Note: The blog post was updated with additional information for on-premise users and resources about the configuration of cut-off times were added (11 October, 2023).
Flexibility and precision are key to successful and sustainable supply chain management. This blog provides an overview how you can leverage the new scheduling solution Business Process Scheduling (first delivered in CE2208/OP2022 ) for your use cases.
Business Process Scheduling (BPS) schedules dates (on the level of days or seconds) for the business areas Sales, Stock Transport, and Outbound Delivery. The relevant dates to be scheduled are defined as the start or end of logistical activities, for example, the material availability is defined as the start of picking.
The following graphic displays how scheduling works with a standard example: Based on a requested date, below, the delivery date, the scheduling process starts (process flow depicted in orange). From the requested delivery date, the duration of the preceding activity is subtracted. From here, the duration of the next activity is subtracted, and so on to determine all relevant dates before the delivery date. This is how the dates are scheduled via backward scheduling. If any date lies in the past, the scheduled dates can’t be met. Therefore, the earliest date in the past is shifted to the earliest permissible date. The durations of activities are added on the timeline after the preceding scheduled date to reschedule all dates. This is called forward scheduling (green process flow).
Scheduling process with backward and forward scheduling
Information about a business process is configured in a BPS scheduling schema. These configurable schemas contain information about the activities of a business process, the sources of their attributes (calendar, duration, time zone), and date types to be scheduled.
Configuration steps to maintain a BPS schema
Scheduling schema configuration
This video also gives you an overview of the basic BPS functionalities.
You can activate BPS easily. First, activate scheduling for the document type you want to use. Second, activate BPS for specific combinations of document types, item categories, and shipping points. Each combination is assigned to a BPS scheduling schema which contains information about how to schedule documents that match a particular entry. Using the wildcard logic, it is also possible to activate BPS for, for example, all shipping points .
Activate delivery and transportation scheduling for sales documents
Activate BPS for business processes configurations
When using BPS, you can use the standard business processes or configure your own. This flexibility allows you to tailor the solution exactly to your business needs.
A configurable scheduling schema is the starting point to customize your individual setup. BPS allows you to add custom activities and date types to schemas which will be scheduled accordingly.
Scheduling with custom activities
To configure highly flexible and individual values for the attributes calendar and duration, BPS offers an app within the advanced Available-to-Promise license.
Advanced Attribute Determination with Fiori app Configure Activity Attributes
(aATP license required)
With the Fiori app Configure Activity Attributes, you can flexibly configure durations and working times of logistical activities. The values are based on configurable combinations of
attributes of sales documents
attributes of stock transport orders
attributes you add via the app Custom Fields and Logic
First, create a combination of characteristics in the app Manage Characteristic Combination. Examples for characteristics are delivery priority, route, shipping type, division, etc. Second, add this combination to a new access you create in the app Configure Activity Attributes. Lastly, you can define values for your characteristic combinations and specify durations and working times for individual entries.
This means, for example, you can change the duration to perform an activity like loading based on the combination of a specific shipping point and the delivery priority, for example by reducing the time it takes to load a transportation vehicle if the delivery priority is high.
For more details how to use the app, check out this video:
To tailor BPS to your needs even more, you can add your custom logic to the mix easily with the delegation feature. In the schema configuration, you can delegate activities to a custom logic to calculate the start and end dates of one or more scheduling activities in your business process.
Delegated activities are not scheduled by BPS. However, the calculated dates impact the start and end dates of the adjacent activities. Therefore, the delegation affects the calculated dates of all scheduling activities in your business process.
Example of delegation, adding one day to the standard duration (test system only)
Review Scheduling Result
Even great solutions to complicated processes can be complex – the Review Scheduling Result app explains the scheduling process and results with BPS in an easy to understand and graphical way.
You can access the app through the Review Availability Check Result. If you're using SAP S/4HANA (on-premise), you can also use the BPS simulation report (transaction BPS_SIMULATION).
In the header of the main screen, the app displays the scheduled date types, which schema and time granularity BPS used for scheduling. The Gantt chart in the center displays scheduling activities and their total and net durations (net duration including non-working days/times).
Review Scheduling Result Fiori app
When you click on of the activities, you can see the determined attributes and their values such as details about the source of the determinations. In the section Messages, the scheduling process leading to the respective results is explained (for example, backward and forward scheduling or shifts of scheduled date types are explained).
Details about attribute determination in the Review Scheduling Result app
Check out the video for a deeper overview of the functionality: