SAP Fashion Management

I intend to write about SAP Fashion Management Solution(FMS) also in this blog, as FMS is the new generation solution for AFS Customers.

SAP AFS was primarily designed to work as a Manufacturing. For companies which have its business spread across retailing, the challenge was to manage the whole chain from manufacturing the goods to selling the products in the Retail store. The holistic picture of data flow was missing. SAP has come up with a solution to cater to this demanding business scenario and that’s SAP Fashion Management.

SAP Fashion Management is an integrated solution which brings in capabilities of SAP AFS and SAP Retail. It brings the business process of manufacturing and retailing in to a single vertical solution. This allows the companies to manage their business process across a single (large) system landscape. And this is developed in Big by Business Suite powered by HANA. The Release 1.0 of SAP Fashion Management was released to the market on June 2014.

The solution comes as an add-on to SAP ERP for SAP Retail, and it’s based on the SAP Components – Material Management, Sales and Distribution and Logistics General. Packed with functionalities from AFS and certain new functionalities, SAP FMS is definite to help the fashion customers support global multi-channel business. The key benefits for customers are lower inventory, high customer satisfaction, less charge backs. This all comes from this solution sharing key processes over a global inventory.

Over the coming weeks, I will discuss some AFS functionalities which are implemented in Fashion Management which might help get a high level overview of the product.

All these are my personal understanding of this product and have nothing to do with the company which I am working in. If more information is required about the product, the request is to contact the concerned stakeholders. 

EAN Recycling

In AFS Materials, we can assign EAN’s not only at the main material level, but also at the grid value level. This uses a lot many chunk of EAN numbers allowed for the materials. AFS provides the functionality to re-use the not-used EAN numbers by recycling the EAN numbers.

EANs for recycling comes from two sources

  • EANs from archived materials.
  • EANs lost due to buffering

When the material master is archived, the archiving program deletes all the entries of the material master data tables including EAN tables. During this process “To-Be-Recycled EAN” table is also updated with the EAN numbers from these materials.

The Recycling Program checks the business data of the selected materials. If all the documents are complete, the EANs are moved to recycled table when their retention period is reached.

The Online standard transaction (MM01/MM02), Material Master Mass Maintenance, accesses the number range specified for the EAN category. If the interval maximum has been reached, the “EAN/UPC recycled” table is then read to get the EAN/UPC codes. When assigned, the EAN/UPC code is deleted from the “EAN/UPC recycled” table.

EAN/UPC codes that were never used (Buffering…etc) will also be added to the “recycled” table, which facilitates in using these missed EAN numbers.

As a material is flagged for deletion, a report needs to be run to physically delete the material from the database. This is the material archiving program “MMREO050”. It is used to archive the “MM_MATNR” archiving object.

The AFS EAN/UPC code entries are recovered when AFS materials are archived and deleted.

Recycling Report

  • Check the last used date of the materials.
  • Update the to-be-recycled table with the selected EAN codes and calculate their retention period.
  • Move the EANs from to-be-recycled table to recycled table. Two conditions have to be satisfied. Retention period is reached and the material is archived.

Archiving is mandatory for recycling unless the customer decides otherwise. User exit can be used to recycle otherwise.

AFS Consignment Process

Consignment goods are goods that are stored at the customer’s location which are still the property of the manufacturing company. Only when the goods are consumed by the customer, the settlement of the goods are carried out. AFS also support Consignment process like standard with the addition of Allocation run carried out during required steps of the process.

As in standard, there are four main transactions for processing consignment stock in the R/3 System, all of which support separate management of stock:

• Creating a Consignment Fill-Up
• Creating Consignment Issue
• Creating a Consignment Pick-Up
• Displaying Consignment Returns

Help.sap.com link has detailed information on each of these transactions.

http://help.sap.com/saphelp_afs50/helpdata/en/d3/798939fb613f71e10000000a11402f/frameset.htm

The document which is attached shows how it is depicted in the system.

AFS Consignent Process

Please feel free to get in touch with me for any clarifications.

AFS Seasons

AFS allows the customer to have good control over the period in which the Materials should be sold or not. To quote help.sap.com example :

The introduction of the fall/winter collection 2000 for the period January/February 2000 includes the requirements planning and the order entry. In the same period the spring/summer collection 2000 is produced and delivered. The planning and developing of the fall/winter collection 2001 is also carried out in that time.

The attached document shows how we can create seasons and to attach it to material master. Also how the seasons are picked during Sales Order creation.

Seasons

Category Structure and Coverage Strategy

AFS Materials are based on large volume of data. To bring in more segregation of this data volume, AFS Categories were introduced in AFS.  Categories are used to logically segment materials. They provide an additional layer of details to characterize the product (material master).

While AFS grid is mainly used for characteristics which have physical significance, categories give a logical classification. Usually AFS grids have the characteristics of Size, Color, and Inseam etc. The categories are mainly used to segregate customer segments, level of quality, country of origin etc.

For example, if we have the category of Quality, we can define it in two levels: Q1 would be first grade goods, Q2 will be second grade.

Requirement / Stock 

There are two types of categories

  1. Requirement Category
  2. Stock Category

Requirements categories are important in Sales, for example in sales orders, planned independent requirements and dependent requirements.

Stock categories are used for the logical distribution of the existing and planned stock. Therefore stock categories are assigned both to the physical stock and the procurement proposals, such as planned orders, production orders, purchase requisitions, and purchase orders.

Unlike the grid value which doesn’t change, the category values can change during a logistic cycle. It depends on the configuration maintained, the stock situation and many external factors applicable in the business.

Category Structure / Coverage Strategy

The assignment of categories to a material is via Category Structure and Coverage Strategy.

Category structure includes the definition and incorporates the characteristics which are included in the structure. In Coverage strategy we define the sequence in which the stock categories satisfy the requirements categories.

Depending on availability, the system assigns different stock categories to the requirements categories in the defined sequence, meaning that the category can change in the logistic process. The assignment of stock to requirement category takes place during availability check , MRP and AllocationRun.

It is with respect to Coverage strategy, the assignment of Stock to Requirement Category takes place in the system.

Suppose the company is manufacturing T-Shirts of quality Q1, Q2, and Q3. And we have maintained a Category mapping as given below

Q1 -> Q2

Q3 -> Q2

This assignment depicts that the Requirement of Q1 or Q2 can be satisfied by Stock of Q2.

The coverage strategy mapping can also be maintained using wild card format. In this case, it is applicable to all the category values.  We use the wild cards  ‘*’ and ‘#’ for this. The following table mentions the significance of the mapping.

req

It’s really interesting to understand that the concept of categories and its influence on the entire logistic chain. More on this later.

Category structures are also made of AFS characteristics. Characteristics need to be created of type /AFS/SAP-C‘ (AFS Characteristics for Categories) via TX : CT04. After which the following steps need to be carried out.

  • Create Category Structure  ( Tx : J4KS)
  • Create Coverage Strategy  ( Tx : J4KC)
  • Attach Category Structure and Coverage Strategy to the Material Master

Please note that once the AFS Material status is set in the material master, the category structure and coverage strategy cannot be changed.

AFS : VAS In TPO

When VAS information is present in TPO and PTO, the same information shall be copied into TPO/PTO Item text as ‘VAS text’. This shall include VAS information for the item and VAS information specific to schedule lines. This VAS text shall flow in follow-on documents – Purchase Requisition and Purchase Order respectively. VAS information shall be present in print output as well as purchase order IDOC

TPO VAS