Today’s manufacturing managers have a lot on their plates: keeping up with product demand, controlling costs, minimizing downtime, delivering quality products, and much more. Of course, managing this delicate balance becomes much easier with an SAP Manufacturing solution. With a single source of real-time visibility and data, they’re able to integrate and embed intelligence into the manufacturing process and adopt Industry 4.0 practices. 

SAP provides a fully integrated solution from machine level to enterprise resource planning (ERP). In this article, we’ll cover three of the key SAP modules to help you integrate your supply chain and get more out of your production: MM, PP, and SD. 

Let’s get started. 

1) SAP Materials Management

Providing inventory, materials, and warehouse management capabilities, SAP Materials Management (MM) is one of the most critical modules in SAP Manufacturing. This is the module that allows you to order, collect, purchase raw materials, and invoice, all in one place. MM is the go-to module to ensure that materials are stocked and that there are no gaps or shortages in the supply chain. 

At the center of MM is your master data, which is stored and manipulated in master data tables. These master data types include work center, materials master, bill of materials, and routing information. This data is used to create transactional data in your ERP, making it easy to create sales orders. 

2) SAP Production Planning  

SAP Production Planning (PP) is another essential module that allows you to plan the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of goods. It can be configured for many different industries and supports specialized manufacturing types, such as discrete, process, and repetitive manufacturing. 

Similar to SAP MM, PP stores and manipulates centralized master data tables. These are then used to create transactional data in your ERP, so that you can create a production order in PP, a purchase order in MM, or a sales order in SD. 

Here’s an example of how that might work. Let’s say a production order is created in PP. The module takes master data from MM about the materials needed for the order, which is then used to create a sales order in SD. All that’s happening in one system with real-time data. 

3) SAP Sales and Distribution

And now we arrive at SAP Sales and Distribution (SD). This core module allows you to manage and store all your customer and product data (i.e., shipping, billing, invoicing, sales orders, etc.)  

SD enables the order-to-cash process. In one common setup, SD creates sales quotes before a customer order is placed. After the order is placed, the product is shipped from the warehouse and delivered to the customer, and an invoice is generated for your accounts receivable to handle the payment. SD handles all of this process, sending the required information to other modules within SAP as needed.

The essential master data types in SD include pricing, materials, and customer information, and this data can also be customized depending on your company’s requirements. The beauty of SAP is that it provides the data for every step of the manufacturing cycle, from order production to fulfillment and invoicing. 

Putting the SAP Manufacturing Pieces Together

If you’ve been thinking about configuring SAP Manufacturing modules in your organization or optimizing your current system, you may have felt overwhelmed. We’ve found that an experienced partner can really help lighten the load in situations like these.

Our US-based SAP consulting team knows the ins and outs of SAP’s many modules and submodules, and can help you greatly improve your manufacturing process. 

Have the basics down but would like to learn more about how to optimize your SAP supply chain? If so, check out our article on the subject: How to Start an SAP Supply Chain Optimization. Either way, contact us today to get started on the road to manufacturing success.