Have you ever wondered, “What is SAP ATP?” and how businesses manage to fulfill customer orders efficiently while maintaining optimal inventory levels?

The answer lies in a powerful tool called SAP Available to Promise (ATP).

In a world of increasing customer demands and complex supply chains, SAP ATP is a game-changer for businesses looking to enhance customer satisfaction and streamline their operations.

This article will discuss the ins and outs of the SAP ATP solution, its core components, and how it can be customized to suit your unique business requirements, as well as where our team of senior-level SAP consultants can come in to help.

Buckle up and get ready to explore how this solution can help guarantee efficient order fulfillment and inventory management, no matter what!

Short Summary

  • SAP ATP is a solution that helps businesses manage order fulfillment and inventory management processes by performing availability checks.
  • Core components of SAP ATP include requirements class, controlling elements, availability check, ATP quantity calculation & determination for timely & effective order fulfillment.
  • Implementing ATP in SAP provides improved customer service, demand segmentation, and stock protection to better manage stock movements and maintain accurate inventory levels.

What is ATP in Supply Chain Management?

SAP ATP is a critical component for overseeing order fulfillment and inventory levels and guaranteeing customer satisfaction and efficient operations across the entire enterprise. It helps companies schedule lines for better delivery scheduling and ensures the order quantity is confirmed correctly.

Understanding the Need for SAP ATP

By implementing SAP ATP, businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and retention, improve inventory turns, and increase operating efficiencies by managing confirmed quantities.

The core components of SAP ATP encompass processes, like sales order and purchase order creation, stocks and storage locations, Material Requirements Planning (MRP) elements, and replenishment lead time across the board.

The essential components of SAP Available-to-Promise include:

  • ATP Overview application and other linked apps
  • Global Available-to-Promise (GATP)
  • SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO)
  • X-Check component for ATP quantities

1) Definition of SAP ATP

SAP ATP is a solution that assists in managing order fulfillment and inventory by calculating available stock and delivery dates and improving delivery schedules. With three types of availability checks at its disposal, SAP ATP can determine confirmed dates for order fulfillment.

  • ATP quantity-based checks
  • Production allocation-based checks
  • Planning-based checks

The A-check in SAP ATP is comprised of planned orders with the “Plnd” order flag enabled in the Firming section, which is one of the system checks in SAP ATP. The “Include receipts from past and future” option in SAP ATP considers all anticipated receipts, irrespective of the planned receipt date, to help users manage planned receipts across the supply chain.

2) Core Components of SAP ATP

The core components of SAP ATP work together to ensure orders are fulfilled in an efficient and effective manner. Requirements class and controlling elements are utilized to determine the availability of the requested items, while availability check and ATP quantity calculations are employed to identify the exact quantity of items that can be fulfilled. Ultimately, the ATP supply chain determination tool is utilized to outline the exact delivery date of the order.

3) Benefits of Implementing SAP ATP

Utilizing SAP ATP can assist with inventory management, demand and supply segmentation, and stock protection via efficient and effective product allocation.

It can also promote greater stability and predictability throughout the entire supply chain, leading to improved customer service and more efficient system checks.

Implementing SAP ATP can also help companies enhance the efficiency of core business operations and remain competitive in the market, even with rapid growth and change across different supply chains.

The ATP Check Process

The ATP check process involves determining requested quantities and delivery dates, creating schedule lines, managing backorders, and rescheduling to ensure customer satisfaction.

An order can have either a firmed output or a stable output status after undergoing an ATP check. The three options in the results of availability are one-time delivery, completed delivery, and delivery proposal.

The system utilizes scheduling data from delivery and transportation scheduling functions to conduct a backward calculation from the requested delivery date to determine the material availability date.

Once the material availability date has been identified, the system verifies the available quantity and, if greater than the required quantity, the requested delivery date is confirmed. Otherwise, the system progresses into the future until it finds the required available quantity and confirms the new material availability date.

Upon obtaining the confirmed material availability date, the system executes forward scheduling functions to outline a confirmed delivery date.

Requested Quantity and Delivery Date

The requested quantity and delivery date are essential elements for the ATP check, which determines the feasibility of fulfilling the order. The requested quantity is the amount of an item that a customer has requested to obtain on a given date, and it is confirmed by the ATP check.

