Eliminate SAP APO Time Zone Confusion

  • by Manoj Ambardekar, Solution Architect
  • October 15, 2008
Time zones and the added complication of Daylight Saving Time changes can confuse an SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization user. Learn the customization tasks and master data settings to keep your SAP system time settings in sync.
Key Concept
Time zone is both a technical and configuration parameter that is important in operating an SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) system. This technical setting exists at various levels, such as the SAP APO database server, which has a system date and time. Also, SAP APO configuration (transaction SPRO) defines time using time zone and Daylight Saving Time rules.

Many Fortune 500 firms use SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) as a global planning system across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and other regions. With the advent of globalization, technology enablers such as SAP APO and SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) have helped usher in the era of central planning and local production. For example, it is now more economical to produce a raw material, such as an active ingredient in India, and air freight it to global formulation sites in Germany, the US, or Canada than to do it all domestically. You therefore need to consolidate supply and demand from all formulation sites using a global planning tool, SAP APO, while employing SAP ECC for production execution support. How do you operate SAP APO, along with SAP ECC, in multiple countries and across time zones?

I’ll explain how to manage this seemingly trivial but important parameter of time zones to operate a global planning system using an example company called ABC Limited. The screenprints are based on SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM) 5.0 and SAP ECC 6.0 systems as of August 2008. The system time triggers a start date and time for the scheduling of background processes using process chains or batch jobs. For more background, the online SAP help and SAP Notes are a good reference for SAP package-specific information. I will also discuss my experience with time zones during client SAP implementations over the last 10 years.

Manoj Ambardekar

Manoj Ambardekar has more than 20 years of IT and manufacturing experience with firms such as IBM, Infosys, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Siemens Information in the CPG, brewing, and process industries. He has more than 14 years of experience with SAP APO and SAP ECC with specialization in logistics. He has played multiple roles as functional and technical lead as well as project manager. He has implemented SAP applications at more than 12 large- and medium-sized projects since 1998. Manoj is a chemical engineer certified in production and inventory management (CPIM) from APICS – USA, and holds a master’s of engineering (industrial) degree from B.I.T.S. in Pilani, India. Manoj works on both large and SME clients to implement SAP as both a configuration SME in APO/ECC PP-MM/Solution Manager and project manager/team lead. He specializes in supply chain management solutions using software such as SAP APO, SAP SCM, SAP ECC, SAP Solution Manager, and business intelligence for North American clients.

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