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Introduction : Global Available To Promise
(GATP) in APO supports online searches to determine if requested products are available at specific times in quantities that satisfy customer demand. GATP processes are run via SAP live Cache, which processes large volumes of data and enables data sharing across several applications. GATP meets the challenge of providing availability information across a global enterprise. The concept of available to promise (ATP) used in Sales and Distribution (SD) module in SAP R/3 provides check capabilities that deliver results for basic business scenarios. More complex scenarios, however, require more robust capabilities to make delivery commitments that are in line with the real-world demands. In short, global scenarios require global solutions.  Global ATP — or GATP — takes advantage of SAP APO technology and picks up where the SAP R/3 ATP solution leaves off.

Following are the functionalities using GATP allows you to answer questions related to promising products to your customers. GATP quickly makes information available to provide real-time optimized decision support.  It offers the functionality to perform availability checks which consist of online searches that determine if requested products are available at requested times in the quantities that satisfy customer demand. GATP can be used for Sales Order, Scheduling Agreement, Delivery, stock transfer orders and production orders (for their input components).
GATP Methods can be classified into three areas:
  1. Basic methods and their combination (product check, product allocation, and check against forecast)
  2. Rules-based ATP (RBA)
  3. ATP integrated with production
You can combine several GATP methods to provide more advanced capabilities.

Product Check 
A basic product availability check generates positive results if the so-called ATP quantity for a product is available on the requested delivery date. If it is not available, a new delayed delivery date is proposed. The ATP quantity referenced during the product availability check is based on categories defined in Scope of Check.

Product Allocation Check (PAL)
The second basic method is product allocation (PAL). Using information in the DP module, PAL lets you know your availability to promise when sales orders compete for quantities in a constrained supply chain. New products, production downtimes, and other factors lead to fluctuating demands, which can affect product supply. For these situations, PAL provides a tool to ensure a better distribution of the total amount when a company cannot deliver the full available quantity to a customer.

Check against Forecast
The last method on the list is a check against forecast. It provides a check method that is especially important in make-to-order environments, where inventory is not available to confirm the quantity ordered by the customers. In this case, the quantity confirmation is performed against the forecast. Like PAL, this functionality is integrated with the DP module.

Rules-Based ATP
An ordinary ATP check is restricted to the requested locationproduct and checks only the according timeseries. Using rules-based ATP it is possible to substitute both the location and the product. In branched supply chain networks, rules-based ATP allows companies to take full advantage of multiple shipping assets to ship goods from alternative sites to customers. In addition, it permits certain products to be substituted as required to successfully satisfy customer demands. RBA is beneficial for Distributors, consumer product goods Industries

CTP technology taps into SAP APO Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) functionality. CTP triggers an online ATP check when a sales order is created. If the supply cannot cover the new demand, the PP/DS functionality is called on as a part of the ATP check.
Production can be directly triggered through a CTP Check if the inventory is not available to satisfy an incoming demand. Production is either triggered for the full requirement quantity or partial requirement quantity depending on the available inventory. Production can be triggered for sales orders or stock transport orders. When production is triggered, the system creates a feasible production plan that respects any material or capacity constraints.  The key driver for triggering production as part of an ATP check is the configuration of the check instructions - production should be triggered directly or after an availability check.

Product Master- PP/DS Tab - PP Plng Procedure determines the action in CTP.  Example - Cover Dependent Requirements Immediately option is selected, a product heuristic for a specific product is called immediately when a sales order is created or changed. In general, the PP planning procedure determines the actions to be executed after a planning event like - sales order creation, goods movement, planned order change, etc. You cannot use CTP for backorder processing. The main reason for this is the poor performance of the procedure. CTP is beneficial for Steel manufacturers, paper, chemical Industries. Please refer SAP Note#426563 for additional information.

Multilevel ATP
The basic idea of the multi-level ATP is to confirm a customer request if the components for the product are available in time (i.e. taking the lead-time to produce the finished product into account). Basically, multilevel ATP explodes a bill of material (BOM) for the assembled product, then checks the availability of each item at the component level. A multilevel ATP check determines the availability of each component required by the finished good.


A big difference between this check and CTP is data is stored in the ATP tree. It's a new object that prevents the creation of the receipt elements generated by CTP. 

It is especially helpful for business scenarios that require products to be configured for individual customers (assemble-to-order scenarios). If component availability is the critical factor for your planning, multilevel ATP is the best option. Because CTP focuses on detailed scheduling strategies, it is the best choice when bottlenecks are the critical factor. SAP note 480292, Multilevel ATP documentation also provides helpful information about the functionality.
In a make-to-order environment there are no receipts per definition. The idea of an ATP check is therefore not to check whether there are receipts for the requested product but whether there is enough available capacity to produce the product and/or whether the required components are available. This can also be done using third option - ATP check against allocations, where the allocations represent an aggregated capacity.

Transportation and Shipment scheduling
The transportation and shipment scheduling is an integral part of the availability check in APO, and calculates the time difference between the requested delivery date at the customer site and the required material availability date at the factory. In between the requested delivery date and the material availability date the goods issue date, the loading date and the transportation planning date are scheduled. The scheduling starts from the requested delivery date and time. The requested delivery date is meant as the date when the material has to arrive at the customer site. This is the date which is entered in the sales order.

Backorder Processing
The basic idea of backorder processing is to carry out a new ATP check for a set of order items. This way backorder processing can also be used to distribute quantities in case of shortage (resp. lateness) according to priorities. Backorder processing is usually performed in the background, but interactive backorder processing is also possible.  Basically, BOP consists of three steps: Filter the treated elements, sort those sales documents, and schedule them.

Event-driven quantity assignment (EDQA)
EDQA automatically starts backorder processing. EDQA is a feature within BOP that allows the system to react immediately, based on the business events that are affecting the stock availability situation. Instead of waiting for the next BOP batch run, EDQA resolves the ATP check inconsistencies with a list of defined activities. Some of the business events that can be modeled in EDQA are the goods receipt of inventory, changes in purchasing or sales documents, changes in the sales order confirmation, Changing the stock data, or Changing the planned order.
Additional References
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Satish Waghmare
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