S/4 HANA 1709 and the Future of SAP Fashion Implementation
The global fashion industry recently welcomed the SAP news update that S/4HANA 1709 release is now available for the apparel industry. Close on the heels of that news was the update that SAP is providing a migration tool from AFS to S/4HANA. The flipside is that the migration would be a fairly lengthy project. At the same time existing AFS customers will need a business case – a plan – to migrate.
Migrate to SAP S/4HANA
Here are the key reasons Rich FIORI analytics; the ability to run SAP business transactions on any device. SAP S/4HANA 1709 endows the ability to use more ‘standard’ SAP functionality, and of course, as with Fashion Management Solution – the ability to run Retail and Wholesale code in a single instance. Another area of great improvement is simplification. For example, ‘business partners’ in lieu of customers and vendors; simplified data models with a lot fewer data bases to manage, batch management, maintenance transactions, and many more innovations in the finance module.
Apparel and Footwear Solution is a mature, stable product that has been around for more than 17 years. Getting this up and going and getting all you can get out of it has been a long journey for many AFS customers. The investment has been high. Many customizations and integrations have been developed to get it ‘just right.’ Starting over with a new product – that, as we all know, will continue to mature - will be a deep commitment for many SAP customers. All of these must be considered and your software migration path forward must be decided.
SAP S/4HANA 1709 New Features
There are many new features in SAP S/4HANA 1709 release in addition to its ability combining retail and wholesale while getting a faster, simpler data design:
- Value added services
- Order scheduling
- Application variants
- Improved Mass re-ATP
- Multi Store order
- New Back order processing (from standard but now for Fashion–for rescheduling and allocation)
- ARun (now supply assignments) uses ATP rules+dynamic variants–in lieu of old ARun config.
The Plan for the Next Release
- Contracts that perform ATP, pass requirements, and can be allocated
- MSO documents that can be allocated
- Allocation grouping and spread logic
- Pack separately and ship together
- Advanced returns capability
5 Questions for your Future
Here are 5 questions to evaluate the future of your SAP implementation beyond new features and functionalities:
- Do you have divisions or regions that run another product, not SAP?
- What benefits would accrue if your entire organization was on a single platform?
- Are acquisitions part of your business plans? How will you assimilate and consolidate them?
- Can you align your e-commerce/omni-commerce strategy with your ERP strategy?
- Are you concerned about SAP support of Apparel and Footwear Solution?
SAP will continue to make their software easier for users and IT departments. So whether you choose to move now or later, you should definitely chart your path. At some point, it will make sense for you to move to the latest version. The next step: develop a set of objective criteria with pros and cons and create a timeline.
Sooner than later, it will make sense for you to move to SAP S/4HANA.