Make Promises You Can Keep with GATP

  • by Adolfo Menéndez Fernández, Application Architecture Manager, Repsol
  • March 1, 2005
As product portfolios grow and customer lists expand, your ability to make and keep critical delivery commitments may be getting tenuous. SAP APO's Global Available to Promise (GATP) technology offers the tools you need to take the guesswork out of the delivery planning process. Its flexibility makes GATP applicable to many industries.
Key Concept
Global Available To Promise (GATP) in APO supports online searches to determine if requested products are available at specific times in quantities that satisfy customer demand. GATP processes are run via SAP liveCache, which processes large volumes of data and enables data sharing across several applications.

Commitments to customers are critical and they must be reliable from the start if you expect to build a long-lasting business relationship. Your customers must be able to rely on when you'll be able to provide them with certain products. If your promises don't become reality, the results will all too likely be your customers rushing straight into the arms of your competitors.

Regardless of the high stakes, it is becoming increasingly difficult to accurately answer the simple question: "Are we able to deliver on time?" Product portfolios are steadily increasing and firms are required to accommodate orders that range from many items in big lots to reduced quantities for special purchases as they grow from local markets to a global market and shift strategies from "make-to-stock" to "make-to-order." As the scope of the business continues to change, reliably answering questions related to delivery is a growing challenge.

SAP provides technology to meet the challenge of providing availability information across a global enterprise. If you're familiar with the Sales and Distribution (SD) module in SAP R/3, the concept of available to promise (ATP) is not new to you. The ATP feature in R/3 provides check capabilities that deliver great results for basic business scenarios. More complex scenarios, however, require more robust capabilities to make delivery commitments that are in line with the real-world demands. In short, global scenarios require global solutions.

Global ATP — or GATP — takes advantage of SAP APO technology and picks up where the SAP R/3 ATP solution leaves off. Both allow a company to allocate products across distribution chains on predetermined criteria. The two systems can be configured in tandem to allow for greater versatility. For more details, see "Enhance R/3's Product Allocation Tool by Integrating It with SAP APO's DP and GATP Modules," in the May 2004 issue of this newsletter.

I will focus on the various ways GATP allows you to answer questions related to promising products to your customers. You'll get an overview of the technology along with some insight into the different methods of GATP functionality. I will also present examples of GATP in action along with some simple but important settings. My goal is not to explain the full ATP check functionality available from SAP but to focus on improved scenarios with GATP. I do, however, provide references where you can find more information about other ATP methods. Most of the functionality I describe is available in SCM 4.0, but I also will offer you a glimpse at some improvements coming with new SCM 4.1, which is slated for release in the second quarter of this year.

Adolfo Menéndez Fernández

Adolfo Menéndez Fernández is the application architecture manager at Repsol in Madrid. Previously, he worked at SAP Consulting Spain as the logistics consulting manager. He studied at the University of Oviedo, where he earned an electronic engineering degree. He is a certified SAP consultant in supply and demand planning (SNP and DP), order fulfillment (Global Available-to-Promise), production planning and detailed scheduling (PP/DS), as well as procurement and materials management (MM). Adolfo has more than 10 years of SAP implementation experience in the consumer product goods, pharmaceutical, automotive, furniture, textile, chemical, oil & gas, and steel industries using SAP ERP logistic modules (including PP, MM, and sales and distribution [SD]) as well as SAP SCM (DP, SNP, and PP/DS). He is APICS certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM).

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