Sourcing & Procurement in SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208

Hi all,

after quiet some time I am happy to publish this blog covering all the nice things that our developers at SAP work for in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Sourcing & Procurement. This release is fully packed, so check out my top 3 highlights in the video and read the text for more details.

Operational Procurement

Procurement Analytics

Invoice and Payables Management

Contract Management

SAP Product Sourcing

SAP Central Procurement***

Integration with SAP Ariba***

SAP Central Invoice Management***

SAP Enterprise Contract Management***

Operational Procurement

Landing page for casual requestors in self-service requisitioning

The new self-service procurement app serves to offer the employees or casual users a consolidated one-stop solution that provides a quick, intuitive, and efficient shopping experience. The well laid out sections in the app provide a seamless experience with reduced clicks and navigation. The reduction in redundancy and improved usability makes this new app an effective replacement to the existing ’Create Purchase Requisition’ and ’My Purchase Requisitions’ app. Employees can create and manage the purchase requisitions using a single application with all necessary details available. On top, it is possible to control the desired and fixed supplier separately by having separate fields and BAdI implementations. For more details, refer to KBA 3212492.

Inquiry in approval process of Purchase Order

Similar to what we offer already in purchase requisitioning process, the purchase order approval process now offers the possibility to communicate with requestors for any queries or rework. That way approvers can receive the needed information in the ‘My Inbox’- app without having to reject the purchase orders in the first place.With this SAP provides a channel of communication between requestors and approvers of purchase order documents during approval processing. This heavily improves interaction between requestors and approvers of purchase order documents and in addition adds seamless user experience in the purchase order approval process. For more information check the following demo:

Decoupling of the central purchase replication from the requisition approval status

When an employee creates a central purchase requisition in the hub system, it is immediately replicated to the connected system without waiting for approval in the hub system.It is now easier and more convenient for the employees to create, edit, copy, and delete items in a central purchase requisition. This helps in quicker assignment of supplier and allocation of budget, and hence a faster follow-on process. Employees have a better experience and companies can manage their resources more efficiently.

The business configuration expert can define the settings for central requisitioning in the ‘Manage your Solution’-app as shown on the screenshot below.

Final Service Entry Sheet indicator in Manage Service Entry Sheet

With this innovation a service entry sheet item can be marked as the last service entry sheet item for the referenced purchase order item. After the service entry sheet has been created with the flag Final Entry set, no new service entry sheets can be created for the referenced purchase order item. After the service entry sheet has been approved, the Delivery Completed indicator is set automatically in the referenced purchase order item. Other service entry sheets that have already been created for the referenced purchase order item can still be completed. This facilitates the communication between buyers and suppliers of services and provide transparency to the purchasers when the work has been finished.

Support for including manufacturer part ID and name on the purchase order item level

A supplier who supplies a particular product to a customer may be able to procure the same product from various manufacturers. The products that these different manufacturers provide (known as the “manufacturer parts”) may be of varying quality or the customer may prefer one manufacturer over another. For these reasons, a customer can decide on the source of a product by requesting a particular manufacturer part number (MPN) and manufacturer in the purchase order. Thus, we now enable buyers to include MPNs and manufacturer names to their suppliers on the purchase-order item level.

Procurement Analytics

Scheduling agreement inclusion in supplier evaluation

The supplier evaluation capabilities in SAP S/4HANA Cloud analyze the performance of the suppliers regarding accuracy of delivery, price and quality in real-time. Purchase orders with respective goods receipts were considered to calculate the variance scores until now. Next to purchase orders, scheduling agreements are heavily used in various industries, like the discrete industries. Thus, we now enable you to consider scheduling agreement releases with corresponding goods receipt as measure of the supplier’s evaluation score. In the ‘Manage your Solution’-app Configuration Experts can define if the score calculation shall include purchase orders, scheduling agreements or both. This guarantees a holistic view across the supplier’s performance according to your company’s needs.

Check out the demo video below for this innovation. If you want to learn more on supplier evaluation in general check out the following Microlearning.

Carbon footprint analytics for purchasing documents

In addition to the already existing real-time insights into carbon footprint values for requested products and related purchase requisition amounts across various dimensions, such as by product, product category, plant and list view, this innovation provides also a trend view to analyze the carbon footprint across a time line in general and by product group. This increases the transparency into the historical data for carbon footprint of requested products.

