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Maintaining product master in R/3 or in APO.

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Maintaining product master in R/3 or in APO.
Stechies

In developing the APO system, many new functions which require setting options were created. For this purpose, the APO product master provides several fields which do not have any equivalent in the R/3 material master. In developing the APO system, we unfortunately had to take the R/3 System as it was and were not able to install any new fields into the material master.

Is there a point to central material master record maintenance in R/3?

The R/3 material master and the APO product master contain numerous redundant fields. These include, in particular, the short texts and units of measure. Naturally, we do not want to have to maintain these twice. This is reason enough to have a central material master record maintenance in an R/3 System with subsequent replication of the data into APO via CIF .

However, central maintenance in APO is not just useful but also necessary. Especially in an multisystem scenario (for example, several R/3 Systems on one APO), having the same material number is no longer grounds enough to decide whether the same material or product is involved. A mapping is required between the R/3 material number and the APO product number. The material number and the business system group are incorporated into the mapping, which is created when an R/3 material master is transferred to an APO system via CIF.

Limitations of the central material master record maintenance

Unfortunately, you cannot derive all fields of the APO product master from an R/3 material master. The following restrictions apply in particular:

  • The planning process in the APO product master cannot be derived from the R/3 MRP type.
     
  • The 'reporting point' lot sizing procedure cannot be derived from the R/3 MRP type.
     
  • The reporting point procedure and the reorder days' supply cannot be derived from attributes of the R/3 material master.
     
  • The pegging settings cannot be derived from attributes of the R/3 material master.|
     
  • The PP/DS heuristic in the APO product master cannot be derived from the attributes of the R/3 material master.
     
  • The goods issue processing time cannot be derived from the attributes of the R/3 material master.


Why cant I copy the APO planning process from R/3?

If the APO is used as a planning system for a product, planning may only be carried out in the APO system. Planning in R/3 and in APO reacts differently to the same events (the creation of sales orders, for example). If the planning was carried out simultaneously in R/3 and APO, procurement proposals would be generated both in R/3 and APO. These orders would differ from each other. There is no way of reconciling these two plans. A product that you want to plan in APO must therefore be excluded from the material requirements planning in the R/3 System.

This does not mean that all materials which already exist in APO cannot be planned in the R/3 System. If the APO is only used as an ATP server, you can and should plan the materials in the R/3 System. The same applies if APO is only used for detailed scheduling. The MRP type in R/3 and the planning process in APO are therefore independent of each other and must be maintained individually.

To exclude a material from planning in R/3 in the R/3 MPR, set the MRP type 'ND' or 'X0' in the R/3 material master.

Reorder point planning and 'reporting point' lot-sizing procedure

In R/3, the reorder point planning is activated by the MRP type. Typically, the MRP types 'VB' or 'TEM' are used for this purpose. The MRP procedure is 'B' in both cases. Maintain the MRP procedure in the Customizing of the MRP type.

As we mentioned above, you cannot plan a product in R/3 that you want to plan in APO. You must therefore set the MRP procedure 'ND' or 'X0' in the R/3 material master. The MRP procedure must be either 'N' or 'X'.

The reporting point procedure cannot therefore be transferred from the R/3 material master settings.

On the other hand, the other lot-sizing procedures (fixed, exact and periodic lots) appear in R/3 as lot-sizing procedures, independent of the MRP type. In this case, a transfer is possible. We discuss the question of whether or not a transfer makes sense below.

How do we fill fields in the APO product master that are not contained in R/3?

Filling the attributes of the APO product master can be dealt with in the following ways. There are no equivalent methods in R/3:

  • The attributes in the APO product master are not filled at all. You work with default values.
     
  • The attributes are uniformly set with the mass maintenance for the APO product master for all products.
     
  • The attributes are centrally maintained in customer-specific fields of the R/3 material master and transferred via CIF to APO.
     
  • The attributes are filled in the user exit of the product master transfer.
     
  • The attributes are maintained locally in APO.

The choice of one of the above options depends largely on your particular planning scenario. For details, see the sections below. Some economic/ business considerations are first described, followed by some technical points.

Must we maintain the planning process in the APO product master?

If you are going to be using APO-PP/DS, you must also maintain the planning process in the APO product master. If all products are planned in APO with the planning process 'Automatic planning in the planning run', you can make this setting easily with the mass maintenance or using a simple user exit implementation. If you wish to create a CTP scenario, we urgently advise against using the planning process 'Immediate Automatic Planning' for all products. Instead, you must carefully consider which planning process to use for which product. In this case, we recommend making the settings yourself in APO.

