The New Feature in SAP S/4HANA Capacity Planning or Management, how it works and how can it benefit your Enterprise?

There are tons of things and processes which can be streamlined to their maximum extent by using the SAP S/4HANA module and capacity management is amongst them. Seeing the changing needs of this domain, the SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning module has gone through minor changes and got the addition of few features. What are they? Will they make any difference?

Also Read: Digital Transformation and SAP S/4 HANA 

We’re sure that these questions will be popping up in you mind. This is why we’re going to spill every bean related to this topic.

Capacity Management Basics

For organizations involved in product manufacturing, it’s more than crucial to deliver the orders as per the promised date. To make this happen, one must do plan in advance and ensure enough capacity resources are available in abundance and requirements are met as per customers’ requirements.

Success Case: SAP S/4 HANA Implementation on Cloud

Following the production schedule properly while leveraging from the available capacity is a quite a tough task for a capacity planner or manager. All these operational bottlenecks can be handled with full perfection using SAP S/4HANA. There is a dedicated module for capacity planning in this module.

SAP S4/HANA Offering for Capacity Planning and Management  

In 2019, SAP introduced Predictive Material and Resource Planning (pMRP) functionality with the sole goal of streamlining the process of identifying the capacity planning issues and fabricate remedial solutions.

This function is offered for both the on-cloud and on-premise devolvement modules of SAP. In each case, it renders equally good perks and benefits. The primary function of this feature is to analyze the material and resource availability within an organization and use the statistic to optimize the production processing.

Also Read: S/4HANA Upgrade (Technical, Functional upgrade and Fiori upgrade)

For effective delivery of processes and facilities, SAP offers Fiori apps for capacity requirement planning that includes ‘Capacity scheduling board’, ‘Manage work center capacity’, and ‘Capacity scheduling table’. Known to offer highly intuitive UI, the Fiori app can handle key capacity planning actions like capacity evaluation, leveling, and capacity scheduling.

Capacity evaluations let the user compare requirements with current capacities. Capacity leveling refers to dispatching operations. In a given simulation, dispatching of operations is done with the sole motive to resolve the capacity issues when capacity is adequate.

There are three versions of Fiori apps for effective production scheduling and capacity planning.

Here is a quick overview of these 3 Fiori app versions:

  1. Capacity scheduling board

Using this Fiori app, the scheduler can easily view the work centers with the schedules on a chart for a particular period. Search results can be filtered based on factors like plant details, MRP area, scheduling status, product number, and many more. The app also allows the planner to select and operation in the pacemaker work center and to start or end the operations as per the direction set for the operations rescheduling.

  1. Capacity scheduling table

This table makes it easier to get access to series of a features that can get along well with the planned and Production order / Process orders as per the demand of the industry types. Planner, using this app, is allowed to select the source of the supply and the work center for order dispatching.

  1. Manage work center capacity Application

This app version allows the planner to visualize the real-time capacity status based on a bucket of days/weeks/hours for multiple kinds of orders like Planned orders, Production orders / Process orders. There are three sections in this app that are useful for your work centers: Overview, Operations, and Shifts.

How Does pMRP Work?

pMRP gets coupled with a simulation scenario to display the material resource representation. This simulation determines which data should be used as a material reference and allow the planner to have the freedom to copy those simulations and club multiple other kinds of simulations to simulations to measure up the key changes done to work centers. Within the pMRP simulation, it’s easier to represent the multi-level bills of material and alter pre-production processes to get rid of existing capacity issues.

These simulations are equipped enough to measure the impact of the done changes on the delivery performance and overall capacity. Upon finalizing the simulations, planners are allowed to release them in the operative MRP and streamline capacity planning.

Getting Started With pMRP 

There is no second opinion that businesses following the aim of streamlined delivery can optimize capacity planning with pMRP. Creating a simulation is all a planner needs to get things done correctly. However, it’s crucial to make sure that the right kind of data is at one’s side to get started with pMRP. Here are the key factors are required for pMRP processing:

  • Material and the bill of material
  • Work centers
  • Routing
  • Production version
  • Planned Independent Requirements (PIRs)

Once the data, related to these factors, is gathered, planners are all set to schedule a simulation on the Fiori apps. Here is the sequence of actions to be followed for effective simulation generation.

Step #1 – Define Simulation

To get started with pMRP, the schedule must maintain demand via PIR.

Step #2 – Schedule pMRP simulation generation 

At this step, the planner needs to define reference data that are going to get used as a reference for a simulation. To make this work, it’s suggested to use the Process pMRPSimulations app for the creation of pMRP simulation. The app allows the planer to copy the reference data which is going to get work as a reference for multiple simulations, saving a huge deal of time & effort.

Changes to simulations, as per the need of the hour, are also possible within the app.

To schedule a pMRP simulation, the planner needs to create simple data based on the operative data, assigned for resource planning. This data is also used as reference data in pMRP.

Step #3 – Generate pMRP Simulations

Planners are allowed to generate multiple simulations to check the impact of simulated change, happened to capacity, to make data-driven decisions. Simulation adjustments are allowed to trim down the inventory costs and better ROI.

What New Has Been Added in pMRP in S/4HANA 2020?

SAP users can have ultimate peace of mind while using its ERP module for business processing as few features and functionalities are added to make this tool industry-relevant. Continuing its promise to deliver updated services, SAP S/4HANA has offered a few additional features and apps for capacity management. Using these updates, one can attain a bit more perfection and leverage capacity planning.

The pMRP is now comes with Materials with an Invalid source and a Violated constraints feature. Additionally, users are now allowed to see the capacity plan simulation drop down menu, simulation components, and list of issues under the simulation views.

Let’s have a detailed overview of these two newly added facilities.

  1. Materials with Invalid source

This just-out-of-box feature displays the items whose supply source is not mentioned during the simulation run. Such materials will be notified about by the system for easy identification of problems in data fed to it yet.

  1. Violated constraints

Taking the help of this functionality allows planners to spot the key constraints, existing in the procurement quantity, and transfer the stocks from other plants to the in-house production. To fetch accurate violated constraints details, it’s crucial to pre-define the flexible constraints with the help of the “Define flexible constraints” in the Fiori application.

Designed to add constraints or restrictions for the in-house material, this app offers best-of-breed assistance in material procurement and restricts the demand quantities. Defined constraints by the planner are a key consideration for the simulations. When constraints are violated, the issues Process pMRP Simulations app enlists the problems.

Let’s try to explain this function by a simple example.

Consider, the planner has defined constraints for XYZ material as 25000 mobile phones from the vendor ABC per week. In case of exceeding demanded quality, for a particular instance, the system you will get the system error as Violated Constraint. This error will be placed in the simulation header for easy spotting.

Other than this, a brand-new Fiori App, ‘Define Flexible Constraints,’ is also launched in 2020. The app is designed to consider the capacity of the suppliers. To make most of this app and churn out desirable results, one must use existing ‘Schedule pMRP Simulation Creation’ and ‘Process pMRP Simulations’ apps together.

Ending Notes 

For a capacity resource manager and planner, early detection of capacity issues and the timely solution was always a tough task to accomplish. With the launch of pMRP functionality in S/4HANA, the life of a planner has become easier than ever as this feature has made spotting capacity and material-related constraints or issues effortless.

With the launch of two new features, Materials with Invalid Source and Violated constraints, it has become more lucrative and viable. So, don’t get tangled in the menial capacity issue and face trouble. Kill the nip in the bud with pMRP for capacity planning.

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