S/4HANA 1709 and the Future of your SAP Fashion implementation

The news from SAP that Fashion is now available in S/4HANA 1709 release is very exciting. SAP is providing a migration tool from AFS to S/4HANA but this still requires a fairly lengthy project. At the same time existing AFS customers will need a business case – a plan – to migrate.

What would you gain by migrating to S/4HANA? 

Many things. Rich FIORI analytics; the ability to run SAP business transactions on any device – smart phones an tablets as well as computers;s4hana 1709 fashion the ability to use more ‘standard’ SAP functionality, and of course, as with FMS, – the ability to run Retail and Wholesale code in a single instance.  Another area of great improvement is simplification.
For example, ‘business partners’ in lieu of customers and vendors; simplified data models with  a lot fewer data bases to manage, batch management, maintenance transactions, and many more, particularly  in Finance.

AFS is a mature, stable product that has been around for more than 17 years. Getting this up and going and getting all you can get out of it has been a long journey for many customers. The investment has been high. Many customizations and integrations have been developed to get it ‘just right.’ Starting over with a new product – that, as we all know, will continue to mature - may be just too much.

All of these must be considered and your software migration path forward must be decided.

What is new in S/4HANA 1709 for Fashion?

In addition to combining retail and wholesale and getting a faster, simpler data design there are many new features, including:

  • Seasonality
  • Value added services
  • Order scheduling
  • Application variants
  • Improved Mass re-ATP
  • New Back order processing (from standard but now for Fashion – for rescheduling and also for allocation)
  • ARun now called supply assignments – uses ATP rules plus dynamic variants – in lieu of old ARun configuration.
  • Multi Store order
  • Segmentation

What is planned for the next release?

  • Contracts that perform ATP, pass requirements, and can be allocated
  • MSO documents that can be allocated
  • Allocation grouping and spread logic
  • Pack separately and ship together
  • Advanced returns capability

Now is a great time to evaluate the future of your SAP implementation. Beyond the benefits of new features and functionality, ask

  • Do you have divisions or regions that run another product, not SAP? What benefits would accrue if the entire organization were on a single platform?
  • Are acquisitions part of your business plans? How will you assimilate and consolidate them?
  • Can you align your e-commerce / omni-commerce strategy with your ERP strategy?
  • Are you concerned about SAP support of AFS?

SAP will continue to make their software easier for users and IT departments. Whether you choose to move now or later you should chart your path.  At some point, it will make sense to move to the latest version. Develop a set of objective criteria with pros and cons and create a timeline.

Next month I will be delivering a webinar on the pro’s and con’s of migrating from AFS to FMS or S4 Fashion.  In that session I will offer some in-depth things to consider when making this decision. This will include an evaluation criteria to help make the decision.

I hope to see many of my friends from the SAP Fashion community on that session. Bye until then!

About The Author

Margie Lawson's picture
Margie Lawson
Strategic/Principal Advisor (Fashion)
Over 25 years working with SAP and Fashion solutions: Apparel and Footwear, Retail, and Fashion Management. Worked for SAP for 15 years in various roles: consultant, manager, and solution lead. Now enjoying part time work as a Strategic Advisor for Fashion for Applexus Technologies.

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