SAP Product Footprint Management: Q1-22 Updates & Highlights

After a very successful launch in 2021 we are continuing the further development of SAP Product Footprint Management at high pace. In this blog post I would like to highlight some of the new features and functions that were added in the past weeks:

  • Release of Public APIs to manage master data and business activity data
  • Purchased Products Footprint Analytics in SAP Analytics Cloud
  • Integration of Footprints in Purchase Requisitions in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2202
  • Flexibility in the calculation of Average Footprints
  • Improved and enhanced User Experience

I will further give an outlook on what you can expect in the upcoming months, covering the recently announced partnership with BearingPoint and a preview on the calculation of the footprint of manufactured products within SAP Product Footprint Management.

Release of Public APIs

SAP Product Footprint Management provides an out-of-the box integration to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA 2021. As we have received many requests from customers who are not yet on SAP S/4HANA or not yet on its latest release we decided to build Public APIs, enabling data replication from other business systems, which are now published on the SAP API Business Hub. With those REST APIs it is possible to connect for example older SAP S/4HANA releases or SAP ECC to SAP Product Footprint Management. Through this connection master data (such as enterprise structure or product data) and business activity data (physical goods movements) can be replicated and re-used to calculate the product footprints.

Our SAP Services colleagues further have developed an Integration Accelerator Package, a quick start service allowing customers to speed up the implementation of SAP Product Footprint Management by providing out-of-the-box integration to SAP ECC 6 (EHP 7 & 8) and SAP S/4HANA 1909 release. The offering provides an ABAP-based integration package with prebuilt integration content, delivering a fast-starting point for customers to integrate their SAP Product Footprint Management solution to their backend systems. The integration content helps in selecting, extracting, and pushing the relevant data from the ECC tables into the cloud-based SAP Product Footprint Management solution via the API interfaces. If you are interested in this service offering please reach out to your SAP Account Executive. A new blog post on the details will be published and I will add the link here once available.

Analytics

With our initial release it was already possible to break down the calculated product footprints to the supplier level, enabling investigations and corrective actions. Now we are enhancing those capabilities by providing an Analytics Interface for integrating the calculated footprints into analytical applications like SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC).

You can build analytics dashboards by using the Odata API. This interface can be consumed by your own analytics application or can be used in SAP Analytics Cloud. It exposes the aggregated and line-item level footprint data based on the products, the suppliers and the plants in your organization’s unit. For more information on the API please visit the SAP Help Portal.

Footprint Analytics – Analyze Footprint for Purchased Products

We are also providing pre-configured content that can easily be consumed in SAP Analytics Cloud. This content consists of various dashboards to visualize and analyze the footprint calculation results in detail. You can drill down into different dimensions, fitting best to your business needs. This will help you in identifying those materials or suppliers that contribute most to your overall product footprint and will enable you to take corrective actions to reduce your carbon exposure.

SAP Product Footprint Management Analytics Package is available as part of the Line of Business Sustainability in all SAP Analytics Cloud instances on release 2022.02 or higher. It consists of the following views and dashboards:

  • Overview dashboards Footprint analytics for purchased products
  • Supplier inflow analytics
  • Supplier inflow heatmap
  • Supplier inflow table view
  • Inventory analytics
  • Inventory heatmap
  • Inventory table view

The following demo video gives you a first impression of the SAC content and the various possibilities of the dashboards:

Integration of Footprints in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2202

One of the unique value propositions of SAP Product Footprint Management is the integration of the calculated product footprints into SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Since the GA release last year, the View Product Footprints application is part of the latest SAP S/4HANA versions, providing direct access to the published footprints. With the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2202 release we now also deliver a direct integration of the footprints into the Purchase Requisitions (PR), displaying the footprints on PR Item level. With this functionality a PR approver now for example does not only see the financial value of the Purchase Requisition but also its associated footprint:

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Displaying Footprint in SAP S/4HANA Purchase Requisition Item

An operational purchaser can now also analyze the environmental impact of the PRs that they are responsible for within the Monitor Purchase Requisition Items application. As this app does not only show delivered purchases but also purchases that are requested with future delivery dates this functionality as well provides great insights into expected future emissions. Based on this information corrective actions could be taken ahead already to optimize the footprints. The following demo video shows this integration and its value in the system:

