The implementation of SAP S/4HANA has brought about some changes to the material requirements planning (MRP). The previous material requirements planning at the plant level, with the option of excluding individual storage locations from the MRP run and planning them separately, is no longer possible under S/4HANA as of version 1511. Users benefit from a simplified and more efficient planning logic through the mandatory use of MRP areas.
What is the MRP RUN?
MRP stands for Material Requirements Planning and refers to the same named SAP tool (integrated in SAP PP). The key task of this tool is to make materials available according to the schedules and quantities. In this respect, the MRP run starts by determining the material requirements, and in a second step, compares them with the stock levels, taking the planned acquisitions and outflows into account. If a material shortage is identified, the system responds with the appropriate procurement proposals. With SAP MRP Live the tool for the material requirements planning has also been optimised in many respects under S/4HANA.
MRP areas at a glance
An MRP area consists of an organisational unit that plans independently, and for which independent material requirements planning (MRP) is carried out. As a rule, it is possible to distinguish between three types of MRP area:
- MRP areas for plant
The plant MRP area initially includes all the storage locations of a plant as well as subcontractor stocks. If MRP areas are then created for storage locations and subcontractors, the plant MRP area is reduced accordingly.
- MRP areas for storage locations
It is also necessary to create MRP areas for the separate planning of storage locations. In this respect, one or more storage locations are assigned to the MRP area. A storage location can only be assigned to one MRP area at a time, however. This way, an n:1 relationship arises. The respective MRP area is defined for the affected materials in the material master. If this assignment does not take place, the materials will still be planned in the plant MRP area.
- MRP areas for subcontractors
The planning of parts (to be) provided also takes place through MRP areas. An MRP area can be created for each subcontractor, to which the corresponding supplier is then assigned. Unlike the MRP areas for storage locations, in this context, there is a 1:1 relationship. This means that a subcontractor can only ever be assigned to one MRP area, and an MRP area can only ever contain one subcontractor. In this respect, it is not necessary to assign the materials to the MRP area separately, because the assignment takes place implicitly when the MRP area is created for the supplier.
This means that there is only one solution for the planning at the level of the storage location, which simplifies the MRP logic. In addition, all of the MRP characteristics and lot-sizing procedures are also available in the MRP areas. In this way, the various MRP parameters can be used in order to control the allocation of materials in the MRP areas on a targeted basis, which increases the flexibility of the material requirements planning.
Creating and assigning MRP areas
The MRP areas are defined in the customizing of the material requirements planning. Depending on the type of MRP area, the storage locations or suppliers are also assigned here.
The materials are assigned to an MRP area (storage location) in the material master. For this purpose, an MRP area segment is created under the materials planning 1 view.
In this segment, it is then possible to maintain the MRP parameters for the material that are to be valid in this MRP area.
In summary, it can be said that with the MRP areas, it is possible for the targeted planning of individual plant areas to be simplified. This also offers the option of being able to define individual MRP parameters for these areas. In connection with the new MRP Live under S/4HANA which is able to deliver data in real time, the overall flexibility and efficiency of the material requirements planning in SAP increases enormously.
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