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Problem Definition

Bottleneck resources are a common constraint in planning & manufacturing process in most businesses. Therefore, it is essential for supply network planners to have an accurate view of the capacity situation (Available Capacity and Capacity Consumption) on these bottleneck resources to enable them to plan efficiently in order to meet demand within a stipulated time frame.

APO has two different planning applications – Supply Network Planning or SNP for planning in the medium to long-term horizon and Production Planning & Detailed Scheduling or PP/DS for planning in the short-term horizon. The areas of responsibility between these two applications are segregated based on the horizons defined in the master data. While SNP plans outside the SNP production horizon or the short-term horizon PP/DS plans inside the PP/DS horizon or short-term horizon. Additionally, both these applications use separate set of master & transaction data. For example, SNP application uses SNP-type orders, Resources with bucket capacity and SNP-type Production Data Structure or PDS and PP/DS uses PP/DS-type orders, Resources with continuous capacity and PP/DS-type PDS.

In typical business scenarios, planning system APO is integrated either with a Legacy system or an ECC system for execution of the plan output from APO. Since plans are executed in the near-term or short-term horizon, therefore, planned or production orders transferred from either a Legacy or ECC execution system to APO system are always PP/DS-type orders and not SNP-type orders. However, during SNP planning run, APO creates SNP-type planned orders which consume bucket capacity of resources using SNP-type PDS. Similarly, during PP/DS planning run, APO creates PP/DS-type planned orders which consume time-continuous capacity of resources using PP/DS-type PDS. Therefore, while resources exist only once physically on the shop floor their capacities are represented twice as PP/DS-type time continuous capacities and SNP-type bucket capacities.

Since there is no direct link between a SNP-PDS and a PP/DS-PDS and no generally valid logic to calculate bucket consumption by PP/DS-type orders on SNP resources in standard SAP APO, therefore, there is no capacity consumption relevant for SNP by PP/DS-type orders that exist in the system.  This poses a problem for the supply planner since he does not have visibility to PP/DS-type orders already scheduled and hence consuming capacity on his physical (SNP) resources with bucket capacities in the interactive planning screen. This lack of visibility to PP/DS orders creates an inflated capacity situation on the resources in the near to medium-term during supply planning and hence can result into inaccurate capacity planning.

This inaccurate capacity planning may affect the whole supply chain planning process of business in a real scenario. To overcome this situation, SNP planning must take into account the capacity consumption of PPDS-type orders on mixed (combination of time-continuous and bucket) resources during SNP planning.

Business Implications

In order to understand business implications of the problem defined above, we need to look at two different business scenarios:

Scenario 1: APO is integrated with a Legacy execution system

When APO is integrated with a Legacy execution system, the planning output from APO to the execution system is usually integrated on a periodic basis e.g. weekly or monthly while the detailed schedule and everyday shop-floor related changes from the execution system are integrated back to APO on a more frequent basis e.g. daily. These scheduled orders or production orders from the execution system are created in APO as PP/DS-type orders that won't consume capacity on SNP bucket resources by standard. Since these orders are not consuming capacity on SNP resources, therefore, available capacity on these resources will be inflated which will lead to scheduling of SNP planned orders on these resources where no capacity actually exists unless the supply planner takes manual corrective action. This may lead to an inflated plan from APO passing back to the Legacy execution system at the end of next period e.g. week or month or a lot of additional manual effort from the supply planner in order to correct the plan.

Scenario 2: APO is integrated with ECC execution system

When APO is integrated with an ECC execution system, the transactional data between APO and ECC is usually integrated on a real-time basis i.e. whenever a change occurs in APO, the new plan is visible in ECC and vice-versa. This means that while all changes to the scheduled orders or production orders in the execution system are immediately passed to APO as new or changed PP/DS-type orders they will still not consume capacity on SNP bucket resources and hence do not impact SNP plan in reality. This implies that the supply planner will be blind to all such changes unless he uses one of the PP/DS transactions in APO to check the situation on the shop floor. This may lead to an inaccurate capacity plan immediately passing back from APO to ECC or a lot of additional manual effort from the supply planner in order to correct the plan and hence necessitate only periodic integration of the plan from APO to ECC.

