SAP S/4HANA 1709 - Simplifying Logistics

SAP 1709 was released in September 2017, and it is the third release in a row of SAP’s digital core. SAP 1709 is a product and enterprise management business suite superimposed on HANA meant to meet market demands in the shortest possible time. In the past, supply chain systems used ERP systems that were supported by separate applications for Transportation Management and Extended Warehouse Management.

With this release, businesses can make use of a simple landscape with integrated solutions to manage supply chain operations. It provides a single version of truth for all operations from plan to produce including functions like Material Management, Production Planning, Supply Chain Management, as well as Sales and Distribution for organizations with medium to large infrastructure. SAP S/4HANA Logistics is also known as SAP S4HANA Enterprise Management as it covers both financial and logistics operations, which supports almost all core operations as much as a traditional ERP system would do. Harnessing the data processing ability of S4HANA, SAP S/4HANA Logistics provides simpler, faster and more efficient approaches to solve logistics and supply chain problems. It provides a range of choices in deployment models – cloud, on-premise and hybrid.

  1. SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) is now part of SAP’s new enterprise management suite. The integrated functions and business processes will help in the efficient planning of stock picking processes, imparting inventory transparency, and streamlining processing of goods movement. With SAP Extended Warehouse Management you can get real-time intelligence on warehousing operations from put away and picking to goods receipt and goods issue including advanced activities like cross-docking, kitting and value-added services. Besides this businesses can integrate their warehouse processes with SAP Transportation and SAP Global Trade Service (SAP GTS). Large enterprises handling a high volume of goods can run on a decentralized warehouse system while smaller and mid-size warehouses can rely on embedded Extended Warehouse Management in this version of SAP S/4HANA.
  2. Businesses can now monitor and execute customer delivery promise promptly for omnichannel retail with the Advanced Available-to-Promise (aATP) business function. Based on resource availability, a response to customer inquiries is created that gives information about the available quantity of the requested product and their estimated delivery dates. When it comes to product segmentation that targets different categories of customers, the one-size-fits-all concept does not work.  A product may be targeted at a specific customer base for a specific price. With SAP’s ATP functionality, systems will be able to perform product availability check based on the customer segmentation attribute. For instance, the system differentiates between online and sales created through other channels by maintaining different available to promise quantities.
  3. Forming a part of the 1709 release, SAP Transportation Management holds immense value proposition to shippers. SAP Transportation Management is a solution that enables end-to-end transportation management from transportation capacity and demand planning to freight tendering, freight and forwarding settlement, order management and collaboration with shippers. It helps in optimizing all inbound, outbound, domestic and international shipments. It integrates business and logistics throughout the network of shippers, logistics service providers, and carriers. Businesses can now get all the proven benefits from SAP Transportation Management developments up-to-date within the S/4HANA platform. Core Data Services (CDS) of the platform could be harnessed to build dashboards and intuitive reporting functions, which were previously unavailable, for landed cost analysis and real-time performance visibility.
  4. As part of this release, buyers and procurement personnel have direct access to the Business Network functionality. This enables them to link them to a shared community and manage key business processes including sourcing and contract management, vendor selection, procurement, and invoicing in a highly efficient manner. It also provides extensive visibility into key procurement metrics such as procurement cycle times, purchase values that run over budget, and product quantities’ deviation. Leveraging analytics in the SAP S/4HANA, businesses can also understand contract consumption and renegotiate purchasing contracts on more favorable terms. 

Unified User Experience

Based on the modern design concept, SAP S/4HANA uses Fiori 2.0 to ensure homogenous UI for business applications across on-premise and cloud solutions that leverage the simplified S/4HANA data model. SAP CoPilot – the digital assistant for enterprises- is also present on the on-premise version of SAP S/4HANA, 1701 Feature Pack 1 (FPS01). Aware of the user’s business context, it enables users to access business objects with a single click.

 

The Building Block of S/4 HANA 1709 - HANA 2 Platform

With HANA 2 being the core platform harnessed by S/4HANA 1709, businesses can take advantage of high availability, disaster recovery, security and workload management and administration enhancements to ensure business continuity. The new management cockpit in SAP HANA 2 enables IT organizations to use the secondary instance of HANA to distribute workload rather than use them for hot standby purposes alone. S/4HANA 1709 utilizes the active/active clustering feature of HANA platform to off-load queries to HANA System Replication (HSR) secondary node, open secondary workload for productive workloads and meet the evolving CPU requirements for growing Hybrid transaction/analytical processing workloads.

 

Enhanced Migration Cockpit

S/4HANA 1610 includes data migration tools meant to extend support to customers looking for migration to a new SAP S/4HANA landscape. Users have access to the Migration Cockpit, Migration Object Modeler (MOM) and the Rapid Data Migration (SAP Data Services) tools, providing a complete migration solution that needs no programming and makes effortless mapping of data structures between the source and target systems.

The S/4HANA Migration Cockpit includes the Migration Object Modeler, which is a design tool for enhancements and modifications of pre-defined migration objects. This provides flexibility during the migration process for adding customer-specific enhancements. It minimizes downtimes for conversion customers. Unlike the Rapid Data Migration tool that involves separate installation procedures, the Migration Cockpit along with the Migration Object Modeler are embedded tools that can be used for migration customers on a plug-and-play basis.

S4HANA-migration-cockpit

 

Solution Manager

The Direct Configuration in Manager Solution converts specific testing and migration data according to customer requirements. In the process of migrating area (Vendor master and Customer master, Material master, G/L account), the Migration element is selected and the Objects that needs to be converted in project data is validated.

The migration project in the workbench is then created and data is transferred to the same. The data thus transferred will be shown as Objects, which will be available in S/4HANA cloud system. After this the Migration Object is selected, and tasks are copied to the specific project name assigned earlier. The system generates the status and progress of the copied objects. To complete the migration task, the action button is clicked and the migrated data will be downloaded to the S/4HANA migration template.

Migration Template

S/4HANA data migration uses a specific template for the data migration, which can be downloaded to the client system for use. Watch the video below to get an idea on how the whole migration operation is performed.

SAP S/4HANA - Conclusion

SAP S/4HANA has a simple unified landscape along with a common user experience for any line of businesses. In short, the SAP S/4HANA 1709, with its extensive set of newly added functionalities, is truly a landmark release ready for prime time.

About The Author

Nishanth Karimbil's picture
Nishanth Karimbil
SAP MM and S/4HANA consultant
Mr. Nishanth Karimbil is an SAP MM and S/4HANA consultant with over 7 years' functional experience in manufacturing industry in the areas of production planning, materials management and stores management rollout, enhancement, support and upgrade projects. He was involved in a wide range of consulting assignments across several industry verticals including Manufacturing & Utilities, Logistics, Retail & Fashion, IT, Steel, and Petrochemical and has experience in providing feasible solutions for various business scenarios for these clients.

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