One of the exciting new features in S4H will be the ability to determine a Closest-Match Material Variant.
This new search functionality for Material Variants goes above and beyond existing ECC functionality by providing a list of partial matches as well as a quick comparison of configuration values. Setting up material variants in AVC is a slightly different process than classic LO-VC.
In fact, you can’t set up AVC material variants using the traditional method of configuring a variant in your material master’s MRP views. Instead, we must take the Fiori path and use an app called “Manage Product Master Data.” This Fiori application is effectively a copy of the traditional MM01 transaction, with the added ability to configure an AVC variant on a finished material.
One major difference, aside from the interface, is that Material Variants for AVC are assigned in the Plant section within the application under Configuration.
Once you assign a plant, specify your configurable material and assign configuration values before clicking the “Apply” button in the corner of the screen. Before saving, you’ll need Sales views and MRP fields defined for your material for it to appear as a proper variant in any future sales documents. You can make these changes in the app, or by using MM01 to extend your material views like in a classical SAP R/3 system.
Any attempt to configure an AVC material variant the traditional way in MM01/MM02 will invoke the following error message:
The next step is to create your sales document in Fiori; I used the Create Sales Order application with settings for Document Type: OR, Sales Org: 0001, Distribution Channel: 01, and Customer: 1. Select whichever compatible settings are set up for creating your sales document, so long as they match the Sales fields of the material variant you created in advance. Then, add your Configurable Material with Quantity and Plant specified on your sales order line item (SOLI) before hitting enter.
When configuration loads, in the upper right corner of the screen, you’ll notice a Variant Matching button that will take you to a separate popup dialog window. This popup will allow searching of material variants based on your configuration.
In the results list, the blue text describes how many characteristics differ between your current configuration and the listed material variant. Clicking this text will bring up an additional screen which compares specific values between the two configuration objects.
Back on the configuration screen, there’s a header field called “Full Match Material Variant”. This field will be populated with a matching material variant as soon as all appropriate characteristic values match. The field is rechecked each time you select a characteristic value during configuration.
The next release of AVC (1811) should be coming out November 2018 and I hope you get a chance to experience this new responsive user interface for handling material variants in AVC. We’re looking forward to other new and exciting things coming out of S4HANA to better serve our customers. Feel free to contact me with questions via email, as there are many more features to talk about in upcoming blogs on AVC! Stay tuned!