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The Service Parts Management ES Bundle extends the capabilities of the existing Service Parts Planning solution within SAP SCM by allowing it to communicate seamlessly with an external service parts inventory planning/optimization application. Previously these kind of connections were only possible through expensive custom integration efforts.

The main objective of this ES bundle is to provide customers of SAP SCM the flexibility to include specific inventory planning capabilities and algorithms, complementing and extending the ones in the SAP SCM, and pulling these optimized parameters into the service parts planning process in SAP SCM. In this way, this ES bundle enables a high degree of integration with all areas of SAP's overall Service Parts Management solution, including:

  • Service parts planning
  • Service parts fulfillment (including ATP)
  • Service parts warehousing
  • Service parts transportation
  • Service parts procurement
  • Service parts mentoring and analytics

Inventory planning and optimization has two major objectives within the overall planning process:

  1. To determine in which locations of the network a given part should be stocked (and where it should not be)
  2. To determine the most appropriate inventory levels for these locations (for example, safety stock, reorder point, economic order quantity, and so on)

Service Parts Management (click to enlarge)


In a service parts environment even more than in a finished product environment, finding optimum levels for these parameters is crucial. The nature of the service parts business makes finding correct levels both more difficult and more important. There may be a large volume that must be serviced or delivered; demand for and failure of parts is hard to predict, and once someone needs a part, a very quick turnaround is expected, so the item must be in stock to meet the demand when it occurs. Customer expectations are high as well, both in terms of service levels and availability targets.
This ES bundle facilitates the exchange of relevant master data as well as transactional data in both directions, from Service Parts Planning in SAP SCM to the external system and back again. This bidirectional communication is required to make use of external algorithms and logic for inventory optimization. In addition to this main objective of external inventory optimization, the ES bundle also allows the integration of external demand forecasting tools.
Based on the enterprise services included in this ES bundle, different cross-system planning scenarios are possible. Here is a description of an example process:

  1. After identifying relevant parts and locations, several enterprise services are utilized to identify corresponding master data in SAP SCM and extract and transfer it to the external system
  2. In this example, a demand forecast, which was generated in Service Parts Planning in SAP SCM is also extracted using the enterprise services in this ES Bundle.
  3. Based on this input, the external system generates an optimized inventory plan for the relevant parts and locations. Depending on the capabilities of the external system, this plan may be subject to a planner's review, allowing what-if scenarios and changes to be made before generating a final plan.
  4. The results of the final plan are then brought back into SAP SCM again using the enterprise services in this ES bundle in such a way that SAP SCM Service Parts Planning is able to use this information to generate an operational plan (see step 5).
  5. The operational plan is then refined in SAP SCM Service Parts Planning, mainly involving operational planning (Distribution Requirements Planning, or DRP). the operational plan is then generated based on the optimized level setting of the external system and tightly integrates into the service parts execution area.

This process can be used for periodic mass processing as well as interactive processing on a part-by-part basis. Added visibility into the optimization and replenishment process can be provided through a user interface. Although the Service Parts Management ES bundle does not include or require a UI, one can be created using SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer (or similar tools).

The Service Parts Management ES bundle leverages enterprise SOA through SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (formerly XI) and direct enterprise service interaction with SAP SCM ( Release 5.0 or later) and external systems.

Audience

The Service Parts Management ES bundle is relevant for all customers who want to utilize special inventory optimization and, if desired, forecasting procedures and to exploit the seamless and real-time integration of SAP SCM Service Parts Planning into their overall service parts management solution.

This ES bundle applies to all industries and is relevant for all companies owning an aftermarket service and maintenance business. However, it is especially designed to address field service-driven businesses in the aerospace and defense (A&D), high-tech, industrial engineering, and construction industries.

For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.


How To Use This ES Bundle

The Service Parts Management ES bundle is intended to provide companies utilizing the Service Parts Planning solution of SAP SCM an integrated option for embedding specific inventory optimization capabilities for inventory optimization purposes, allowing them to set the framework for operational service parts planning in a different way than the standard solution provides, while still making use of a complete integration.

The integration between SAP SCM and external inventory utilizes SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (formerly XI). The optimization capabilities may be offered by third-party software vendor or custom-developed.

This section will explore a set of use cases for the Service Parts Management ES bundle. Please note that these examples may refer to users directly making use of enterprise services within an interactive process. The examples described below also may refer to an application to application processing in a batch mode. Each use case will show how different outcomes can be achieved by using the enterprise services in different combinations. While these examples illustrate a couple of ways that this ES bundle could be used, the intention is to show the flexibility and reusability of these business objects and enterprise service operations so that you will have a clearer understanding of how to best deploy them in your own environment. This wiki is also a space for you to share knowledge and collaborate with others who are implementing the Service Parts Management ES bundle.

Use Case 1: Basic External Inventory Optimization of Service Parts Instruction

The process starts with the exchange of the required master data, which includes:

In a second step, forecast demand (transactional data) may be transferred to the external system using the Find Demand Forecast by Elements enterprise service.

Based on the data described above, the external system generates an optimized inventory plan, determining the locations to be stocked (or destocked), how much safety stock is to be carried, and what the economic order quantity is.

This information is sent back to the Service Parts Planning application in SAP SCM:

Using the Change Material Service Parts Planning (SCM) enterprise service, the replenishment indicator is updated in SAP SCM Service Parts Planning, determining whether a part and location combination is considered relevant for stocking and planning in the subsequent planning steps.

Using the Service Part Inventory Replenishment Rule (SCM) enterprise service, the values for the relevant key figures are transferred back for use in later planning steps:

  • Economic order quantity. When stock drops below this level, the system triggers a reorder of the service part.
  • Economic order period. The frequency with which a company reorders a service part.
  • Safety stock. The minimum level of stock to be maintained at a given time.
  • Maximum stock level. The stock level at which the system won't trigger a reorder because enough service parts are already on hand.

