The focus of automatic supply-to-production is on monitoring stocks in production with plan production replenishment up to the minute for high-volume production scenarios. Automatic supply to production is based on the control cycle and the supply area and provides a time-specific overview of the stock requirements situation in production (the short-term horizon). It provides a planning function for automatically creating replenishment elements for production. The summarized just-in-time (JIT) call is used as the replenishment element that supports both internal and external procurement. The automatic supply to production process is executed with SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) linked to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP).
The main benefit of automatic supply-to-production is that it provides a mechanism to monitor stocks in production and then, based on this information, plan production replenishment up to the minute for high-volume production scenarios. I explain the steps that you need to complete to use the supply-to-production process.
Figure 1 shows a high-level overview of the general supply-to-production process.
An overview of the general supply-to-production process
The Configuration Setup in SAP ERP Central Component (ECC)
Here is the list of objects in the SAP system that you need to use in the simulation of a supply-to- production process that I describe:
- Manufacturing plant
- Storage location
- Storage type
- Storage section/bin
- Production supply area
- Control cycle
(Note: I assume readers know how to create and set up plant, material, and warehouse master data objects in ECC. For this article I cover only the important master data configuration of other important objects.)
The warehouse used for simulation is WM1 as shown in Figure 2.
Define a warehouse
The storage type used for simulation is 001 as shown in Figure 3.
The storage type of the warehouse
Within a storage type, a storage section is a series of storage bins with the same features. These bins are used for stock placements. The storage section used for simulation is 001 as shown in Figure 4.
The storage section of the storage type in the warehouse
A storage location is the place where stock is physically kept within a plant. The storage location used for simulation is S015 as shown in Figure 5.
The storage location for the plant
Before you are ready to use the supply-to-production process, you need to complete the following configuration steps:
- Define a production supply area
- Define storage location control in SAP Warehouse Management
- Define number ranges for a JIT outbound call
- Define the JIT call profile
- Define JIT outbound call actions
- Define the internal processing status for a JIT outbound call
- Define a replenishment strategy for stock transfer
Define a Production Supply Area
To define a production supply area, follow menu path Customizing – Logistics Execution > Warehouse Management > Interfaces > Define Production > Production Supply Area > Define Production Supply Area. Click the execute icon beside Define Production Supply Area to display the screen in Figure 6.
Populate the Plant, Supply Area, and Stor. Location (storage location) fields as shown in Figure 6. For my example enter 2001, 77-06-260, and S015, respectively. Click the save icon to save your data.
Create a production supply area
Storage Location Control in Warehouse Management
A material requirement generates a transfer requirement that is used to create transfer orders in standard processing. When these transfer orders are confirmed, a stock transfer (WM storage location to kanban storage location) takes place in the background.
To maintain the settings, follow menu path Customizing – Logistics Execution > Warehouse Management > Interfaces > Stock Transfer for Kanban (with Warehouse Management System LE-WM) > Stor. Location Control in Warehouse Mgmt. In the screen the system opens, click New Entries (Figure 7).
New entries for storage location control
In the next screen (Figure 8), enter details for the warehouse name (WM1), storage type (001), plant (2001), storage location (S015), and movement type (311, which is a stock transfer within the plant). Click the save icon to save your data.
Storage location control details
Number Ranges for a JIT Outbound Call
This step consists of two stages. In the first stage, you define a number range for a JIT call key.
To define a new number range or check if an existing number range is present, follow menu path Customizing – Logistics Execution > JIT Outbound > Define Number Ranges. Click the execute icon beside Define Number Ranges to display the screen in Figure 9. In Figure 9, click Maintain Number Range for JITOHD (Call Range).
Number Range for JITOHD
This action opens the screen in Figure 10. Click the change Intervals button highlighted in Figure 10 to change intervals.
Maintain intervals for the number range
In the next screen, enter 0000000001 in the field under the From No. (from number) column and 8999999999 in the field under the To Number column (Figure 11). Click the save icon to save your entries.
Intervals maintained for the number range
In the second stage, you define a number range for the JIT call component group number. To complete the second stage of this step, follow the same navigation path that was described for the first stage and click Maintain Number Range for JITOIT (Components Group) as shown in Figure 12.
The number range for JITOIT
To maintain the number range, follow the instructions before Figures 10 and 11.
Define the JIT Call Profile
The JIT call profile is assigned to a control cycle, thereby setting the automatic controls for all JIT calls created via this control cycle. It consists of:
- The JIT call type
- The partner role
- The type of summary
- The time definition
To define the JIT call profile, follow menu path Customizing – Logistics Execution > JIT Outbound > Control Profiles > Define JIT Call Profile. Click the execute icon beside Define JIT Call Profile to display the screen in Figure 13. Click the New Entries button.
