One of the key capabilities in SAP S/4HANA TM is the tight and seamless integration with other SAP components and solutions.
The importance of integration capabilities for a transportation management system becomes obvious when we take a look at the SAP Digital Supply Chain, which is covered by a holistic end-to-end process from Design to Operate:
And when talking about Transportation Management, we are in the process step of 'Deliver':
You see, that the clear expectation for Transportation Management is to be integrated with the solutions in 'Deliver' (such as Extended Warehouse Management, Yard Logistics, Business Network for Logistics) but also with other process steps of 'Design to Operate'.
Talking about further integration scenarios, surely many of you already experienced integration with sales, purchasing or logistics execution when it comes to defining the transport requirements of orders or deliveries and creating respective freight units in TM.
But in the past couple of years huge efforts have been spent by the TM development (and other development units, of course) to increase the number of integration scenarios and thereby facilitating an efficient transport planning and execution. Furthermore, the goal of resilient supply chains is only achievable by a tight and seamless integration of all involved components and powerful monitoring capabilities.
So, it's surely worth investigating a bit deeper which integration scenarios currently are supported in TM. This summary is based on SAP S/4HANA 2023 as a result of my personal experiences and is no part of any official documentation. Besides, it does not pretend to be complete. So if you're missing an integration scenario, please mention it in the comments and take is at a bonus 🙂
We start with a one page overview and explain the integrated components briefly in the following, where details of the mentioned applications and the integration scenarios can be found in respective links:
SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC): Integration with TM enables you to monitor all transport-related KPI e.g., the performance of carriers, reasons for delayed transports and many more.
SAP Event Management (EM): With EM you get full visibility of your transports in TM by tracking all relevant events which are related to the transport or by reporting actual events. Relevant business documents from TM are freight units, freight documents or transportation units.
Inbound Cargo Registration (ICR): This is the central workplace at a goods receipt office for a business user who is responsible for registering inbound trucks and their cargo. Integration with freight orders and consignment orders of TM is possible with the full functionality if all stops of the document are relevant for ASR.
Document Information Extraction (DOX): Extract information from a great variety of documents with machine learning based heuristics. For TM this can be used e.g. to capture shipping documents.
SAP HANA Spatial Services (HSS): Gain access through an unified interface to geocoding, mapping and routing functionalities integrated from third-party service providers. This can then be used in transport planning for the calculation of transport distances and durations.
Logistics Integration (LE): Define transport requirements for delivery documents and create respective freight units. Besides, update delivery documents with planning data from TM.
Billing (SD-BIL): Create invoices for customers based on settlement documents from TM.
Sales (SD-SLS): Define transport requirements for sales documents and create respective freight units.
Purchasing (MM-PUR): Define transport requirements for purchase documents and create respective freight units.
Invoice Verification (MM-IV): Verify invoices for freight costs of a transport.
Quality Management (QM): Supplier returns can be triggered from TM for identified defects based on a QM notification (see this blog post).
Looking at those integration scenarios, it shows one of the beauties of the embedded version of TM in SAP S/4HANA. With components LE, SD, MM, QM and with EWM in the ASR scenario, a direct integration is possible, means those components are on the same system and data is shared between the components. Technically spoken, direct selects on database tables and calling of API replace the communication e.g. per web service.
Concluding this overview of integration scenarios, it has to be mentioned that some of those applications might require an additional license. This and further information about deployment options etc. can be obtained in the links above or other popular information sources of SAP.
So, I hope this overview paints a good picture of the great variety of integration scenarios SAP S/4HANA TM is supporting currently, thereby enabling many different business scenarios and leveraging efficient work for all involved business users.