Supply Chain Visibility Using SAP Transportation Management and SAP Event Management

  • by Sanket Kulkarni, Solution Architect, Accenture Services Private Limited
  • February 25, 2015
Learn how to achieve end-to-end transportation visibility using SAP’s supply chain execution platform.
Learning Objectives

After reading this article, you will know how to:

  • Outline key capabilities within SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM) and SAP Event Management relevant to transportation visibility
  • Configure and test the SAP standard transportation visibility process
  • Implement and enhance standard SAP TM-SAP Event Management integration
Key Concept

SAP’s transportation visibility process is enabled by SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM) and SAP Event Management. SAP TM acts as a transaction data system providing business documents for execution, whereas SAP Event Management provides a transportation monitoring framework for these documents. Integration between SAP TM and SAP Event Management means that the same execution information (shipment status) is available in SAP TM and SAP Event Management at any instant.

With globalization, supply chain execution, including transportation of goods, has become increasingly complex. It often involves multi-modal or multi-stage transportation including multiple domestic or international movements. Traditionally, organizations have used a wide range of visibility systems in silos. Now integrated execution and tracking of the movement of goods can be achieved using SAP’s supply chain execution platform. The platform consists of three key components: SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM), SAP Event Management), and SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM).

I focus on integration between SAP TM and SAP Event Management, thus covering the transportation visibility aspect of supply chain execution. I briefly go through processes covered by SAP TM and SAP Event Management before providing step-by-step configuration instructions.

SAP TM Overview

SAP TM is used to perform activities connected with the physical transportation of goods from one location to another, including planning and execution. It is a separate application closely integrated with SAP ERP, Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM), and SAP Event Management. It also covers all modes of transport (air, ocean, and road) useful for industries, such as shipping companies (retail, consumer products, chemicals, and automotive), freight forwarders, ocean carriers, trucking companies, and railways. SAP TM 9.1 offers enhanced capabilities focused on the freight-forwarding industry.

In SAP TM, the transportation process starts with the generation of transportation requirements. It is typically a customer’s order to ship goods from one location to another at a specific price at a specific time. It’s generally referred to as a forwarding order for stand-alone documents, an order-based transportation requirement (OBTR), or a delivery-based transportation requirement (DBTR). OBTRs or DBTRs are transferred from SAP ERP systems via standard integration with SAP TM. You can also derive these requirements from forwarding agreements that are long-term contracts with an ordering party.

Sanket Kulkarni

Sanket Kulkarni is a solution architect at Accenture Services Private Limited. He has about 15 years of SCM consulting experience in SAP implementation, rollout, and support projects. He has been associated with SAP Event Management for the last five years. He also has worked across a diverse range of SAP modules in the SCM suite, such as SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM), materials management (MM), SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO), SAP Supply Network Planning (SNP), SAP Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS), Global Available-to-Promise (GATP), and Supply Network Collaboration (SNC) during his earlier assignments.

He has worked with clients in the discrete, consumer packaged goods (CPG), automotive, oil and gas, and semiconductor industries, as well as with transportation and carrier companies.

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