‘Lot size of one’ has in recent times often been used to be synonymous of  ‘individualisation’, i.e tailoring what you sell and manufacture to a specific customer requirement or taste. In such a make to order environment, it often does not make sense to create as many material or product codes as you have ‘individualisations’, or you will spend more time creating products and their associated master data rather than selling and manufacturing them.

To this end, SAP has for numerous years provided the ‘Variant Configuration’ capabilities. A highly sought after function that, with a certain learning curve, that allows you to configure a product in various configurations. A typical example is a car, that can be made in a variety of colours, 2 or 4 doors, various engines, cloth vs leather seats, etc…. The product code is the same – it can just be configured in different configurations. In S/4HANA, SAP rebuilt this function from the ground up, rebuilding the engine that is behind it and renamed it AVC – Advanced Variant Configuration. In S/4HANA on-premise both the classic (LO-VC) variant configuration and AVC are available. In S/4HANA Cloud, only AVC is available.

One quickly understands the benefits of using one material code to represent different things, but you also quickly understand that it is going to be difficult to manage your organisation if the only way to report on such products is by its product code. Since it is always the same, how do you distinguish the green square shaped one from the red round one ? Well, actually in S/4HANA – Cloud – it is very easy to do, and that is what this post aims to demonstrate.

Please check out the video below, which shows you step by step what you need to do.

I have also after the video, below indicated some of the key steps of this process.

Key Steps

For all things to hang together, you need to create a class type of technical type 399. This class does not need to be assigned to any object in S/4. This class does however need to group the characteristics that you would like to report against.

Once you have created your class of type 399, you need to generate the corresponding CDS (Core Data Service) for it.

You can then use the generated CDS on its own if you like, if you only want to report against the characteristics of your configurable materials. However it will make much more sense if you marry this data, with for example Sales data. If you do, just beware that the names of the fields that you will need to join together have different labels. I.e the field that references a given configuration is named ‘Ibase Component’ in the generated CDS and ‘Product Configuration’ in the sales related CDS’s.

You can then consume the ‘joined’ CDS in a a custom analytical query and really bring your sales data to life and analyse your product sales based on the configuration characteristics of your materials.

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