SAP Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) for S/4HANA is a powerful and comprehensive production planning tool that enables organizations to plan cost-effectively and efficiently in the real economy and leverage key tools and integrations to improve the accuracy of their production operations and forecasting models.

This article offers a more in-depth view of the core components and advantages of PP/DS and its integrations with other SAP APO components and applications, as well as where our team of senior-level SAP consultants can come in to help.

Read on to learn more!

What is SAP PP/DS?

SAP PP/DS, or Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling, is a comprehensive planning and scheduling solution integrated with SAP S/4HANA. It provides advanced features to help companies plan and execute their production processes, including generating executable production plans, minimizing lead times, maximizing product throughput, and reducing stock costs across the entire enterprise.

SAP PP/DS helps effectively plan for products that require special attention, such as those with long replenishment lead times or those produces on resources with a capacity constraint. With this, users can classify materials to determine their relevance for advanced planning and effectively plan resource schedules and order dates and times, taking into account the availability of resources and components.

SAP PP DS offers a range of advantages for customers across industries, including decreased lead times, improved on-time delivery performance, increased product throughput, and reduced stock and setup costs through more effective resource, production, and procurement coordination across teams.

Prerequisites for the PP/DS Solution

PP/DS is included in the standard installation of S/4 core, however, an integrated live cache with a HANA database is required for successful implementation. The activation of Advanced Planning and Scheduling in the backend SAP system is also necessary for successful implementation.

To determine the live cache memory required for a successful implementation, the HANA version of the quick sizer can be used and accessed through the “Advanced Prod. planning & scheduling” node under “SAP S/4HANA”.

Key Components of SAP PPDS

The Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling application in SAP is comprised of…

  • An optimizer for planning, licensing, and material master changes
  • Modeling functions for customer and vendor product locations
  • Local product and work center creations
  • Forecast management and consumption tools
  • Subcontracting proposals
  • BAdI’s and user exits
  • Safety stock within a live-cache element
  • Heuristics and planning procedure functions
  • Integrations with advanced ATP and SAP APO components

Planning with PP/DS

An integration model is applied to all relevant production and scheduling objects to ensure all objects are properly integrated into the comprehensive SAP PP/DS module and global parameters and default settings are established for PP/DS in SAP S/4HANA.

PP/DS supports interactive planning and detailed scheduling and is used to create executable production and demand plans. The PP/DS solution also provides advanced planning and procedure functionalities to enable users to create feasible production plans and manage campaign and demand planning over time.

And, the integration of all Advanced Planning-relevant master data and the initial transfer of transaction data are required for successful integration of master and transaction data in PP/DS for SAP S/4HANA.

Understanding PP/DS Functionality in SAP

To give you a better idea of what to expect when implementing, integrating, or optimizing your production planning and scheduling functions with SAP PP/DS, we’ve included a more in-depth look at the key components of the solution below.

1) Master Data Maintenance

Maintaining master data in PP/DS for S/4HANA is essential in ensuring the system contains precise and current information about the production process and mapping functions are aligned with the modeling blueprint prior to implementation.

The PP/DS product master (Transaction /SAPAPO/MAT1) is typically only read for active planning versions for simplification purposes, but it can still be utilized for maintaining simulation dependent parameters for inactive planning versions.

The default mapping in PP/DS for S/4HANA is established via a redirect CDS view and cannot be altered, even though the product master can be extended with additional fields. And, in order to ensure high-quality master data, SAP business users should regularly review and realign all relevant data in the PP/DS product master.

2) Manufacturing Execution

A Manufacturing Execution System (MES) is a software solution designed to facilitate the comprehensive monitoring, tracking, documentation, and control of the entire production lifecycle. MES solutions enable the enhancement of production factors, the implementation of quality control measures, the reduction of product lifecycles, and the augmentation of the production process’s efficiency in the long run.

MES, in combination with PP/DS, offers a comprehensive production planning solution that is essential for companies looking to manage production processes more efficiently and optimize production and procurement planning functions. Utilizing MES in production planning can lead to increased efficiency, accuracy, and visibility of the entire production process.

MES can also be used to monitor and control processes within PP/DS, making it possible to respond quickly to any changes in the production process and ensure the accuracy of master data and objects within the system.

3) BAdI’s and User Exits

BAdI’s and User Exits are both leverages to customize standardize standard functionality within the PP/DS solution. But, while BAdI’s are used to enhance or alter system behavior, User Exits are built to simplify the incorporation of custom code into the solution.