Each of these key figures is stored as a times series (for example, the Maximum Stock Level in February should be 10 and in March it should be 15). In that context there are several options. All the time series can be written back to SAP SCM by using the enterprise services Create Rule or Change Rule. The planner can also opt to write back a single time series with a particular key figure, if the others are not of interest to him. He would then use the Create Rule Key Figure enterprise service operation.

It is also possible to bundle a number of the business objects together for separate service parts and write the rules back to SCM using mass services such as Create Rules, Change Rules, or Create Rules Key Figure. This saves time by allowing the external system and SAP SCM to communicate in a single call instead 5, 10, or even 100 separate calls for each business object.

Using the Change Material Service Parts Planning (SCM) enterprise service updates the replenishment indicator in SAP SCM Service Parts Planning, determining whether a part andlocation combination is to be considered relevant for stocking and planning in subsequent planning steps.

Please note that this process describes batch processing over all relevant parts of the network. It can also be modelled depending on the external system as an interactive, user-driven process on an individual part level.

Use Case 2: External Forecasting Instructions

An additional option enabled by the Service Parts Management ES bundle is the generation of an external forecast.

All of the process steps described in use case 1 are relevant to this use case as well. In addition, the following process steps may be added.

To leverage this additional process, you can transfer historical demand data using the enterprise service Find Demand History by Elements may be utilized.

The external system not only generates the inventory plan, but also the demand forecast, which predicts how many service parts the planner will need for a given period of time. The Service Part Demand Forecast (SCM) business object stores the following key figures in a time series (for example, by amount per month):

  • Forecast of the demand
  • Forecast of the number of order items
  • Forecast of the average demand size per order item
  • Standard deviation
  • Outlier correction

The Service Part Demand Forecast (SCM) is transferred back and stored in SAP SCM Service Parts Planning by using the enterprise service Create Demand Forecast. Alternatively, there is the option to write back just one of the time series for the key figures (forecast of the demand, forecast of the number of order items, and so on) using the enterprise service Create Demand Forecast Key Figure.

It is also possible to bundle together demand forecasts for a number of service parts. This saves time by allowing the external system to communicate with SAP SCM in a single service call, instead of one for each demand forecast. To do this, the planner would use the Create Demand Forecasts enterprise service.

Best Practices

SCM Master Data Solution

SCM Master Data Cockpit is available as an Implementation Package based on SOA* on 

The SCM Master Data Cockpit solution provides a user friendly portal solution, that allows creation and maintenance of Supply Network Planning (SNP) master data in the context of a vendor managed inventory process.

The Package inculdes the following features:

  • Covers functionalities that are currently not covered by standard supply network planning (SNP) applications
  • Provides an easy-to-learn User Interface for vendor managed inventory processes
  • Each step in the vendor managed inventory process can be started seperately:
    • Creation of customer location products
    • Maintaining replenishment parameters
    • Maintaining transportation lanes

For detailed information including pricing, visit https://ecohub.sdn.sap.com/irj/ecohub/solutions/scmmasterdatacockpit\[\]

*What is an Implementation Package based on SOA?

An Implementation Package based on SOA is a business process solution.  It is provided via the rapid implementation of a tailored application
based on SOA. It helps enterprises differentiate, while lowering the related cost.

The Implementation Package comprises the combination of:

  • Business Use Case
  • Delivery Type & Methodology
  • Technical Foundation & Tool Support

Using the Services in This ES Bundle with SAP Applications

In order to successfully run the Service Parts Management ES bundle, a company needs to have the service Add-On for SAP SCM 5.0 installed with at least SP02 or a higher SCM Release.

Using This ES Bundle with Partner Applications

Partner applications can use the service in any way they would like, for example, with A2A connectivity or connection using guided procedures, SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer, and the Composite Application Framework.

For example, the solution Service Inventory Optimization 6.0 from MCA Solutions uses enterprise services from the Service Parts Management ES bundle.

Existing Sample Code

A company can, for example, use the WSDL of a service from the ES Workplace of one of the services and use it as sample code.

Future Directions

The Service Parts Management ES bundle could be extended to include further interactive forecasting tools such as alerts, which would automatically be sent out from the back-end system when inventory drops below a certain level. Alerts do exist within the current solution but are not integrated with the external optimization application.

Another future add-on could be the inclusion of a forecast approval process in the external application. Currently, when the forecast is being prepared, it is sent back to SAP SCM (Service Parts Planning), but without being formally approved. With the addition of an approval workflow, an email could be generated once a forecast has been prepared, which could be checked by an expert to see if the forecast looks appropriate and fits the necessary criteria, and then approved.

Connectivity

The Service Parts Management ES bundle achieves connectivity between SAP SCM and external solution and forecasting tools through SAP NetWeaver Process Integration and the enterprise services included in this bundle.

System Requirements

  • The majority of the services are available in SAP SCM as of Release 5.1.  Some services are already  available with SCM 5.0 including Add-On SAP SCM ES 5.0 SP02; for details about availabitily of the  services, please check service documentation
  • Optional: SAP ERP 6.0 or other ERP backend

Related ES Bundles

End-to-end Processes Where This ES Bundle Is Used

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Karin, that is a nice summary.   MCA Solutions has a solution for Service Inventory Optimization (see Ecohub description here:  http://ecohub.sdn.sap.com/irj/ecohub/solutions/serviceoptimization).  It has been certified by SAP for integration to SPP using SPP Enterprise Services, and we have had a very successful implementation at a major aerospace customer.   Our team has a good in depth working knowledge of the Enterprise Services and we would be glad to share our experience if it would be helpful.

     Tim Andreae

    andreae@mcasolutions.com