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The task of the Supply Chain Execution Package Builder (SCE PB) is to package items following the defined package type assignments and constraints. This results in an item hierarchy, where supplied (product) items are assigned to super-ordinate package items. Those package items hold information like how good they are utilized, dimensions, weight, and a package quantity in the corresponding unit of measure.The application calling the SCE PB can now decide what to do with this result - probably persist it in the business document. For scenarios with multiple different top level package materials it can be of essential interest to determine a normalized quantity. Such a normalized quantity transfers quantities in different units of measures into the same unit. This way different items can be compared. A typical business scenario would be that there are two package materials (in Europe for example the standard EU pallet and a pallet cage, or a CHEP pallet and a cool-box). I like to call this footprint, but the official SAP Transportation Management term is normalized quantity.

From a technical point of view it is important to mention that the SCE PB does not care what the target footprint unit of measure represents: It may be a real (for example your favorite pallet type - EURO pallet EPL) or abstract (something artificial, that can be used globally) unit. It may be something linear (loading meter), square, or cubic. The determination logic that I will explain does not have any constraints for the type of unit or measure.

The SCE PB is capable to determine such a normalization quantity on any item level: per product and also per package (on any hierarchy level). If there are the required definitions available, the determination logic will be applied and the value added to the item attributes. From a process point of view the normalization quantity of a product expresses how good it actually consolidates with other products, while for package materials it expresses how they relate to other package materials.

The determination logic is activated in the Package Building Profile:

There is a new field available to specify the desired unit of measure.

When package building is executed using a profile with a maintained normalization unit of measure, it will apply the package building constraints and create the item hierarchy. But in addition it will also check if

  1. a specific normalization factor is maintained for the material

  2. a material based conversion exists

and calculate the normalization quantity.

Example A: product material

Product definitions with no normalization conversion

For the product nothing is maintained in the material. The package type assignment has been enhanced with another definition (Normalized Quantity Definition) and here a factor has been added for the product.

Normalized Quantity Definition in the Package Type Assignment

So in case the SCE PB receives an item with product LRD_PRD_BRSO1_375C, it will multiply the item quantity with the factor (0,0100064652). Note that a material can have multiple normalization factors for different units of measure to support different planning scenarios.

Example B: package material

Material Definitions for Package

When creating a package item with material LRD_PM_CHEP_PALLET, the SCE PB will pick this conversion and multiply it with the package item quantity. So in case it is a full pallet, the result will be 1 NP1. In case the pallet is not full, it will result in a lower value.

Now running a scenario in the PB test report, we get the following:

The following questions are obvious:

  1. Where does a good factor come from for a product?

  2. What does SAP TM do with this normalization quantity in the new process (MKS90)?

Stay tuned for the next MKS!