Manage Alerts with the Alert Monitor in SAP PP/DS

  • by Alok Jaiswal, Consultant, Infosys Limited
  • April 29, 2016
Learn the process flow for configuring the Alert Monitor so that each planner can get specific alerts in SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS). Follow a step-by-step procedure to configure and run the process and interpret the results.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn about:

  • The types of alerts in SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO)
  • Configuration steps for Alert Monitor
  • Configuration for various alerts and results interpretation
  • Displaying alert profiles
  • Configuring and sending alert notifications
  • Transporting an alert profile
  • Determining alerts in background
  • Deleting alerts
Key Concept

Alerts in the context of SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) can be defined as any situation that needs changes and adjustments in the planning process. It helps to notify the planners that there is some exception situation that warrants a diagnosis. Alert Monitor is a central place that is used to inform planners about all these exceptions.

Alerts in SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) help to identify any exception or unwanted situation that requires the attention of planners so that they can take corrective actions. In a typical business scenario there can be thousands of different product locations being planned in SAP APO, and it’s difficult to individually assess the planning results of each material. Also each material requirements planning (MRP) planner is responsible for assessing the planning situation for a specific list of materials. With Alert Monitor selections can be defined that allow the planner to see planning results for the required list of materials. Alert Monitor provides a central location where all such exception conditions can be assessed. A few examples of such exception conditions are:

  • The product is too late or early
  • Days’ supply alerts
  • Shortfall below the safety stock level
  • Quantity and date alerts

Alerts in SAP APO can be broadly defined under the categories of dynamic alerts and database alerts as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1
Alerts in SAP APO

Dynamic alerts are generated based on the current planning situation. These alerts remain until the exception condition is corrected. They are used in SAP production planning and detailed scheduling (PP/DS).

Database alerts show exception conditions during macro execution and are mainly used in supply or demand planning in SAP APO. Macros are used in SAP APO to carry out a list of operations using predefined macro operators. An example of macro execution would be generation of alerts if the forecast value exceeds the actual demand by a given threshold value.

Alert Monitor is a monitoring component that provides a bird’s eye view of all the problems and exceptions in SAP APO. It can be configured to show not only PP/DS alerts but also alerts for other modules in SAP APO such as Supply Network Planning (SNP) and Global Available to Promise (Global ATP). Steps for configuration of alerts for other APO modules are similar to the ones that I explain later in the article with a focus on PP/DS alerts. Figure 2 illustrates Alert Monitor capabilities in SAP APO.

Figure 2
Alert Monitor in SAP APO with a focus on PP/DS exceptions

Alert Monitor contains a range of alert types. The alert types must be prioritized and assigned to the various SAP APO applications. For example, some alerts concern only SNP, whereas others may concern both SNP and PP/DS. Alert Monitor differentiates between general alerts and alerts in a specific planning version. Each alert type can be assigned to any number of applications.

Because most planning activities are carried out by background jobs in SAP APO, many exceptions can occur. Alert Monitor provides a central tool for planners to analyze the problems and take required actions to correct them. An example of an exception condition would be receipts being available later than the requirements, thereby not allowing the products to be delivered on time.

Alok Jaiswal

Alok Jaiswal is a consultant at Infosys Limited.

He has more than six years of experience in IT and ERP consulting and in supply chain management (SCM). He has worked on various SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) modules such as Demand Planning (DP), Production Planning/Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS), Supply Network Planning (SNP), and Core Interface (CIF) at various stages of the project life cycle.

He is also an APICS-certified CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Planner) consultant, with exposure in functional areas of demand planning, lean management, value stream mapping, and inventory management across manufacturing, healthcare, and textile sectors.

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