Optimize Your Transportation Process with this SAP TM Primer

  • by Adolfo Menéndez Fernández, Application Architecture Manager, Repsol
  • July 15, 2008
Get a sneak peek into the enhanced features available in SAP Transportation Management (TM) 6.0. Explore how SAP TM can benefit and streamline your transportation processes.
Key Concept
SAP Transportation Management (TM) 6.0 is a new system for managing transportation processes. Currently in its Ramp-Up phase, SAP TM covers a broad range of transportation functions — from order quotation to freight charge management. With the emergence of SAP TM 6.0, organizations can more easily support basic processes such as master data management or order entry and intricate processes such as transportation optimization or complex freight charges. All required documents and functionality that stem from transportation requests, planning activities, and billing are also available in SAP TM 6.0.

SAP Transportation Management (TM) 6.0 encompasses the different perspectives of the transportation process, including shippers and logistic service providers (LSPs). While shippers try to reduce the distribution cost with a high service level, the LSPs focus on improving revenues. Currently, SAP Transportation Planning/Vehicle Scheduling (TP/VS), which is based on SAP SCM, is used for transportation management. SAP TM works with SAP ERP to expand this approach to transportation management with improved functionality and new technology.

You can implement SAP TM either standalone or integrated with SAP ERP. Both options support all transportation activities required by an LSP or another company (shipper). SAP TM covers the movement of goods across all means of transportation (e.g., air, train, truck, or ship) and the relationships between the partners involved in a transportation chain.

For example, say you have a request to move a container from a company located in Chicago, US, to a company in Cologne, Germany. In this case, several means of transportation should be involved in executing this request. First, trucks or trains are necessary to transport the container by road from the company’s origin in Chicago to a port. Next, a ship must transport the container across the Atlantic Ocean. Then a truck or train must carry the container from the destination port to the company’s location in Cologne. At the same time transportation means are changing, several business partners (e.g., consignee, carrier, shipper, or warehouse manager) must perform the activities required to ensure the container is properly transported as planned.

As described in my example, the processes or phases related to the transportation task can be grouped into four main categories: order entry, transportation planning, subcontracting activities, and billing or payment. SAP TM addresses these phases through its order management, dispatching, subcontracting, and charge management functionality.

I’ll provide an introductory overview of SAP TM and explain how its new features can support your transportation processes. I’ll illustrate the improved user interface (UI) with several screenprints that represent a transportation process from its inception to completion.

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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