Basic intro to SAP ERP for logistics

This is going to be the first post in a series of posts covering the basics of SAP for production planning and production control. In this post I provide a very basic overview of SAP for logistics.

SAP is an Enterprise Ressource Planning (ERP) software. This series of posts will be based on SAP ERP version 6.0.

SAP aims at supporting three main areas of management in an enterprise: Accounting, human resource management and logistics.

Each area of management is support by certain SAP modules. These are often tightly integrated with eachother, via various interfaces. The logistics area is supported by six main modules: SD (sales and distribution), MM (materials management), PP (production planning), QM (quality management), PS (project system) and PM (plant maintenance).

SD module: Sales and distribution

The SD module supports management of sales and distribution. It seeks to cover the information and action flow from order to cash. In the SD module can e.g. create sales and distribution related master data (e.g. customer master data). When creating sales orders, tracking shipments and billings as well when dealing with foreign trade related issues – this will be the module you work in.

The SAP SD module is tightly integrated with financial accounting (FI), controlling (CO), materials management (MM) and production planning (PP) modules.

MM module: Materials management

The MM module supports materials and inventory management and is heavily used by the purchasing department.

The MM module is the place for creating material masters, purchase records etc. and is also e.g. used for vendor invoice verification.

PP module: Production planning

This module support production planning and control and allows for maintenance of routings, work centers, production versions etc.

This module is used for planning production, managing requirements and capacities, and for executing and tracking execution orders.

This module also affects accounting, since work center and associated cost collectors impact the cost calculation.

QM module: Quality management

Covers quality planning, inspection, certification and control. It also supports test equipment management.

The QM module is used for maintaining QM-related master data and also provides the a quality nofication function for handling quality issues. Quality issue notifications could e.g. be complaints from a customer of complaints towards a vendor.

PS module: Project system

The PS module is essentially a comprehensive project management tool. It aids mapping, planning and monitoring of project related dates, materials, ressources etc.

PM module: Plant maintenance

The PM module is supposed to support the complete management of the life-cycle associated with an asset. This might involve investment planning, maintenance scheduling and e.g. also shut-down of the asset.

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