SAP PP/DS for S/4HANA has eliminated BAdi’s and User Exits, with the exception of those related to processes and completely PP/DS-specific transaction databases, so users are advised to evaluate custom code implementations before migrating to PP/DS for SAP S/4HANA.

4) Safety Stock as a Live-Cache Element

Safety stock is a reserve of inventory that is maintained to account for potential material shortages or unexpected spikes in demand, and it is employed in the PP/DS module to guarantee that sufficient stock is available to meet customer needs.

Safety stock can be created in live cache with category SR by utilizing the “SAP_PP_019 – Create Safety Stock in SAP live cache” heuristic, which is designed to help customers accurately create safety stock in their live cache based on configured parameters.

5) MRP

Material Requirements Planning (MRP) is a planning tool used within SAP PP/DS to calculate the necessary material requirements for production based on the established production plan.

A setup similar to MRP type X0 with MRP Procedure “X Without MRP, with BOM explosion” is required for materials which have advance planning. This setup will ensure MRP Classic is used with PP/DS planning run.

For PP materials, the relevant MRP Procedure should be employed, and the recommended approach for materials managed in the PP/DS solution involves leveraging a PP/DS planning run to schedule heuristics.

6) Modeling Customer and Vendor Product-Locations

Customer and vendor locations can be accurately modeled as a storage location MRP area if only one plant is supplying to the customer or vendor locations. The absence of support for processes such as VMI will have a direct impact on the modeling of customer and vendor locations in SAP PPDS.

Utilizing MRP areas as a stock transfer to production plant instead of as a production location in SAP PPDS can help to avoid incorrect planning results and system performance issues. This approach allows for the accurate and reliable representation of customer and vendor locations, while also minimizing risks related to incorrect planning results and incorrect modeling.

7) Local Product/Work Center Creations

The Advanced Planning flag must be activated to enable the creation of local products/work centers in PP/DS for SAP S/4HANA. Local product and work centers are especially useful when working with multiple locations and different resources, but PP/DS resource masters must be utilized to complete the necessary maintenance tasks for block maintenance.

When setting up a local product or work center, it is important to ensure all relevant data is correctly maintained in the system, including information such as production parameters, lead times, and material requirements.

All this data must be accurately maintained in order to ensure that feasible production plans are developed and that production models are accurately reflected. It’s also important to consider any critical products that may require specific handling or production processes.

8) Forecast Management

Forecast management involves leveraging historical data to anticipate future trends, allowing for informed decisions to be made regarding inventory, production quantity, and scheduling.

It typically employs qualitative techniques, time series analysis and projection, and causal models as its primary strategies to enable informed decision-making and provide valuable insights into potential future trends to optimize inventory levels, production quantity, and scheduling processes.

Forecast management capabilities can be used to anticipate demand and plan for products, optimize inventory levels, and devise production schedules based on anticipated demand. The PP/DS planning version allows for the setup of forecast management models, which enable the user to define planning relevant characteristics such as product, customer, location, and time period. PP/DS can also be configured to enable campaign planning, which allows for the setup of campaigns in order to efficiently manage complex production cycles.

9) Forecast Consumption

Forecast consumption involves the process of reducing forecasted quantities based on actual sales orders in production planning to ensure sales orders are not treated as additional demand to the forecast during a planning period.

With forecast consumption functions, companies can enhance the precision of their production planning by incorporating actual sales orders, thereby decreasing the risk of overproduction or underproduction, optimizing inventory levels, and cutting costs.

SAP PP/DS enables forecast consumption through the configuration of consumption mode settings, which dictate how forecasted quantities are adjusted in accordance with actual sales orders. The system can also be configured to automatically adjust the forecast based on consumption, or to permit manual adjustments when necessary.

10) Subcontracting

Subcontracting involves engaging an external entity to fulfill certain elements of a contract or project, and it can be a cost-effective way to increase efficiency and quality by allowing businesses to access the expertise of external specialists whenever they’re needed.

In SAP PP/DS, subcontracting involves creating a purchase order for a vendor to carry out a specific operation or process on a material, and upon completion of the order, the vendor will return the material to the company.

SAP PP/DS can be used to facilitate subcontracting scenarios such as outsourcing the painting of a car body, the assembly of a product, or the processing of raw materials. Relationships can be established to enable procurement planning and scheduling for external procurement, create procurement proposals, and ensure supply chain operations are well managed in your SAP system.