Understanding the requested quantity and delivery date is crucial for businesses to ensure they can meet customer demands, while maintaining optimal inventory levels in the process.

And, by accurately calculating requested quantities and confirmed dates for delivery, the ATP check process helps to streamline order fulfillment and enhance customer satisfaction.

Schedule Lines and Confirmed Quantities

Schedule lines in SAP contain the deliverable quantity for a requested or confirmed delivery date, based on the item category and MRP of the corresponding item in the material master record. A single schedule line can be manually created and maintained in SAP using transaction code VOV6.

Confirmed quantities are utilized to determine the confirmed quantity that can be delivered on a requested or confirmed delivery date. Delivery dates are utilized to determine the quantity that can be delivered on a requested or confirmed date.

And, by creating schedule lines based on confirmed quantities and delivery dates, companies can ensure accurate order fulfillment and customer satisfaction, no matter what.

Backorder Processing and Rescheduling

Backorder processing enables users to manage orders that cannot be fulfilled right away due to inventory or production restrictions. This involves evaluating the availability of items and organizing how individual demands are addressed in backorder processing runs when availability is limited.

The “Incl.ship.notificat.” option is only pertinent if the “Incl.purchase orders” option is left blank in the SAP system, and it will only incorporate purchase orders that have a shipping confirmation.

By effectively managing backorders and rescheduling to meet customer demands, businesses can adapt to changes in demand and supply, ensuring optimal order fulfillment and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Key Elements of SAP ATP

The primary components of SAP ATP are inventory allocation, availability check, and order fulfillment. And, the associated MRP elements for purchase orders in SAP ATP are “POitem”, “ShpgNt”, and “Return”.

The options for leveraging purchase orders in SAP ATP include:

  • Purchases from vendors
  • Stock transfer orders
  • Inter-company stock transfers
  • Returns to vendors

By leveraging these elements, businesses can effectively manage customer demand, build better relationships with suppliers, and improve overall supply chain efficiency.

Sales Orders and Purchase Orders

A sales order is a commercial document generated by the seller that outlines the specifics of a sale, such as the quantity, pricing, and quality of goods or services provided to the customer.

The associated transactions for sales requirements in SAP ATP are VA01, VA02, VA31, and VA32.

Purchase orders play a crucial role in managing supplier relationships and ensuring that businesses have the necessary materials to fulfill customer orders. And, by effectively managing sales orders and purchase orders, companies can better understand customer demand, manage supplier relationships, and optimize inventory management across the board.

Stocks and Storage Locations

Stocks refer to the inventory of goods or products that a company holds in its possession. Storage locations are not considered when conducting the ATP check, provided they are specified in the transaction. Stocks and storage locations are essential for determining available stock for order fulfillment.

By understanding the role of stocks and storage locations in SAP ATP, businesses can manage their inventory levels more efficiently and ensure they have the necessary stock to meet customer demands. This can lead to more efficient operations and improved customer satisfaction across the organization.

MRP Elements and Replenishment Lead Time

MRP elements refer to the supply and demand elements that are displayed in the stock/requirements list for a particular material. They also provide additional information, such as customer order number, delivery number, planned order number, and production order number, to facilitate more efficient sales order, processing, and delivery tasks.

The main MRP elements included in SAP ATP include:

  • Independent requirements
  • Planned orders
  • Sales orders
  • Deliveries
  • Production orders

MRP elements and replenishment lead time facilitate the calculation of stock availability and optimization of inventory management by furnishing information regarding demand and supply of materials, as well as the lead time for replenishment. This information can be utilized to plan and manage inventory levels in an efficient manner and ensure optimal order fulfillment across the supply chain.

Customizing SAP ATP for Your Business

Customizing SAP ATP for your business involves configuring ATP check rules and integrating with other SAP modules. By tailoring SAP ATP to suit your unique business requirements, you can optimize order fulfillment, streamline operations, and enhance customer satisfaction.

To establish a checking group and assign it to your material in the material master, navigate to the material master in the SAP system and select the “Checking Group” tab. From there, you can select the applicable checking group and assign it to the right material.

To transfer ATP customizing from the ECC system to SCM using the ATP customizing integration model, navigate to the “Integration Model” tab in the SAP system and select the “ATP Customizing” option.

