Execute Shelf Life Planning Using SNP Heuristics

  • by Mitesh Verma, SAP SCM Solution Architect, Dorman Products
  • January 30, 2012
Learn how to configure Supply Network Planning (SNP) heuristics to consider various shelf life requirements, such as minimum and maximum shelf life conditions, during planning. Read about the limitations and enhancements associated with SNP when considering shelf life planning.
Key Concept
Consideration of shelf life requirements is not adequately addressed by the various planning engines available in SAP SCM 7.0 Supply Network Planning (SNP), such as Heuristics, Capable-to-Match (CTM), and Optimizer. By tweaking different macros used in SNP and leveraging the shelf life-specific key figures, it is possible to consider shelf life conditions during the SNP heuristics run.

In industries such as Pharmaceuticals, Dairy, and Food and Beverage, many products have a limited shelf life. Planning perishable goods accurately is a critical success factor for these industries. Shelf life restrictions directly influence inventory levels, obsolescence costs, and stock-out costs. Strict customer requirements concerning the minimum remaining shelf life have an important influence on production planning.

By making the minor changes I describe, you can carry out shelf life planning using SAP SCM 7.0 Supply Network Planning (SNP) heuristics. Combining SNP heuristics with propagation heuristics and shelf life alerts meets most of the requirements for industries with short shelf life products.

Refer to the previous SAPexperts article “Use Shelf-Life Planning to Lower Stockouts For Inventory With Expiration Dates” by Dmitriy Mindich, Volume 9 (2011) Update 3 to understand the basic customization required for shelf life planning, issues with using SAP standard heuristics for shelf life planning, and how to create a custom shelf life planning book.

In SAP SCM 7.0, there are various features that enable planning for products with limited shelf life. Some of these features, like a shelf life-specific planning book and shelf life propagation, are new in SAP SCM 7.0. Although the available functionality does not fully support shelf life planning, it can meet most requirements after some minor enhancements are made.

Mitesh Verma

Mitesh Verma has 14 years of experience in supply chain consulting, SAP APO implementation, and enhancements. He is an SAP SCM solution architect at Dorman Products specializing in multiple modules (DP, SNP, GATP, and PP-DS) of SAP APO. He has worked on supply chain projects for various clients in the high-tech, semiconductor, automotive, and food and beverage industries. 

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