The SAP Revolution of Material Requirements Planning
SAP MRP (material requirements planning) ensures that materials are available on time whenever they are needed. With the transition to SAP S/4HANA, which companies will inevitably make when SAP ceases support for SAP ERP 6.0 in 2027, a new functionality is now available – MRP Live.
MRP LIVE AT A GLANCE
In SAP ERP, due to resource and capacity issues, material requirements planning was performed once per night at most. Each MRP run lasted several hours and used a considerable amount of computing power. At the end of the run, the system had up-to-date supply and demand information. However, this information would become obsolete as soon as a change that affected supply or demand was made in the system. Material planners therefore continuously worked with outdated data that was not updated again until the next MRP run.
SAP S/4HANA MRP Live, on the other hand, allows MRP controllers to simulate "what if" scenarios in real time, thereby enabling them to monitor and plan the necessary capital, production capacity, and stock. This, in turn, enables MRP controllers to have up-to-date, accurate information when making decisions rather than having to rely on old, outdated information.
SAP S/4HANA has a new, much more powerful material requirements planning run. In addition, in-memory technology makes it possible to conduct significantly faster database queries. As a result, material availability can be displayed in real time and material shortages can be avoided.
- It takes too long to execute material requirements planning in SAP ERP.
- Planning runs can be performed once daily at most.
- The MRP run is conducted using old, outdated data.
- Material bottlenecks are only identified at a late stage.
However, these problems are easily solved with SAP S/4HANA and SAP MRP Live.
What Is MRP Live in SAP S/4HANA?
SAP S/4HANA provides an optimized version of material requirements planning, namely MRP Live, which reads material receipts and requirements, calculates shortages, and creates planned orders and purchase requisitions directly in the database without duplicate data retention. This improves performance by eliminating the need to copy data back and forth between the database server and the application server. Previously, the MRP run involved the time-consuming task of reading data from 52 tables. With MRP Live and SAP HANA, database tables can be read in parallel. Moreover, irrelevant columns are ignored to speed up material requirements planning. MRP Live can process multiple materials simultaneously. Furthermore, shortage calculations are performed directly in the database. Material requirements planning with MRP Live is therefore up to ten times faster than the conventional solution in SAP ERP. MRP Live Cockpit provides MRP controllers with multiple dashboards to monitor key performance indicators such as delayed material deliveries by suppliers, delayed deliveries to customers or anticipated material shortages. Unlike the classic MRP module, MRP Live also has functions for selective material planning and material groups. Thanks to MRP Live, demand planning and delivery planning can take place virtually in real time. In addition, the system helps you to identify and deal with urgent issues more quickly.
Availability of MRP Live
MRP Live is available to all companies already using SAP S/4HANA.
If a certain function is not available within MRP Live (for example, material planning for special procurement types), the system switches to the classic MRP version to plan the relevant materials. Some other functions are not yet supported by MRP Live, including direct production, materials in supersession chains, characteristics planning, MRP lists, multilevel make-to-order planning and individual project planning, long-term planning, planning of configurable materials, and lead time scheduling.
SAP FIORI USER INTERFACE
MRP Live is not only about improving the performance of the planning run but also introducing the material planner to a completely new user experience. SAP offers a new Smart Business Cockpit for MRP based on Fiori Apps, also known as MRP Live Cockpit.
Additional functions will be introduced with the new MRP. The material planner can view warehouse stock across multiple plants and determine the requirements for components through real-time analyses. As a result, Smart Business for MRP helps the material planner to monitor the situation with regard to material shortages and to solve problems on time – in real time – thereby ensuring that adequate replenishment is planned to meet external requirements and similar. Having the ability to check material situations in real time means that material bottlenecks can be prevented or rectified before they occur.
One notable highlight of this new user experience is the MRP Cockpit, which allows the material planner to create personalized charts and graphs to gain even faster access to real-time information about the respective material situation.