Supplier confirmation in the overdue purchase order items KPI

The ‘Overdue Purchase Order Items’ KPI calculates the number of purchase order items that have a delivery date in the past where no delivery has occurred. In addition to this information, it is also useful to analyze whether a supplier confirmation is of relevance for this overdue item. This information has been included in the document view of the KPI. The status field text can be either of the following: Supplier Confirmation not expected, Supplier Confirmation expected but not received, or Supplier Confirmation received. This brings an increased insight into supplier confirmation setting of the purchase order item.

Invoice and Payables Management

Addition of the requestor in the approver role for supplier invoice workflows

In order to run a quick and smooth supplier invoice approval workflow, we provide now the option to select the requestor of a purchase requisition as the approver of the corresponding supplier invoice. In case of self service procurement, if the purchase requisition is created on behalf of another user, both the creator of the purchase requisition and the other user are considered as agents for the determination of the work item. This holds for both release of complete invoices and blocked invoices.

Ability to post incoming supplier invoices with retentions

Retention is a part of an invoice amount that is retained until a defined due date to ensure the delivery of materials or the performance of services. If a company does not want to pay the full price of purchase orders immediately purchasers can plan a security retention. It is taken into account when the invoice is posted, deducted from the invoice amount, and paid at a later time. The retention amount is released to the supplier when certain expectations are met or on a specified due date that has been agreed upon. For example, the end of the warranty period. An additional incentive for the supplier to complete the supply on time and without defects

How does it work?

When the purchase order is entered in the invoice a message is displayed in the application log informing the user that the item is relevant for retention. In addition, four fields that are relevant for retention are ready for input in the invoice item (retention amount in document currency, retention percentage, due date, tax reduction for retention). This innovation comes with the complete configuration to define control parameters, tax handling & default due date by the business configuration expert.

This will enhance automation and compliance and protects against unforeseen issues.

Exclude the invoice creator from the approval process

Manage workflow for supplier invoices helps to restrict the person who has created an invoice from from the approval process of supplier invoice. It is possible to  exclude the creator of supplier invoice using the restricted agents or by agents determined by BAdi. This ensures enforced process compliance and a four-eye principal.

Contract Management

Recognizing situations on purchase contracts with Situation Handling-Extended

In an increasingly complex and fast-paced world, Situation Handling helps to increase the quality and efficiency of your business processes. It does this by automatically detecting, tracking, and informing the right users about exceptional circumstances and issues that require their attention. The new Situation Handling-Extended framework allows you to create completely customized situations for specific business objects.

Purchase contracts are now enabled for the new Situation Handling-Extended framework, allowing you to tailor specific situations according to your needs. As a best-practice example, the expiration of purchase contracts is delivered as pre-defined situation handling template to be used for the creation of own situation types. Reuse situation objects, situation scenarios, and situation templates for custom use cases. And on top, the situations support your custom specific fields in purchase contracts. Isn’t this great 🙂 ?!

Stay tuned for more business objects to be enabled for the new framework in next releases.

Watch the demo video below by my colleague Kanhu Ranjan Padhi and team to understand the full power of this innovation.

Usability updates in purchase contracts: identifying expiring critical contracts and using app standard filters

The facet ‘Attention Required’ prompts you to take appropriate action based on the approaching expiration date and/or the consumption of a purchase contract in the SAP Fiori app ‘Manage Purchase Contracts’. Standard filters, for the facet, on the list page of the app are enhanced to search for attributes at the item level and make these searches quicker. The object page of the app has been enhanced to display the attention required for a purchase contract and also the input field of the app have been rearranged for a better user experience.

SAP Product Sourcing***

Collect and manage cost breakdown information of direct materials during sourcing process

So this one is coming from Product Sourcing in SAP S/4Hana Cloud. We add a completely new cost breakdown (CBD) functionality. Users can create and publish templates to record the cost breakdown details of items included in sourcing. Using these templates,  suppliers can provide details of cost breakdown for the items they propose to supply, to meet the sourcing requirements. So a full end to end scenario from creation of cost breakdown templates as excel spreadsheet, while creating the sourcing project define relevant items for cost breakdown and choose the appropriate template. After successful publication to the suppliers, they can – on their side – download the spreadsheet and fill all relevant fields. Finally attaching the spreadsheets to the Quotation items and submitting back to the Sourcing Manager. Sourcing managers can now compare granular cost elements in the ‘quotation comparison’-app and further negotiate with suppliers to get the best price with maximum savings. This innovation helps in creating and managing multiple formats of cost breakdown templates and using them during the sourcing process to collect granular cost information from the suppliers. Check out the nice video below to understand the full process.

