Using Advanced Available-To-Promise (aATP) in SAP S/4HANA

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Use the advanced ATP (aATP) functionality of SAP S/4HANA

Advanced Available-To-Promise (aATP) in SAP S/4HANA

Advanced ATP: Positioning

ATP functionality in SAP ERP and in SAP APO is compared with the aATP functionality in SAP S/4HANA.

Before SAP S/4HANA was introduced, available-to-promise (ATP) functionality was already available in various SAP products. In SAP ERP, a so-called "traditional" ATP check can be executed, whereby a simple product availability check (in one plant) is performed. A relatively simple production allocation check is also available. In addition, SAP ERP contains backorder processing functionality, as well as simple transportation and shipment scheduling.

The SAP Supply Chain Management system (SAP SCM) contains functionality for Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO), which includes functionality known as Global ATP (gATP). This provides many more features and functions than the "traditional" ATP check described above, including a rules-based check which supports alternative plants and/or alternative products to be checked. It also supports sophisticated backorder processing and transportation and shipment scheduling.

Note

See the following video to learn more about Available-to-Promise (ATP):

Advanced ATP, as part of SAP S/4HANA, supports the following main ATP-related scenarios: PAC, PAL, BOP, ABC and RefDy:

The business benefits of the various components of aATP are discussed.
Note

In addition: Supply Assignment (ARun) can be used as a check method in the context of Backorder Processing (BOP) to ensure that the most appropriate supply is assigned to order requirements in a supply shortage situation.

The major goals that advanced ATP tries to achieve are: improved time to delivery, reduced number of missed business opportunities, and enhanced revenue and profitability throughout the organization.

Advanced ATP runs entirely on the SAP HANA platform, which has been optimized to improve overall performance. SAP ERP contains an internal logic where planning elements are read from the database to an internal table. In SAP S/4HANA, this has been redesigned so that planning runs in-memory. Advanced ATP is (of course) also based on the SAP S/4HANA (simplified) data model.

Advanced ATP is integrated into the SAP S/4HANA core. The result is a more efficient ATP system, supporting a dynamic digital world in which more complex mechanisms are necessary for varied production, variable demand and multiple stock localizations.

Note
Using the Advanced ATP (aATP) functionality, as described in this lesson, may require a dedicated license for advanced ATP to be purchased from SAP. Contact your SAP account manager for more details and questions.

Advanced ATP Scenario: Product Availability Check (PAC)

You can use the Product Availability Check (PAC) in SAP S/4HANA to determine on which date and in which quantity a particular requirement (for example, a sales order item) can be fulfilled. The result of the product availability check is a confirmation.

Characteristics of the Product Availability Check (PAC) in aATP:

  • Time-phased check of availability of a desired product for the required quantity at the requested location

  • Mass-enabled check

  • Check against all kinds of supply elements

  • Checks for sales orders (SOs) and stock transport orders (STOs)

  • Support for special stocks and support for batches

For documents containing large volumes of data (for example, sales orders containing many items), you can use the advanced product availability check (PAC) since it is optimized for mass processing.

The Product Availability Check (PAC) in aATP has the following limitations:

  • You cannot combine the advanced product availability check with the check against planning. If you activate the advanced product availability check and then check availability for an item when another check type is active, your system does not check the item and issues an error message.

  • You cannot use the advanced product availability check if checks are run on a dedicated ATP server. If you activate the advanced product availability check, the system does not check the item and issues an error message.

  • If you check availability when using catch weight management or active ingredient management, the system ignores the inventory correction factor and does not display a message.

Advanced ATP Scenario: Product Allocations (PAL)

Being able to deliver the required quantity of a material to the customer at the requested time demands precise planning and control mechanisms. Unpredictable problems, such as breakdowns in production or increased demand, can lead to critical situations in order processing and must be avoided wherever possible. In advanced ATP in SAP S/4HANA, product allocations enable you to avoid critical situations in demand and procurement by allocating materials in short supply to, for example, specific regions and customers for a specific time period. This can help avoid the situation whereby, for example, the entire available quantity of a material in short supply is allocated to a single customer and makes it impossible for you to confirm subsequent sales orders for the same material from other customers.

Characteristics of using Product Allocations (PAL) in aATP:

  • Simple and flexible setup

  • Time-dependent assignment to product/plant

  • Microsoft Excel download and upload

  • Provision for importing/exporting allocation quantities

  • Support for online ATP check and backorder processing

Note
Product Allocation (PAL) checks can be set-up for both sales orders (SOs) and also for stock transport orders (STOs).
A screenshot is shown of the apps used to configure product allocations.

The set-up for a PAL check is relatively straightforward and requires the use of four SAP Fiori apps: Configure Product Allocation, Manage Product Allocation Planning Data, Manage Product Allocation Sequences and Assign Product to Product Allocation.

The following slide provides a brief overview of the required configuration.

Screenshots are shown of the maintenance of product allocation data in SAP S/4HANA.
Note
Go to http://help.sap.com and search for Advanced Available-to-Promise. Check the details for Product Allocation (CA-ATP-PAL) to learn more about this set-up.

