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The Expert Series:

SAP S/4HANA for Fashion

and Vertical Business


The Expert Series on SAP S/4HANA for Fashion and Vertical Business is a resource for organizations who are considering or are in the midst of an S/4HANA implementation. Through articles, cheat-sheets, interviews and webinars, we hope to provide real-world insights to industry leaders looking to transform their operations with a digital platform.

Considerations for Building a Global Template for S/4HANA Rollouts

Fashion companies implementing SAP S/4HANA for Fashion and Vertical Business recognize that unlike perhaps their existing fragmented systems, a unified S/4HANA solution can give them a more accurate and consistent understanding of their business at any given time and drive greater efficiencies across their global operations.

While the benefits are compelling, a global S/4HANA Fashion rollout is a massive and complex undertaking. Because such an initiative involves a spectrum of "moving parts"—before, during and after go-live—it's crucial that a company stages and executes the implementation in a way that provides the right balance between cost and time; to ensure the effectiveness of the system. Following are a few steps that we recommend based on a recent S/4HANA global rollout project:

  • Identify and document all the key processes across the different channels - Wholesale, Retail, and e-commerce.
  • Harmonize key processes across all sales subsidiaries - across all regions. This will help create a template that is truly global. For instance, the order creation process across German and Italian subsidiaries would generally be common. If there are any deviations, identify the reasons; i.e. – is it a legal requirement, if not, is it necessary and can it be harmonized?
  • Localize where needed. When harmonizing, it may not be possible to know the exact processes followed by each subsidiary. Hence, following the principle of making sure that the template solution covers 80% of the requirements would be helpful. The remaining 20% can be taken as localization and should be taken in to consideration as a part of the rollout plan.
  • Example: In most instances the outbound logistics process for Wholesale, Retail and ECOM, across all subsidiaries, would be common. Hence, the potential exists to review the process followed when shipping the goods out from the warehouse and harmonize the steps in order to define a common solution in SAP as a part of the template.

Exclusive knowledge share for fashion companies

If you're planning a global SAP S/4HANA Fashion project, and would like to know more about building global template, we can help you get started.

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From SAP AFS to S/4HANA Fashion: Impact on Key Processes

The SAP Apparel and Footwear solution (SAP AFS) has been around since the early 2000s, and many of its users over the years have grown accustomed to certain functionality and processes that it offered. Any changes to these need to be understood clearly, including how the new functionality will work and the potential impact to the business. With SAP S/4HANA Fashion and Vertical Business moving closer to the core business solution and with the harmonization that has gone in to the new product, SAP AFS user will notice the following significant changes:

  • Available to Promise (ATP) is now Advance ATP (aATP). Key differences are:
    • Advance Available to Promise (aATP) consists of 2 main components Product Availability Check (PAC) and Product Allocation (PAL)
    • Introduction of confirmation strategies during instances of re-ATP to better manage the order book
    • Rescheduling Report for orders
    • Ability to use BOP Fiori App for ATP and Supply Assignment together
  • ARUN (Allocation Run) is now Supply Assignment. Key differences are:
    • Introduction of new statuses to determine which quantities are acceptable for customers
    • Replacement of the ARUN Optimizer Tool with a more detailed reporting tool - ARUN Insight to Action
    • Exception Rules can now be defined by users with more ease
    • Supply Assignment can be executed together with ATP via the BOP Fiori app
  • Rebates
    • New transaction used in S/4HANA to create Rebates (WCOCO)
    • Users can create Rebate Agreements (Condition Contract in S/4HANA) together with the condition records used for accruing the required values
  • Business Partner replaces the traditional customer and vendor master record
    • Both Customer and Vendor Master records maintained as Business Partners with transaction BP
    • No separate transactions to maintain Customer master (XD01) and Vendor master (XK01) in S/4HANA
    • The transaction FD32 used in AFS to maintain master data for Credit Management no longer exists in S/4HANA
    • Handling Authorization to control data changes in Customer and Vendor masters is different in S/4HANA
  • Finance: Credit Management
    • Credit Management is no longer part of Sales and Distribution as it was in AFS earlier. It is now part of Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM)
    • The transaction FD32 used in AFS to maintain master data for Credit Management no longer exists in S/4HANA
    • The master data maintenance is part of Business Partner (BP) transaction

Migrating from SAP AFS to S/4HANA Fashion

If you're on SAP AFS and would like to know how you can make the move to S/4HANA, we can help. Talk to us today to get started.

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Designing for omnichannel: What to consider when designing a central DC for Wholesale, Retail and eCommerce

How do you consolidate a central DC with the flexibility to handle unpredictable demand across all sales channels? Although the omnichannel model is now relatively well established, a challenge that retailers continued to grapple with is how to reconfigure their supply networks to achieve better alignment between delivery responsiveness, product variety, and convenience.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing a central DC on S/4HANA Fashion:

  • How do you ensure stock protection across different channels within a central DC? For example: Do you use 1:1 Segmentation of demand and supply so that there is strict stock protection or proceed with 1:M approach where there is a common pool of stock and define a strategy to ensure the consumption takes place based on certain priority as per the business requirements?
  • How can a central DC service multiple subsidiaries across multiple channels? For companies, it is important to ensure the supply is protected for each channel and sales subsidiary. For example: The need to define a strategy that allows for both Horizontal (Channel level) and Vertical (Subsidiary level) with the required priorities.
  • How do you define the required priority? For example: Generally ecommerce channel has the highest priority, so how do you ensure the ecommerce orders are always fulfilled? ecommerce ECOM orders from one subsidiary cross consume supply belonging to another subsidiary?
  • Using Product Allocation. Understand how the Product Allocation (PAL) function in S/4HANA can help in maintaining the priorities during order fulfilment when working within a central DC and a common pool of stock.

Stock Protection on S/4HANA Fashion

If you would like to know more about inventory optimization on S/4HANA, we can help. Talk to us today to get started.

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Key points to consider when upgrading from one version of S/4HANA to another

The transition of an existing version of SAP S/4HANA to a newer version must be done meticulously, depending on your business and industry's requirements.

Here are a few insights to help keep things in check:

  • Review release notes and identify key impact areas based on the solution implemented:
    • For example on the Commodity Code Functionality on S/4HANA 1809, SAP changed the way the relevant code is stored in the database level. Before 1809, the Commodity Code was stored in MARA table and was maintained in basic data view of the material master. As a result, if this information is captured in custom made reports or used as reference data in intrastat reports in previous S/4HANA versions, these changes will impact the way data is retrieved when upgrading to 1809.
  • Regression testing of the entire solution post upgrade
  • Ensure to cover all end-to-end scenarios during regression testing, including all variants
  • Document all changes done to overcome possible issues within the key impact areas for future reference as a best practice

S/4HANA Fashion Retail Upgrade Insights

If you would like to know more about upgrading to newer versions of S/4HANA, we can help. Talk to us today to get started.

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