SAP Central Procurement***

Manage supplier confirmations from a central hub system

Customers can now leverage a new introduced SAP Fiori app in Central Procurement – ‘Manage Central Supplier Confirmation’- to centrally process and manage supplier order confirmations for purchase orders residing in the local, connected systems. In its first release, the central supplier confirmation will allow for the manual maintenance of confirmed delivery dates and quantities, along with an approval workflow, which can be triggered in case of deviations compared to the corresponding backend purchase order. After its approval, the confirmation data will be written into the respective tab of the local purchase order and also shown in the object page of the centrally managed order within the central procurement hub. With this innovation we increase the flexibility in handling of supplier confirmations by a) Centralizing the processing of confirmations in a single, central system and b) Decoupling the management of confirmations from the editing of actual purchase orders.

For more details, please watch the following demo:

Editability of distributed outline agreements in connected systems

Customers of SAP Central Procurement will be able to control which of the fields of a distributed outline agreement, either in a local purchase contract or a scheduling agreement, can still be edited by a local purchaser or logistics expert in the respective connected system. Especially those fields, which are not directly part of a central contract, as they are too specific to the given nature of a particular backend system (e.g. the accounting details), can be centrally declared as either being locally editable or read-only. In contrast to the former locking of the complete backend purchasing document, this partial editability now allows for a controlled maintenance of additional, local outline agreement data.

Decoupling of the central purchase replication from the requisition approval status

Please see this innovation also listed in the area of Operational Procurement here.

Integration with SAP Ariba***

Support for lean services in Central Sourcing integration with Ariba Sourcing scenario (4QN)

This feature enables buyers to execute the sourcing process with the support of lean services in the central sourcing integration scenario with Ariba sourcing. It’s now possible to add line items of product type group “services” and transfer them to Ariba sourcing for sourcing activities.

SAP Central Invoice Management***

OCR based invoice line item creation including rule based G/L account determination for non PO Invoice

For non-PO invoices, rules can be set up and configured in the Business Rules Engine to allow the automatic creation of invoice line items and the assignment of G/L accounts and cost objects for those invoice items. After the invoice upload and the OCR recognition by the inbound processing module of SAP Central Invoice Management, the rules are evaluated, the invoices are enriched and prepared for an automatic processing. Manual correction of invoice line items for non-PO invoices directly in the object page in SAP Central Invoice Management for invoices which are not processed in the backend is supported.

SAP Enterprise Contract Management***

Microsoft Teams integration enabling collaboration on contracts

We are happy to announce an integration to Microsoft Teams in order to enable customers to start a collaboration process with both internal and external stakeholders for contracts or other legal documents that are attached to a Legal Transaction in SAP Enterprise Contract Management. Users can, for instance, modify contracts based on feedback, get updated contracts reviewed by parties, easily upload the final contracts to the system and trigger internal and external signature processes. When the collaboration is completed, the files used in the Microsoft Teams collaboration are updated automatically in the Legal Transaction. Check out the nice video below for much more details:

Analytics for Enterprise Contract Management

We deliver a set of analytical stories and KPIs within SAP Analytics Cloud*** (enterprise version), enabling the customer to use data from legal transactions and legal documents to build their own dashboards for specific business processes. This improves the decision making and provides a detailed level of understanding.

Enable maintenance of teams as contacts and reminder recipients

This feature enables you to assign teams from Responsibility Management component as internal contacts. You can even use teams as one of the reminder recipients, so that every user who is assigned to the team gets the reminder email from the relevant legal transaction. Reminders can be sent to multiple recipients in one step to ensure business continuity. This results in more efficiency and increased flexibility with less maintenance effort in case teams are involved in the contract management process, e.g. shared services for contract drafting and review.

Watch the Replays of Our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 Early Release Series!

We’ve hosted a series of compelling live sessions from the heart of the SAP S/4HANA Engineering organization. Missed the live sessions? Watch our replays on demand!

Among the replays, you can find a 30-minute replay, a presentation, and demos for Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management as part of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 release as well as 20 other sessions on diverse topics like Manufacturing, Finance, Professional Services, SAP User Experience, Developer Extensibility and much more. For more information on the SAP S/4HANA Cloud Early Release Series and how to sign up for it, see this link.

For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:

  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info here
  • Sven Denecken’s SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 Release Blog
  • The Link Collection for Sourcing & Procurement here
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2208 Early Release Series Webinars here
  • Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud Release Blogs here
  • Product videos on our SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA YouTube playlist
  • Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
  • Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud here
  • SAP S/4HANA Cloud Community: here
  • Feature Scope Description here
  • What’s New here
  • Help Portal Product Page here

Follow us via @SAP and #S4HANA, or myself via LinkedIn

*** Not part of SAP S/4HANA shipment; requires additional products