In both scenarios, inaccurate capacity plan on bottleneck resources may lead to one or more of the following business consequences:

1. Products not being manufactured on time affecting customer service levels.

2. Ad-hoc adjustments to production schedule leading to excess or out-of-stock situations.

3. Inefficient planning of labor attached to bottleneck resources leading to cost overruns.

4. Skewed capacity bottleneck situation affecting capacity expansion plans.

5. Half-baked outsourcing decisions leading to financial implications.

Solution Overview

At a high level, APO is used for long-term planning, medium-term planning and short-term planning. The long-term, medium-term and short-term planning depends on planning horizon as provided by the business. For long-term and medium-term planning Supply Network Planning (SNP) is used, which is bucket-oriented planning for material and capacity requirements whereas for short-term planning Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) is used, which is time-continuous planning. In order to work with both SNP & PP/DS planning on the same resource, the resource should be Single/Multi-mixed resource type in APO. These types of resources can be managed for both time-continuous and bucket oriented planning.

For planning in APO, some basic master data such as location master, product master, resource and Production Data Structure or PDS needs to be maintained as a prerequisite. Out of these, the Production Data Structure (PDS) is one of the most important master data. This is because while planning in APO, planning engine reads Production Data Structure (PDS) to create planned orders. To work with SNP planning, SNP PDS needs to be maintained in APO and for PP/DS planning, PP/DS PDS needs to be maintained in APO.

Unlike in the ECC system, time-continuous resources and mixed resources can be defined separately in APO that can be used for only time-continuous and bucket-oriented as well as time-continuous planning respectively. Due to the fact that bucket capacities are calculated for these mixed resources even when a PPDS-type planned order is created, bucket resources are required to be maintained in Production Data Structure (PDS) as well.

Mixed resources allow SNP and PPDS to have a shared view of the resource schedule. The capacity commitment from PPDS-type orders can also be displayed for SNP on mixed resources. To enable this, the PPDS capacity commitment is converted to a bucket resource reservation.

Interactive supply network planning book and data view functionality can be leveraged for efficient planning of resources by SNP planners. The data view is the most important tool for the SNP planner. Traditionally, SNP planning books are not designed to view PP/DS orders / capacity consumption by PP/DS-type orders because SNP planning works on bucket capacity so it shows SNP orders / capacity consumption by SNP-type orders. In order to make it work for PP/DS orders some additional configuration at master planning object structure (MPOS) & planning book level is required. We will see additional configuration steps in the Solution details section.

Solution Details

·      Master data

Introduction to the PDS in APO

The Production Data Structure (PDS) is the key master data for all kinds of production planning related processes. The PDS is supported by the applications PP/DS, SNP, CTM and DP and can be used for Multi-level ATP and CTP as well. Like the PPM, the PDS corresponds to the production version on ECC side. Though both PPM and PDS are still available as alternatives, there is no further development for the PPM since SCM 4.0.

PDS-Types and Applications

The following figure provides an overview about the different PDS types. Analogous to the PPM, different PDS objects exist for the applications PP/DS, SNP and DP. As a difference to the PPM, the PDS for SNP is transferred directly from ECC and is not generated from the PP/DS master data.


Figure 1: PDS Types and Integration to ECC

  • PDS for PP/DS

The PDS for PP/DS is created from the R/3-production version like the PPM. Most of the developments are focused on the PP/DS functionality of the PDS.

Note: The PP/DS PDS does not have bucket consumption, so there is no capacity consumption relevant for SNP. By SAP standard, only continuous consumption is maintained in the PP/DS PDS by the Core Interface (CIF), the bucket consumption (which is how SNP views capacity) is missing.