Configuring ATP Check Rules

Configuring ATP check rules allows businesses to tailor the ATP process to their specific needs and requirements. ATP check rules are a set of regulations that determine which components are included or excluded from the ATP check as per the rules specified in the scope.

The check method, as well as the start and time of production, are outlined in the check instructions for the ATP check of the finished product. When conducting a rules-based ATP check for a component, the system searches for a substitute product or a substitute location based on the rules defined in the scope.

Integrating with Other SAP Modules

Integrating SAP ATP with other SAP modules, like Sales and Distribution, Material Management, Production Planning, Quality Management, Financial Accounting and Controlling, and more, ensures seamless data flow and efficient operations across the entire SAP landscape.

And, with core integrations between SAP ATP and other modules such as SAP SD and SAP MM, businesses can more effectively manage customer demand, supplier relationships, and overall supply chain efficiency.

This results in enhanced customer service, more effective inventory management, and more precise forecasting for better decision-making in the future.

Best Practices for Successful SAP ATP Implementation

Not utilizing or relying on ATP data could lead to an increased workload, longer processing times for orders, potential delays in fulfillment, miscommunication, mistakes, and unsuccessful implementations.

But, by following industry best practices, businesses can optimize their order fulfillment processes, enhance customer satisfaction, and streamline sales order operations.

Let’s explore some of these best practices in more detail:

1) Aligning Supply Chain Processes

Aligning supply chain processes requires ensuring that all aspects of the business are functioning properly to maximize order fulfillment. This includes streamlining processes, enhancing communication between departments, and utilizing intelligent technology solutions to automate and optimize operations.

By connecting supply chain processes, companies can experience enhanced customer satisfaction, augmented efficiency, and cost reduction. It can also help companies maintain a competitive edge in the market by offering customizable features, better customer service, and faster delivery times.

2) Regularly Monitoring and Updating ATP Data

Regularly monitoring and updating ATP data is essential for ensuring that the necessary delivery quantity can be fulfilled by the specified delivery date.

Monitoring and updating ATP data as needed can be achieved through the utilization of SAP ATP solutions designed to provide real-time inventory information and facilitate precise and achievable order confirmation.

By regularly monitoring and updating ATP data, businesses can maintain accurate stock levels, prevent errors in order fulfillment, and ensure optimal customer satisfaction. This proactive approach to inventory management helps businesses stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changes in supply and demand.

3) Training and Support

Providing training and support ensures that employees are well-equipped to use SAP ATP effectively and efficiently. Predefined training resources help users adjust to changes in their roles, the addition of new team members or vendors, and proactively prevent future issues.

By investing in training and support, businesses can ensure that their employees have the necessary knowledge and skills to use SAP ATP to their fullest potential. This ultimately leads to more efficient operations, better inventory management, and improved customer satisfaction.

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help implementing SAP solutions for the first time, additional support performing ATP checks for a specific requirement, or just an extra hand navigating complex product allocation and scheduling functions in your SAP ATP system, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our team of senior-level, US-based SAP consultants has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to manage and fulfill all your project needs, regardless of the complexity or duration of the job at hand.

Getting Started with Our Team

Interested in learning more about the SAP Available-to-Promise solution or finding a place for our team of SAP consultants in your organization?

Contact us today to get started with our team!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between SAP ATP and Availability Check?

SAP ATP is a function used to check if a product can be confirmed, while Availability Check is a procedure that ensures there are enough components available for production orders.

What are the benefits of SAP ATP?

SAP ATP enables greater order fulfillment and stability in the supply chain, more efficient business operations, and improved customer service and satisfaction.

What is SAP ATP and MRP?

ATP, Available-to-Promise, is the quantity of a material or part still available to MRP, which is used for new sales orders. It outlines the process of checking the available quantities and is equal to warehouse stock and planned receipts.

MRP, Material Requirements Planning, manages purchase orders and inventory to ensure stock availability can meet evolving customer demands.

How does the ATP check process work?

The ATP check process involves determining requested quantities and delivery dates, creating schedule lines, managing backorders, and rescheduling to ensure the delivery of goods is on time.

This process requires careful coordination between the customer, supplier, and logistics teams to ensure that the goods are delivered on time and in the right quantities.

The ATP check process is an important part of the supply chain process and can help to ensure that the supply chain is running smoothly.