For the supply planners, the main concern revolves around impeccably balancing demand with the flow of resources across the enterprise value chain. The role calls for practical production or procurement planning to meet requests just in time. Understanding the pertinent resource orchestration requirements of modern companies, SAP Business ByDesign (SAP ByDesign) embeds an intuitive Supply Planning Engine (SPE) to deliver robust supply chain management (SCM) functionalities for the mid-market manufacturing and distribution entities. For SMEs, it brings the capabilities to plan, control and manage production-centric workflows and engage meaningfully with their supplier and customer bases.
At Percipere, we have customized the SAP ByDesign’s SPE for one of our frontline ecommerce clients, enhancing its standard capabilities to meet unique business requirements. The bespoke SPE functionalities were designed in response to our client’s desire to bring unmatched SAP ByDesign prowess into play for countering persisting operational challenges.
We plugged several landscapes into the client’s SAP ByDesign landscape on the system integration front for seamless and real-time data exchange and installed suitable filters for assuring data quality. While the SAP ByDesign stack operated as the core backend system for order fulfilments, it was layered by a highly responsive GUI on the customer end. The integration targeted to achieve:
- A seamless data exchange between multiple systems for managing the complete customer order lifecycle
- Data synchronization between systems with a single source of truth
- Striking the right balance between the demand and supply
The enhanced SPE capabilities were required to manage automated, multi-vendor relationships in integration with the GUI and trace the customer order lifecycle end-to-end, from the order placement to delivery. Once the customer places the order at the ecommerce website, it is pulled into the SPE. In case the stock is not readily carried in the inventory, a Purchase Order is triggered automatically for the preferred vendor, and all the necessary details are maintained in the system for tracking the progress of the PO.
How is the customized SPE different from a standard version?
- While a standard SPE can assign only one vendor to a particular product with a fixed price list, the customization executed by Percipere allows it to assign multiple vendors to one product with multiple offers.
- A standard SPE does not permit the tagging of a Sales Order to a Purchase Order. However, we can attach a SO with a particular PO to maintain traceability and run business processes smoothly with the customized SPE.
With the customized SPE, a user has access to several enabling functionalities, including:
- Creation of a procurement proposal a preferred selection of order-vendor combination
- Bundling of the procurement proposals concerning a specific product–vendor combination
The customized SPE control panel offers multiple options as above. Their functions can be explained as follows:
- Create PO: By selecting one particular line item, the user can click on the Create PO icon. It will create one composite PO by collating all the orders for that particular vendor.
- Toggle Exclude: The user can select or deselect the line items as per convenience and make it toggle exclude. If the status of toggle exclude is:
- Yes – The user cannot create PO for that line item
- No – The user can create PO for that line item
- Cancel PO: The user can cancel PO for a particular line item by clicking on the Cancel PO icon.
- Export: The user can export the POs to Microsoft Excel and get the list to send to the vendor.
- Current ETA: It reflects the Estimated Time Arrival of the product ordered by the customer.
- Next Preferred Vendor: If an ordered product is unavailable for delivery at the proposed date/time by a particular vendor, the client can opt for a different vendor and cancel the previous PO. Once a new PO is triggered, the status changes to success for the Next Preferred Vendor.
In the customized SPE, we have also designed a drop-down menu to have complete visibility into the system.
It delivers information like:
- SO Open: Displays the SOs for which the POs have not been created
- PO Ordered: Displays the already created POs
- PO Cancelled: Displays the POs that have been canceled
- PO Closed: Displays the POs that have been delivered and closed
- SO Cancelled: Displays the SOs canceled by the customer
- Failure next preferred integration status: Displays the canceled POs for which the next preferred vendor has not been updated
Thus, the customized SPE is central to our ecommerce client for managing the orders and ensuring their flawless delivery by integrating information and communication at each level. It allows the user to monitor progress in real-time and ensure fulfillment under any circumstances using the next preferred vendor approach. The SPE acts as an information repository for the entire fulfillment journey from procurement to delivery, allowing our ecommerce client unprecedented data-driven control over its supply chain functions.
Author: Jas Mamtora, Associate Consultant