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Transportation Lane Configuration in SAP SNP

by SHAU N SNAP P on SEPTEMBER 23, 2011

What This Article Covers


Costs associated with transportation lanes in SAP SNP. The logic of the transportation lane view. What are product specific means of transportation? Product specific transportation lanes. How to transportation costs control the flow of material with the cost optimizer in SNP? What are block indicators and do they relate to multi-sourcing? Transportation lane lot sizes in SAP. Procurement costs. A walk through of a number of transportation lane fields.

Background on SAP SNP Transportation Lanes

Transportation lanes have several costs associated with them that can be used with the SAP SNP optimizer. In this post I will go through the settings in the transportation lane. In SAP SNP, transportation lanes have a hierarchy to them. The hierarchy is the following: 1. Product Specific Transportation Lane 2. Means of Transport 3. TSP for Means of Transport

The Logic of the Transportation Lane View

The overall logic of the transportation lane view is to that there are three panes

While there are three panes, in fact the logic is as if there are four panes. The first pane would be the transportation lane, which is not shown as a pane, but as the header value in the screen. This is because the logic of the left panes are essentially an assignment of the products first to the transportation lanes, and the products to the means of transport. This feature is often missed because the transportation lane screen does not clearly delineate this fact and it is not obvious from the interface. However, this is the relationship shown below.

Transportation Lane Means of Transport and Product Relationship

Field Proliferation
There are simply too many fields available in all the different transportation lane panes. There are over 50 fields available, and that is really unnecessary complexity. The vast majority of these fields are not used at the clients I have worked with. I should not be able towrite a small book on the SAP SNP transportation lane functionality. In contrast to the SAP SNP interface, I will go through the transportation lane hierarchy as it should have been listed:

Product Specific Means of Transport

This level has the smallest amount of information. It declares the validity of the of the productto means of transport (in this case truck). It also states the costs, which are used by the SNP cost optimizer. However, it would be used if any other method were used. It has a transportation lot size. This is the minimum lot size that the mode (in this case the truck can ship with).

The final field is the Stacking Factor which supposedly determines how pallets can be stacked. However, there are no options when one selects the drop down. This is essentially a level of detail that SAP would like to get to, but lacks the functionality. I have never seen any client

use this field and from its behavior assume it is nonfunctional. This configuration screen does not have all that many options. the main information is 1. The Product 2. The Means of Tranport 3. (if the optimizer is used) The Costs 4. The Lot Size

Means of Transport

The next level in the hierarchy is the Means of Transport. This is confusing because it is both the mode (truck, train, plane) as was as the specific equipment type. The Means of Transport and the TLB Profile (transportation load builder) have a one-to-one relationship. Therefore, if there are two different truck sizes, two different Means of Transport line items would have tobe created (at least two I should say).

This view possibly should have been called the Vehicle or the S pecific Vehicle. This is taken into account by the SNP Heuristic , SAP SNP optimize r, deploym ent and theT LB. SAP Help This quote makes sense

until the quote extends to TLB and to the TLB Profile. The TLBProfile is already assigned to the Transportation Lane. Actually the relationship between theTLB Profile and the Transportation Lane seems to have been designed to maximize confusion. I have written an article on this exact relationship. This article can be seen at this link. The TLB is simply far more complex in how it is assigned to the transportation lane than necessary. This setting screen is concerned with most of the real detail in the transportation lane. It contains the following 1. The Duration 2. The Distance 3. The Resource 4. The TLB Profile which is assigned 5. The Pull in Horizon 6. Whether the truck is straight or load balanced (different types of products in the same truck, rather than the same types of products).

Product Specific Transportation Lanes


Her you can see this is the Product Specific view because product is the first field listed.

Here are some important fields. They are independent of the vehicle or the means of transport. This deals more with horizons and lot sizes.

What Are Block Indicator s?


Block indicators allows a lane to be set as Available, Locked or Locked and Flagged for Deletion. Block Indicators allows Transprotatio n Lanes to be

deactivated, and then reactivated. Moving a Transportation Lanes to inactive, it changes the valid location-to-location combinations and changes the supply network. Actually, the intent of the use of block indicators is twofold. 1. One is to permanently remove a product from a transportation lane, and the other is to be able to turn Transportation Lanes on and off per product. This is particularly important if a company uses multi-sourcing. (multi-souring is covered in this article) For instance, if one facility is a backup source of supply to a primary source of supply, instead of changing things like storage costs or transportation costs to control the flow of material, this field can be used to accomplish the same thing. Transportation Lanes can be switched on (that is the indicator removed) when it is desired that the backup is used as a source of supply in the event that the first facility is out of stock/capacity. This could be done in the event that the line is down at the primary facility. Once the line is back up at the primary, the Transportation Lanes would be deactivated for that material for the backup facility. Many multi-sourcing problems are like this. And is it is not necessary to enable the multi-sourcing all the time, but some of the time it is necessary to meet the needs to the supply network. 2. Second, which might be a bit of a digression, but multi-sourcing problems take a long time to solve. Therefore reducing options for the optimizer when

they arent really necessary for the optimizer, helps reduce the solve time. Transportation Lanes may be switched on and off which changes the supply network. In this manner to adapt the supply network toseasonal patterns in the movement of material. In essence the company can have different supply network configurations depending upon the time of year. Also it can be used t make adjustments on the fly, for instance when unexpected things occur within the facilities.

Transportation Lane Lot Size

The Transportation Lanes have their own Lot Sizes (both a min and max) per product. This means that a minimum can be required in order to initiate a shipment, and a max can be set which will restrict the assignment of material shipment quantities to the Transportation Lane per shipment. In practice this setting is not that often used. Typically the TLB lot size on theTLB Profile takes care of restricting the assignment of material to a truck.

Procurement Costs
This is the total cost to procure the item for shipment and while it is on the transportation lane, it does not include transportation costs.

Procurement Priority
This is the source of supply for shipment in the source determination. For deployment this value is used to choose among several sources of supply. It uses the procurement priority todetermine the sequence of source locations for realtime deployment is started, if you are using this for a destination

location. For the deployment optimizer, this value is only taken into account if you use automatic cost generation and have set the Procurement Priority of PPMs and PDSs or Procurement Priority of Transportation Lanes indicator in the SNP or deployment optimizer profile SAP Help

Distribution Priority and the Fair Share Rules

The distribution priority interacts with the Fair Share Rule and determines where requirements in deployment are processed when the Fair Share rule D is set. Below you can see the Fair Share rule which is part of the SNP Deployment Profile on the Location Product Master. This is important to understand as fair share functionality is frequently desired by companies.

Cost Function

This is the cost used to calculate transportation costs in optimizer. It trades transportation costs against production, storage costs, the cost of unmet demand and the costs of violating safety stock.

GR Processing Time Conclusion

Time between the delivery or the production of a product and its availability as stock. - SAP Help There are three major sections to the transportation lane hierarchy. The product specific Means of Transport is the simplest as this mainly assigned a product to a Means of Transport. The Means of Transport contains the assignment of the TLB Profile in addition to the resource association and the costs in addition to the distance, the transportation calendar and other vehicle attributes. The Product Specific Transportation Lane portion of the hierarchy contains much of the timing information and the lot sizes.