Comparing bills of material has always been a challenging and cumbersome process for BOM engineers. It is a widely used and surviving feature using the transaction (CS14) in the world of ERP and SAP S/4HANA. We are moving a step further and introducing the BOM comparison feature in an intuitive and easy-to-use cloud-based SAP Fiori app with additional capabilities to challenge the complexities. The app "Compare Bills of Material" is available as of SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2111 release.
Figure 1 – Compare Bills of Material on SAP Fiori Launchpad
Key Features of the App
Let’s focus on the key features of this app:
The app has engaging user interfaces to provide a better user experience as compared to the SAP GUI transaction.
The app supports BOM comparison for different use cases such as:
Same BOM with different validity dates and change numbers.
Two different BOMs (Compare parts of two finished products, or compare product different alternative BOMs, compare the product with different BOM usages, or BOMs in different plants to know how the production process is different across plants)
Different BOM types (Material BOM and Sales Order BOM) to understand how the “as engineered” product structure differs from the “as sold” (engineer to order/configure to order scenarios).
Versioned BOM and date-effective BOM.
Here in the app, we address the BOMs being compared as the primary BOM (BOM 1) and the secondary BOM (BOM 2).
To start with, the search feature allows you to search for the BOMs that you want to compare using the various search criteria and filters.
Even before you start the comparison, you've to specify the criteria or parameters on which you want to compare.The app has the option where you can readily select the comparison parameters. By default, material type, item category, and component quantity are selected for comparing the BOMs. You can go ahead and select or deselect the comparison parameters that you want using the options provided on the screen (see Figure 2).Figure 2 - Select Comparison Parameter Option
Once you've selected the comparison parameters, you move ahead with comparing the BOMs. You can compare the same BOM or two different BOMs with single-level explosion or multilevel explosion. Note that you can explode the BOM down to the lowest level and compare it in a multilevel comparison. Figure 3 – Compare Single BOM Dropdown List
Based on your comparison selection, a new dialog box has been introduced for both single-level and multilevel comparisons. You can fill in additional details before you proceed with comparing the BOM.Figure 4 – Input Details for Single Level Comparison Dialog Box
Here the app is intelligent enough to check if you've chosen a versioned BOM or a non-versioned BOM. If it is a versioned BOM, the system enables the version field and disables the change number and validity fields from the dialog box.
When you compare, the app provides different views of the comparison result. For example, differentiated, summarized, BOM 1 versus BOM 2. The comparison results view provides a side-by-side comparison of the BOMs. It also allows you to understand the differences between the BOMs. You get an understanding of the common or unique components between the compared BOMs and if any components are exactly similar or with differences. The comparison results are also illustrated using colored bars and icons.Figure 5 -Comparison Result View for Multilevel Comparison
In the header section of the Comparison Results view, you can view the BOM header details of both BOM 1 and BOM 2.
The Differentiated and Summarized views are for single-level comparison.
The Comparison Summary and BOM 1 versus BOM 2 views are for multilevel comparison. Figure 6 - Comparison Results Highlighting BOM 1 versus BOM 2 View
Furthermore, you can view comparison details of the compared items in a side panel, and you can filter the fields that are relevant and not relevant for comparison. Figure 7 - Side Panel to View Comparison Details
Overall, the app provides functionalities to reduce cumbersome processes with engaging and intuitive UIswith immediate comparison results.In the coming releases, new features will be added to enrich the app with some more capabilities and better performance.
You can see how the app works in this YouTube video.
The in-app help provided on the UI for more information. Figure 8 - In-app help
You can access the SAP Help Portal documentation here.