions are extended to break out supply and demands by Segment.

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Brexit & Trade Wars – Supply Chain Modeling a Clear Path in an Uncertain World

Author: Daniel Wilhelmi

Remember the days when our Supply Chain efforts focused on calculating the optimal inventory quantities, improving an availability check, reducing forecast bias, and building out technology roadmaps? Now we check Twitter each morning to know what trade policies have changed and dive into war rooms to assess tariff and tax implications on everything from our product routing to free trade zone positions. Our customers are experiencing direct supply chain modeling impacts by two major political events that have taken place over the last ~24 months: Brexit and the US tariff “trade war”. They are all asking the question: how do you keep your planning, execution, and processes in sync with an ever-changing environment?

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Is SAP keeping its promise with S/4HANA Advanced ATP (aATP)?

Authors: Tim Park & Balaraj Pudota

Recall in 2015, SAP announced that Available to Promise capabilities would be built from the ground up in the core S/4HANA solution. At the time, the rationale for this strategic decision was to build next generation order promising functionality that would be simple to use and implement, while leveraging the central S/4HANA digital core platform.  Now that aATP is becoming very real on the 1809 platform, we have hands-on config/modeling experience exploring cool new features like Segmentation while also providing tangible detailed comparisons to what is already available on the fully capable legacy global ATP platform. 

One of the key obstacles for this approach would be that SAP customers, especially those already using APO’s global ATP (gATP), would have to wait for the promise and roadmap availability of key functionality offered in a brand new order promising engine within S/4HANA. Some of these current roadmap gap items include: Multi-Level (component) ATP, Product Substitution, and Capable to Promise

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