Advanced ATP Scenario: Backorder Processing (BOP)

In advanced Available-to-Promise (aATP), you can use Backorder Processing (BOP) to check material availability when the demand or supply situation in your order fulfillment process has changed and you want to check if previously calculated confirmations for sales orders or stock transport orders are still realistic. For example:

  • A sales order is canceled, thereby freeing up stock quantities.

  • An important customer increases the requested quantity for a material and you would therefore like to reallocate stock which is currently used to confirm other sales orders.

  • A production order providing planned supply is running late.

Not reacting to the changed availability situation can result in confirmed quantities exceeding available quantities. This can result in all kinds of unwanted situations.

Characteristics of using Backorder Processing (BOP) in aATP:

  • Based on multiple confirmation strategies
  • Filtering and sorting for each segment
  • SAP Fiori-based set-up and results monitoring
  • Supply Assignment (ARun)
  • Significantly faster than traditional rescheduling

You can use Supply Assignment (ARun) as a check method in the context of Backorder Processing (BOP) in aATP to ensure that the most appropriate supply is assigned to order requirements in a supply shortage situation.

Confirmation Strategies in aATP (BOP)

The various confirmation strategies in aATP are discussed.

Confirmation strategies are used in backorder processing (BOP) to define and prioritize how individual requirements are handled in BOP runs when availability is limited. Confirmation strategies can lead to requirement quantities being confirmed earlier, later, partially or not at all.

An example could be a rush order. A rush order is a last-minute customer order (received for example, after the production plan of a company has already been finalized).

For these rush orders, an appropriate and reasonable response is important, as a poor response could put strain on the customer relationship and customer service. A positive response could help the company to build and retain its market share in today's highly competitive markets. The (prioritized) fulfillment sequence of rush orders in advanced ATP, is based on the chosen confirmation strategy (see above).

The multi-step filter and prioritized confirmation strategy concept that advanced Back Order Processing (BOP) uses, is also referred to as the "Winner-Gainer-Loser" concept. Six predefined confirmation strategies are available: Win, Gain, Redistribute, Improve, Fill, and Lose. See the slide above for some characteristics of these six confirmation strategies.

Note

The "Improve" strategy was added with release 2022 of SAP S/4HANA. The aim of adding this strategy was to provide even more flexibility during the set-up of a BOP variant.

The strategy tries to retain the confirmations for the assigned requirements and if possible it tries to improve them. But it is also possible that the requirements lose their confirmation.

If, during a BOP run, current confirmations cannot be retained for the assigned requirements, the system doesn't raise any exceptions. The BOP run would simply worsen the confirmations based on the available quantities.

A screenshot is shown of the apps needed to set-up and execute backorder processing in SAP S/4HANA.

The screenshot shows the section Backorder Processing of the space Sales, that contains the tiles that are available in SAP S/4HANA for configuring, scheduling and monitoring a BOP run in aATP.

Advanced ATP Scenario: Alternative-Based Confirmation (ABC)

A requirement consists of various attributes, most importantly a requested material in a specific quantity, a requested delivering plant and a requested delivery date. You can use Alternative-Based Confirmation (ABC) in aATP to check for all possible alternatives to confirm a requirement when, for example, the availability of a material in a requested material-plant combination is insufficient to confirm the original requirement.

Alternative-Based Confirmation (ABC) enables ATP confirmations for a sales order item using alternative plants and substitute materials. If the requested material is not available in the plant determined in the sales order, the system will automatically check for stock available in other plants. Substitute materials can also be included.

ABC uses different kinds of logical rules to determine the confirmation result (plant and/or material substitution).

  1. FULL_CONFIRMATION: An alternative plant, which has the complete requested stock quantity available, is used to confirm the order on the required delivery date.
  2. MAX_ON_TIME_CONFIRMATION: This logic aims to confirm as much requested quantity as possible on the requested delivery date in the sales order.

Apps used to set-up ABC include: Configure Substitution Strategy and Configure Alternative Control.

Note
A sales order item can also be split across multiple plants when checked with aATP logic:
  • Creation of partial confirmations (sub-items) in multiple plants (restricted to plants within the same company code) when checking with alternative-based confirmation (ABC)
  • Confirmations based on product availability and product allocation checks combined

Advanced ATP Scenario: Release for Delivery (RefDy)

Advanced ATP also offers features which you can use to manually prioritize due order documents for materials with limited availability. This is known as the Release for Delivery (RefDy) scenario.

Characteristics of using the Release for Delivery (RefDy) scenario in aATP:

  • SAP Fiori-based interactive changes to sales order confirmations before releasing the orders to delivery processing

  • You can use the Release for Delivery app to prioritize due sales orders containing materials with limited availability. The app allows users to view the material availability situation of materials for which they are responsible (as defined in the Configure Order Fulfillment Responsibilities app) as well as assess the potential financial impact of being unable to fulfill certain sales orders.

  • Direct navigation to a sales order

This scenario can help users decide how to distribute material quantities between sales orders, before releasing these sales orders for subsequent logistics processes (for example, picking or packing). The manual processing presented here, prevents expensive cancellation and rollback activities that may occur if last-minute, high-priority sales orders are received, causing conflicts for materials for which available quantities are limited.

Check the Advanced ATP Business Function and Check ATP Customizing for the Availability Check Group

Use the Back Order Processing (BOP) Functionality of aATP

Part 1 of the exercise/simulation:

Part 2 of the exercise/simulation:

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