  • PDS for SNP

Differing from the PPM for SNP, the PDS for SNP is transferred directly from ECC and is not generated from the PP/DS-PDS. The structure of the SNP-PDS is simpler than the structure of the PP/DS-PDS. The structure of the SNP-PDS is used by the applications SNP, CTM and DP.

In a production version it is possible to maintain routings for detailed and rough-cut planning. For PDS transfer from ECC to APO, it is possible to select from which routing the PDS will be generated (differing from the PPM transfer where always the routing for detailed planning was selected). This might be a modelling option for the transfer of SNP-PDS.

Note: Make sure to create a SNP-PDS by transferring through Core Interface. The reason is that while using 'show dependent objects’ option in the SNP planning book only SNP master data is checked.


  • PDS for CTM

In CTM, it is possible to choose whether PP/DS or SNP master data should be used. Both cases are supported by the PDS, though in each case the structure of the SNP-PDS is used. The content of the PDS will however differ, depending on whether PP/DS or SNP master data is selected as a basis for CTM. If CTM planning is to be carried out with SNP master data, the regular PDS for SNP is used. If CTM planning is to be carried out with PP/DS, a PDS of the type CTM is generated from the PP/DS-PDS at the point in time of the transfer of the PP/DS-PDS. This CTM-PDS contains a subset of the PP/DS-PDS and uses the structure of the SNP-PDS.


Figure 2 visualizes the creation of the PDS for CTM.

SNP Planning Book and Capacity Data View

  • PDS for PP/DS after BADI Implementation

Resource variable consumption populated for every operation into PP/DS Production data structure (PDS).

SNP Planning book and Capacity Data View after BADI Implementation

After Badi activation and completion of functional configuration - Available capacity, capacity consumption by PPDs-type orders and dependent object details are visible.

·      Configuration

Additional configuration as per below mentioned details is required to see order details for PP/DS orders in SNP capacity planning view:

  1. a. Assign key-figure 9AFPROD to aggregates 9ARE, 9AMARE and 9AREPR in the planning area. Only then the confirmed production quantities will be shown in the second grid of the capacity view.
  2. b. Assign the key-figure 9AFPROD to the planning book grid 2 and make it visible via macro 'layout attributes for resource type'.
  3. c. To display dependent objects details, SNP-PDS must be maintained in APO. The reason is that while using 'show dependent objects' option in the SNP planning book only SNP master data is checked.

· Enhancement/BADI

The PP/DS PDS does not have bucket consumption, so there is no capacity consumption relevant for SNP. In order to populate bucket consumption field into PP/DS Production Structure through standard CIF process we need to implement business add-in (BADI) /SAPAPO/CURTO_CREATE & method CIF_IMPORT and use the example coding of note 657185 (RTO: Sample code for calculating bucket consumptions 4.0.)

Sample Core Interface Setup

  • Integration

Create integration models for the resources, PPM/PDS using the production version of the routing as shown below:


  • Activate the Integration model.



Efficient capacity planning of bottleneck resources is one of the primary objectives of every SNP planner to effectively support supply chain planning process of their business organization. With standard SAP configuration and master data set-up of SNP and PP/DS planning applications, it is difficult to obtain a unified and accurate view of bottleneck resource capacities in the SNP capacity planning book and data view used by a supply planner, especially in the short to medium-term horizon. After reading this white paper, consultants as well as business users can gain a better understanding of the additional configuration, master data set-up and simple enhancement/BADI that can be used effectively to provide a single, combined and accurate view of bottleneck resource capacities in SNP capacity planning view to enable efficient utilization of such resources used in the manufacturing processes. Consequently, it will help users to make informed and better business decisions and enable usage of the appropriate method of capacity leveling which is best suited to meet the business requirements.

Abbreviations / Acronyms


Advanced Planning & Optimization


Core Interface


Capable to Match


Enterprise Core Component


Production Data Structure


Production Planning & Detailed Scheduling


Production Process Model


Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing


Supply Network Planning


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