In this blog post, we present a new feature of SAP TM in SAP S/4HANA oP2021 FPS2 which adds another dimension to the handling of business partners and locations. It's about the new capability of SAP TM to deal with multiple addresses of business partners when managing locations and in logistics integration, besides also now considering the validity of delivery addresses in transportation planning.
But let's start with some background…business partners in SAPS/4HANA were already enabled to deal with multiple addresses for the following purpose:
Assume, a vendor frequently delivers equipment to SAP SE. Now, SAP SE has different delivery addresses, e.g. one in Walldorf and one nearby in St. Leon-Rot.
That means, the customer master of SAP SE needed to look like this:
But this is not what you want as it's actually only one legal entity.
So, you want to maintain it like this:
Meaning, one customer master record with different addresses.
And this is what has been introduced with the business partner. It can have several standard addresses with disjunct validities. Furthermore, it can have deviating addresses for respective partner functions, as e.g. for the delivery address.
Following this, in a first step many applications being part of an Order-to-Cash-scenario have implemented respective enhancements to adhere to this.
As an example, you can choose one of the possible addresses in sales documents. Therefore, a respective popup has been introduced:
The missing part so far was the enablement of such business partners in SAP TM.
The challenges are in detail:
Locations have to be created and managed for each of the business partners addresses
During logistics integration, the correct locations of the involved business partner have to be found, according to their addresses. And the validity of the addresses has to be considered in transportation planning.
With SAP S/4HANA oP2021 FPS2, we tackled those challenges!
The most important new features are explained in the following:
Let's assume we have a business partner with several standard addresses and a deviating delivery address:
When we now want to create the respective locations for all or some of the addresses, we have the following options:
As explained here, a BAdI can be implemented to create and update locations of business partners automatically from transaction BP.
This BAdI has been enhanced by two example implementations to consider either only standard addresses or standard and also delivery addresses during creation/update of a business partner.
The report /SAPAPO/CREATE_LOCATION is intended to create locations referring to an entity, such as business partner, shipping point, plant or MRP area.
The selection screen has been extended to let the user choose which of the business partners addresses to be considered:
During logistics integration 'on the fly'
In this blog post, the location creation 'on the fly' is explained. This works now also for any delivery address used in a sales document. (see paragraph below for details on the handling of multiple business partner addresses in logistics integration)
The locations can then be displayed and maintained in transaction /SCMTMS/LOC3
The selection screen had been enhanced some time ago, as described here. But this has furtherly been extended for multiple addresses of business partners.
If you enter a business partner with multiple addresses, a popup appears where you can choose for which address you want to see the location:
That's technically the same popup as used in sales documents.
Furthermore, we added another elementary search help to the collective search help of the location name:
As you can see, this matches the part of the selection screen regarding finding a location by reference object. And in the search help again, you'll have the popup to choose a business partner address.
When it comes to the integration of sales documents with TM, we're now able to deal with delivery addresses of customers that deviate from the standard address. As explained above, a popup during the creation of the sales document lets the user choose the delivery address. TM then searches for the corresponding location, or might be creating it 'on the fly', and takes it into account for freight unit building and transportation planning.
Moreover, the validity of addresses has to be considered during transportation planning.
Assume, you want to deliver goods at an address whose validity is restricted. E.g. there's some downtime due to maintenance or whatever. In that case, transportation planning has to be adjusted in a way that delivery takes only place during times when the address is valid. But of course this has still to be in the delivery window given by the sales document.
See the following example:
Imagine, the delivery window as maintained in the sales document is from Oct 3rd to Oct 10th.
Now, we could have the following use cases:
The delivery address is valid only before Oct 3rd or after Oct 10th -> No delivery with the requested time and address is possible, an error message is raised
The delivery window is fully within the validity of the delivery address -> Everything fine, delivery is possible
The validity of the delivery address ends at Oct 8th -> The delivery window is adjusted in transportation planning to end at Oct 8th
The validity of the delivery address starts at Oct 5th -> The delivery window is adjusted in transportation planning to start at Oct 5th
One important restriction with SAP S/4HANA oP2021 FPS2 has to be kept in mind. As already mentioned, the above is only implemented for Order-to-Cash-scenarios. It's not supported yet for any procurement scenarios, meaning multiple addresses of suppliers are not considered yet in logistics integration with TM.
Additional information can be found in the respective note 3166861.
So, those enhancements are surely a big step towards a more detailed and accurate transportation planning in scenarios when a customer has several possible delivery addresses and with considering their validities.