Define the JIT call profile
In the next screen (Figure 14), go to the JIT Call Prof. (JIT call profile) field and enter the name of the JIT call profile (ZJIT) and a text description (JIT Profile). In the Partner role JC (partner role JIT call) field, enter VN (vendor), and in the Summary field, select No summary from the drop-down menu. (Selecting this option determines whether and how you group material requirements.) In the Messg Det. Usge (message determination usage) field, select Message Determination Required. Click the save icon to save your data.
The JIT call profile
Define JIT Outbound Call Actions
You first check the actions offered as standard in this IMG activity. If additional actions are needed, you can define them by following menu path Customizing – Logistics Execution > JIT Outbound > Call Control > Define Actions. Click the execute icon beside Define Actions to open the screen in Figure 15.
Figure 15 lists all the standard actions that are predefined. For my example, highlight action ODLI, which is relevant for outbound delivery, and then press Enter.
JIT outbound actions
Define the Internal Processing Status for a JIT Outbound Call
You use this IMG activity to define the internal processing status for your business process. To complete this activity, follow menu path Customizing – Logistics Execution > JIT Outbound > Call Control > Define Internal Processing Status. Click the execute icon beside Define Internal Processing Status to open the screen in Figure 16.
In Figure 16, enter a different internal processing status that would be used as per your business process. For my example, enter 5000 in the field under the ProcStat (processing status) column and a text description (Archived) in the field under the Text column. Click the save icon.
Define an internal processing status for JIT
Define a Replenishment Strategy for Stock Transfer
To define the stock transfer replenishment strategy for summarized JIT calls, follow menu path Customizing – Logistics Execution > JIT Outbound > Summarized JIT Call > Define Replenishment Strategies for Stock Transfer. Click the execute icon beside Define Replenishment Strategies for Stock Transfer to open the screen in Figure 17. Click the New Entries button.
New entries for the replenishment strategy
In the next screen (Figure 18), populate the Plant and Stock Transfer fields. For my example enter 2001 and Z002 Processing with Delivery, respectively. In the Control Type field, select option 2 Processing with Delivery. Click the save icon to save your data.
Create a replenishment strategy
Required Master Data Setup in ECC
This section lists the important master data needed for this simulation.
Define Material Master Data
Material used for my simulation is MAT-1 as shown in Figure 19.
Define material master data
Define the Control Cycle
The control cycle determines the replenishment method to be used between the supply and demand source and the quantity required. To create a control cycle, execute transaction code PKMC. In the screen that the system opens (Figure 20), enter the name of the plant in the Plant field (2001) and click the create icon.
Create the control cycle
In the next screen, select the Autom. SumJC (automatic summarized JIT calls) radio button. In the Material field enter the name of the material (MAT-1), and in the Plant field, enter the name of the plant (2001). In the Prodn Supply Area (production supply area) field, enter 77-06-260. Click the green checkmark icon shown in Figure 21.
Create the type of control cycle
In the Call section of the next screen, enter a value in the Call Item Qty (call item quantity) field (24) and a value in the No.Load Carrier (number of load carrier) field. For my example, enter 1 (The value entered in the No.Load Carrier field specifies the standard amount of material packed by the supplier each time material is shipped.) In the Replenishment Strategy section, select the Ext.procurement (external procurement) strategy (Z002 [created in Figure 18]) and then click the Flow Control tab as shown in Figure 22.
Control cycle parameters
In the Flow Control tab (Figure 23) maintain the JIT Call Profile (ZJIT [created in Figure 14]).
Control cycle flow control
In the Plng (planning) tab, enter a minimum stock quantity of 24 as shown in Figure 24. This value specifies that whenever the quantity of this material goes below 24, a JIT call is generated and sent to the supplier.
Planning for the control cycle
Process Simulation to Generate the JIT Call
Before generating any calls for material, you need to check the existing stock for this part in the system. To complete this activity, execute transaction code MB52. This action open the screen in Figure 25 in which you enter the name of the material in the Material field (MAT-1) and the name of the plant in the Plant field (2001). After you enter your data, click the execute icon.
Warehouse stock of material
In the next screen (Figure 26), you can see that the total stock available for this part in the S015 storage location is a quantity of 23.
Display available stock in the warehouse
So as per the control cycle setting defined in Figure 24, the minimum stock required for this material is 24. In my example, you currently have only 23 pieces, so a deficit exists. To replenish and generate the call, execute transaction code S2L. This action opens the screen in Figure 27.
In Figure 27, go to the Mode field and select 1 Change Mode from the options in the drop-down menu. You also need to populate the Plant and Material fields. For my example enter 2001 and MAT-1, respectively. Click the execute icon. This action opens the screen in Figure 28.
Enter data for your plant and material in the Supply-to-Production Table Entry screen
Figure 28 shows that there is shortage of a quantity 1 for this part. Note also that in the Stat (status) column, the overall status is red, indicating a shortage of stock. To execute the program, click the generate icon highlighted in yellow.
The supply-to-production status
In the refreshed screen (Figure 29) note that the system has created a new replenishment proposal with a quantity of 24 as per the setting in the control cycle. Note also that overall status is now green. A status of green indicates that the required level of stock up to the minimum quantity is available.
After a JIT call is created, to check it execute transaction code JITOM. This action opens the screen in Figure 30. In the Plant field enter the name of the plant (2001) and in the Int.proc.status date (internal processing status date) field, enter a date (08/09/2017). Click the execute icon.
In the next screen (Figure 31), note that the quantity for group number 1047015549 is 24 pieces, which is the same as shown in Figure 29. Double-click group number 1047015549 to display the details in Figure 32.
JITOM call status
(Note: The JIT call profile ZJIT is the same profile that you created in Figure 14. The processing status also is 1800, which as per the settings in Figure 16, is for outbound delivery.)
To view the delivery, click the Delivery button (Figure 32).
JIT call details
In the next screen (Figure 33), the outbound delivery number 1700967186 is created for material for warehouse WM1. Again, note that the quantity remains the same (24). To view the document flow, click the document flow icon highlighted in yellow.
JIT outbound delivery
In the next screen (Figure 34) there is a WMS transfer order 0004448361 that is created for this outbound delivery. This transfer order is created only if there is stock at the warehouse level in the storage bin in which the material is placed. If there is no inventory at the storage bin, the transfer order is not created. When no transfer order is created, replenishment of stock does not happen.
JIT outbound delivery document flow
To display the transfer order, execute transaction code LT23. This action opens the screen in Figure 35. In the Warehouse number and Transfer order fields in this screen, enter details for the warehouse (WM11) and transfer order (4448361). Click the execute icon. This action opens the screen in Figure 36.
Enter data for the warehouse and transfer order
Figure 36 shows the details for the transfer order. Note that a red signal indicates that the transfer order has not been processed yet.
Transfer order details
To confirm the transfer order, execute transaction code LT12. This action opens the screen in Figure 37. In the TO (transfer order) Number field Enter the number of the transfer order and in the Warehouse Number field, enter the name of the warehouse. After you enter your data, press the Enter key.
Enter details for the transfer order
In the next screen (Figure 38), enter the quantity of order to be confirmed. For my example, enter a quantity of 24 pieces and then click the Confirm Internally button.
Confirm the transfer order
After you click the Confirm Internally button, the system displays a message at bottom of the screen that the transfer order has been confirmed (Figure 39).
Transfer order confirmed
After confirmation of the transfer order, to view the status of outbound delivery, execute transaction code VL03N. This action opens the screen in Figure 40. In this screen, enter the outbound delivery number in the Outbound Delivery field and press the Enter key.
Display outbound delivery
The next screen (Figure 41) then shows that the status is C (completed) for the overall pick status and the overall warehouse management status.
The outbound delivery status
As replenishment is completed, to check the stock situation execute transaction code MB52. This action opens the screen in Figure 42 in which you enter name of the material (MAT-1) and the plant (2001) in the Material and Plant fields, respectively. After you enter your data, click the execute icon. This action opens the screen in Figure 43.
Warehouse stock of the material
In Figure 43, you can see that the total stock available for this part in S015 storage location is a quantity of 47. So, stock has been replenished successfully from an existing quantity of 23 in Figure 26 to 47 in Figure 43 (23 + 24 = 47).
The available stock in the warehouse
Important Points to Consider While Implementing the Supply-to-Line Production Process
Since for any manufacturing location there are multiple parts that are needed, control cycles need to be maintained separately for each of those parts. It is also not feasible to run the supply-to- production process manually for all these parts. Therefore, batch jobs are scheduled to run periodically.
The supply-to-production transaction provides options for 1 Change Mode, 2 Change Mode with Replenishment Proposals, 3 Display Mode, and 4 Print List. To view these options execute transaction code S2L. This action opens the screen in Figure 44 in which you can select these options in the drop-down menu in the Mode field.
Mode options in the Supply-to-Production Table Entry header screen
If the control cycles or the supply-to-production transaction is open in change mode, then the batch jobs directly exclude the control cycles from their runs since the master data is considered locked. The system then sends error messages as shown in Figures 45 and 46.
Locking error message 1
Locking error message 2
Depending on your business need, you may find activating the change log to be useful. This function enables you to trace and monitor changes to the kanban control cycle. Each change, whether manual or automatic, results in the creation of a document. To activate the change log, execute transaction code OM00 (customizing for Kanban) and follow menu path Activate Additional Functions for Control Cycles. In the initial screen that the system opens (not shown), click the New Entries button. This action displays the screen in Figure 47. Click the display>change icon (the glasses and pencil) and then select the Control Cycle Change Documents Active box. Click the save icon or press the Enter key after you make your selection.
Activate logging for the control cycle