Flexibility for Calculating Average Footprints

Footprints in SAP Product Footprint Management are always calculated on a monthly basis. However, as there can be fluctuations in the footprints in certain months – for example if you in unforeseen circumstances had to source a specific material from a less sustainable supplier due to difficulties in the global supply chains – you may want to track and report the footprints on a moving average basis. Therefore, in the Calculate Footprints app you can now configure a time internal interval between 1 and 12 months that is considered for calculating the moving average footprint per unit. The Monitor Footprints app displays those averages accordingly as the following example shows:

Average%20Footprint%20Calculation

Average Footprint Calculation

Improving our User Experience

Besides those major updates we also released many smaller enhancements in the system, improving the User Experience of SAP Product Footprint Management. One of the highlights is the improved Calculation Details view. In the Details Page header, it now shows both the footprint per unit and the average footprint per unit. The tables displaying the product inflows and outflows were enhanced further so they are including the inflow source type and source, and the outflow target type and target. This directly shows you the entity to or from the respective product is sent or received.

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Calculation Details Enhancements

Furthermore, business logging messages are added for calculation runs. You can access the logs directly from the Monitor Footprints application to view the success, error and warning messages for footprint calculations.

As you can see in the above screenshots, SAP Product Footprint Management is now also available in the brand new SAP Fiori visual theme Horizon.

BearingPoint Partnership

As you may have read in the press already, SAP and BearingPoint announced a partnership on carbon and environmental footprint solutions (Press Release: SAP and BearingPoint Partner on Zero Emisions). With this collaboration and co-development, we will integrate the know-how and calculation methodologies and algorithms of BearingPoint’s Emission Calculator into SAP Product Footprint Management, accelerating our roadmap and delivering enhanced capabilities and great value to our customers.

One of the first use cases that we are planning is the calculation of transportation footprints. With this new functionality we will be able to include the emissions related to the transportation of purchased materials to your company (inbound transport) as well as the transportation from the manufactured product to your customers (outbound transport) into the overall product footprint. This makes the footprint much more precise and enables more detailed analytic capabilities which can then lead to corrective actions and improvements. You are then for example able to identify those products or business partners (suppliers, freight forwarders etc.) which contribute most to the overall emissions and can search for alternative sources or transportation modes.

Besides enhancements in the calculation of the product footprints along the entire life cycle, we are further planning to enrich our solution to also include process footprints. Examples in this area are the calculation of footprints related to business travel and facilities, like your company’s plants. This will bring a greater level of transparency on the emissions of your overall business, supporting you on the way to zero emissions.

You will hear a lot more details on this in the upcoming weeks and months, so please stay tuned.

Outlook: Footprint for Manufactured Products

The next big milestone in SAP Product Footprint Management will be the calculation of the carbon footprints of the finished products, manufactured in your plant. This functionality is planned to be released soon and will introduce a new calculation template within the Calculate Footprints app, complementing the one existing for the calculation of purchased products. For calculating the footprint of a manufactured product, its Bill of Material (BOM) is replicated from the connected source system, such as SAP S/4HANA, and re-used. The BOM structure provides the software the information on the materials used for manufacturing the finished product so it can roll-up their respective footprints. Further details on this will be published in a separate blog post soon.

In a next step, it is planned to also include the emissions related to the production activities within your plant in the calculation. With the addition of transportation emissions we are then enabling the calculation of cradle-to-gate product footprints.

Additional Information & Updates

For an overview of all new features and functions in SAP Product Footprint Management please check the What’s New section in the SAP Help Portal which is updated with every new software release.

I would further like to point you to our eLearning courses which we published last December. All details can be found in this blog post: Announcing SAP Product Footprint Management eLearning Courses. Those courses will also be updated on a regular basis, and we are also planning to develop additional learnings.

To stay up to date on SAP Product Footprint Management please follow me here in the SAP Community. In regular cadence I will publish blog posts giving you updates on all the product’s new features and functions as well as deep dives into the product capabilities. I’m also looking forward to engaging with you directly, feel free to leave your feedback in the comment section. For questions please see the Q&A here in the SAP for Sustainability Community. For sure you can also reach out to me directly.