11) Alert Monitoring

Alert Monitoring involves the process of establishing rules and thresholds to trigger alerts when metric values change, and the PP/DS Alert Monitoring tools is designed to help users monitor alerts generated in the PP/DS planning process.

This feature allows users to efficiently keep track of alerts associated with the correlation between orders and operations. To ensure accuracy, it is important to define an alert profile that is pertinent to your planning and set rules and thresholds within the PP/DS solution.

12) Migration Options

Migrating materials to the APO system for PPDS planning is achievable through the Core Interface (CIF), simplifying the master CIF infrastructure, reducing the number of CIF queues included in the solution, and eliminating the need for certain CIF models.

CSV template files are also available to facilitate the migration of each object. These files contain the required fields and data types, and can be utilized with the Data Transfer Workbench (DTW) to upload data into the system.

Main Advantages of SAP PP/DS

The CIF infrastructure has been simplified by eliminating the need for Core Interface (CIF) queues and replacing them with a single CIF queue for all integration models. This simplification has greatly improved the efficiency of transaction data within the system. In addition, a Fiori-based app has been created to provide a streamlined approach to managing master and transaction data within the CIF infrastructure.

The PP/DS application allows SAP users to…

  • Improve capacity monitoring and performance optimization functions
  • Increase the speed of planning runs and data consistency checks
  • Leverage in-memory technology for production planning
  • Streamline CIF infrastructure and capacity overload capabilities
  • Plan and schedule manufacturing models and operations

Integration with APO Applications

PP/DS offers pre-built integrations with SAP APO applications, including Demand Planning, SNP, Supply Network Planning, and PP/DS Planning Tasks.

With these integrations, SAP users are enabled to benefit from the advanced analytics and optimization capabilities offered by APO, while simultaneously leveraging the production planning and detailed scheduling capabilities of PP/DS.

The procedure for transferring planned independent requirements from DP to PP/DS involves releasing the demand plan to Supply Network Planning, copying the requirements to the designated planning version, and executing PP/DS planning to generate a comprehensive demand plan to be utilized in creating procurement proposals.

The relationship between orders and operations can be monitored through the Alert Monitor, accessed through the product master and achieved by setting an alert profile for planning and defining rules and thresholds to trigger alerts.

Launching PP/DS Applications from Fiori Launchpad

PP/DS transactions can be initiated from the Fiori Launchpad by creating a tile for the respective transactions, allowing users to gain access to the PP/DS functions, such as shift management and combined orders.

With the use of the Fiori Launchpad, users can utilize Monitor Capacity Utilization functions to facilitate the management of shifts and operations in simulation mode, as well as provide an overview of capacity utilization based on parameters such as order type and materials.

The Monitor Capacity Utilization Fiori application also helps users enable editing of Capacity Variants and Definitions for Resources with External Capacity and utilize these capacities more efficiently and effectively.

Let’s take a closer look at the main capabilities of PP/DS applications in the Fiori launchpad…

Shift Management

Shift management entails the scheduling and assigning of work shifts to personnel to guarantee adequate coverage to meet production requirements, including the allocation of resources, the planning of production processes, and the monitoring of attendance and performance over time.

Shift management in PP/DS allows companies to facilitate shift management with advanced tools for resource allocation, production planning, attendance and performance monitoring, and ensure adequate coverage to meet production demands, optimize resources, and improve productivity across the entire enterprise.

It can also aid in optimizing shift schedules and enhancing productivity by automatically calculating the most efficient shift schedules, identifying bottleneck resources, and ensuring optimal resource utilization through detailed scheduling.

Combined Orders

Combined orders in SAP PP/DS for S/4HANA provide the capability to merge multiple orders into a single order for efficient production planning and scheduling. This offers a range of benefits, such as reduced setup times, optimized resource utilization, and streamlined production planning and scheduling.

To generate combined orders, one must select the orders to be combined and then utilize the “Combine Orders” feature in the PP/DS planning board. This feature can be used to convert SNP orders into a single order to be executed with a single quantity, thereby integrating the orders.

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help implementing SAP Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling functions for the first time, integrating the PP/DS application with the Fiori Launchpad or other SAP APO components, or optimizing your manufacturing process flow across teams, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our team of senior-level SAP consultants has the technical skills, functional expertise, and network of resources needed to lead you to success, regardless of where your SAP needs lie.

Getting Started with Us

Interested in learning where our team of expert SAP consultants can fit in your organization?

Ready to start optimizing your production planning and scheduling operations with SAP PP/DS, but don’t know where to begin?

Contact us today for more information!