Do we have to maintain the reporting point procedure in APO?

In a reporting point procedure, the current warehouse stock is compared with a predefined reorder point. The procedure only requires information on the current stock in addition to the product master.

The APO system was originally developed with the aim of providing a tool that supported the creation of finite plans. The strengths of APO lie in Demand Planning, the optimizer, planning of finite resources and so on.

All of these strengths cannot be used in a reporting point procedure. All of the information required by the reporting point procedure is contained in R/3. However, in the case of planning in APO, the stock information must be transferred from R/3 to the APO system. This generates unnecessary CIF transactions and requires memory in the liveCache. There is therefore a good case to be made for planning reporting point planned materials in R/3 only.

If, in exceptional cases, planning is required in APO with a reporting point procedure, the settings must be made locally in APO.

Do we have to maintain the heuristic in the product master?

If you are only using the standard lot-sizing procedures Fixed Order Quantity, Lot-for-Lot Order Quantity, reporting point procedure and Periodic Procedures, you can set the heuristic that was used to plan your products in the Customizing. In APO Release 3.0, execute the setting with transaction /SAPAPO/RRPCUST 1 (global parameters and default values of PP/DS). In APO Release 3.1 or higher, define the default heuristic in the Customizing of the MRP heuristic.

Planning Version-Dependent data in the product master

In the product master, you can define many attributes depending on the planning version. In this way, you can simulate different planning alternatives in different planning versions. R/3 does not recognize any planning versions. You can only maintain product master attributes of a planning version that deviate from the attributes of planning version '000' in APO.

What do I need to take into account when maintaining the product master in APO?

Read the following if you answered 'yes' to the question in the previous section on whether parameters must be maintained locally in APO:

  • The material master must still be transferred from R/3. This is necessary to set up the mapping between the R/3 material numbers and the APO material numbers. This only concerns the maintenance of some attributes which are relevant for planning in the product master.
     
  • Maintenance of product master attributes in APO does not mean duplicate maintenance in R/3 and APO. If a product is planned in APO, it is not planned in R/3. This oftern creates a situation where a field in the R/3 material master that corresponds with a field in the APO product master has no function. There is no need to maintain the field in the R/3 material master. Differences between these fields in R/3 and APO does not cause any problems.
     
  • The attributes in the product master are closely related to each other. If you want or have to maintain an attribute in APO, it often makes sense to maintain other related attributes in APO, even if you could copy them from R/3.
     
  • When the R/3 material master is changed, all fields are transferred from the R/3 material master and they overwrite the corresponding APO product master fields. If you want to carry out maintenance of the product master for some fields in APO, these fields must not be overwritten by R/3. Follow these steps: Implement the enhancement 'APOCF005' with transaction SMOD and CMOD. The implementation occurs in the include 'ZXCIFUSERU08'. For all fields that you do not want to transfer from R/3, the corresponding indicator must be overwritten with SPACE in the table 'IT_MATLOCX'. If, for example. the fixed order quantity should not be transferred from R/3, the implementation appears as follows:
                           
                           FIELD-SYMBOLS: <matlocx> TYPE /SAPAPO/CIF_MATLOCX.

                           LOOP AT IT_MATLOCX ASSIGNING <matlocx>.

                             <matlocx>-BSTFE = SPACE.

                           ENDLOOP.


User-defined fields in the R/3 material master

If all material master fields are to be maintained centrally in the R/3 System, you must add the attributes which are missing in R/3 as user-defined fields in the R/3 material master.

The contents of these fields must be transferred to APO. For this purpose, the user exit '001' from the function group 'CMAT' (program SAPLCMAT, enhancement CIFMAT01) must be implemented in your R/3 System. In this user exit, the contents of the new field must be transferred to one of the fields AT101 to AT105 of the CIF structure.

On the APO side, the fields thus transferred must be transferred to the appropriate fields in the product master. The enhancement 'APOCF005' must be therefore be implemented in APO.

Advantages and disadvantages of mass maintenance

Mass maintenance for location products in APO offers a easy way of setting a single attribute for many or all products in the product master. Mass maintenance is suitable if you want to deal with all products using the same schema. When using mass maintenance, remember that the transfer of material masters from R/3 is event-driven. When a material is created or changed in R/3, precisely this material is transferred so it also exists in APO. However, it may not get the correct attributes until after the mass maintenance is next executed.


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