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Service Management – Adding a configurable component

Now, I recently encountered a limitation of service and maintenance orders.  For those of you familiar with SAP Service Management, you will notice this is a common theme (why else would I spend late nights developing solutions to fill in the gaps 😀 ).  Well, today was an interesting discovery.  It crossed over between my two SAP skillsets, but strangely, I never tried this.  The service order won’t allow you to add a configurable material as a component.  In fact, up until ERP 5.0 or 6.0 (not sure), you couldn’t even repair a configurable material.

Now, this is what I’d consider a corner case, but again, I found a client that wants to do it.  So that leaves me in that familiar place of “how to solve it”.  Now, I’m still in the research phase, so if any of you have found a clever way to handle this issue, I’d love to hear what you did.

Now, I can only come up with two possible ways to handle this.

1.  Material Variants – this method will certainly work, but it takes a lot of master data to create/maintain.  So for every configuration, you’d need a permanent part number.

2.  Purchasing a material from “yourself” – Now this method “might” work.  The idea behind this is that you can generate a Purchase Req, describe the material and configuration, and set the vendor up as your own company.  Then from that PO, create a sales order and configure the material, make it and “ship” to the repair group.

The problem with both of these approaches is that they require a lot of extra data.  Option 1 creates a permanent material in the system.  Option 2 means you need to create a PO, sales order, delivery and invoice.  And all the while, you just want to make a production order for a configurable material and have it issued to the service order.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  thanks for reading,

Why do I do this??? – Remembering Why I work so hard.

Now I know I’m a glutton for punishment. My normal existence is no less than 2 full time jobs, and sometimes I’m doing 2.5 or 3 at the same time. While this fits well for my easily bored personality, it can also be burning the candle at both ends. When I start to fall into a slump, it’s very important to take a break. I just got back from my vacation, and managed to avoid technology for the entire week. There were times I started to wonder what was going on with my projects, or even my own JaveLLin ideas. But, the resort saved me. I could only get internet in the lobby, and it helped remind me that I needed the time to unplug for a while.

Now, the really important piece of this is the ability unwind for a while. I spent a lot of time by the pool, and a lot of time enjoying my great friends that came along with me.

All of this reminded me of why I work so hard… it’s so that I can do what I just did. I could spend the week away from my computer, ignore my projects, and enjoy my friends and family. I noticed a lot of people parked in the lobby working, on their phones checking emails, face book or whatnot. It felt really good to live in the moment and just enjoy the fruits of my labor. If I just keep working hard… it’s easy to forget why I keep burning the candle at both ends.

So, take my advice, don’t forget why you work so hard and put so much effort into your own endeavors. Enjoy your hardwork 🙂

Thanks for reading,

When you Know you need a vacation!!!

You know, it’s funny, I spend so much time working, that sometimes I don’t even notice just how much I need to unplug. It was this past Friday, that it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was crabby at the world, I was annoyed by everyone I talked to, and the only thing that could help me keep it together was focusing on the kids (and of course, my upcoming vacation). Now, maybe I’m the odd-ball (and trust me, if you talk to any of my close friends, they will agree), but in all seriousness, when you start to get frustrated with your job, your co-workers or even your family… maybe you just need to get away for a little bit.

Now I know you can’t always leave the kids, leave the country, or ditch your family… but what you can do is ditch all your connections to work. For me, it usually hits me out of the blue. Life can be great… great… and then suddenly every email begins to annoy you, you stop sleeping well because you to start to stew about work or what you need to do…

My advise… turn off the tech. ignore all emails for a weekend. Do anything you can to keep yourself occupied and NOT thinking about work. Sometimes it can make all the difference.

Thanks for reading.

Looking for Help… Service Testing and Documentation

Well, this is actually a call for help to any of my service colleagues looking to make a few dollars on the side by helping me test and document some of my products.  One of the largest areas I’m deficient on is documentation.  Like any developer, documentation is my least favorite task.  So i’m reaching out to any of you that might have some free time to help me out.

If you might be interested, send me an email:  mpiehl@javellinsolutions.com

We can work out the details, I’ll set you up with a system login.

I’m really looking for someone WITHOUT intimate product knowledge to start using my stuff, and let me know where things are unclear or if you encounter any issues.  If things look good, take some screen shots and develop the equivalent of a BPP for each different function/feature.

Like so many thing, it’s not hard work, but I struggle to find the time to do many of these tasks, so I’m happy to pay someone to help me.

I hope to hear from some of you soon,

Mike

GUI Scripting: A how to guide

I think this might have been one of my most popular posts.  GUI script is one of my favorite tricks.  If you haven’t used it before, you really need check this out.  It’s easy and slick.

Using SAP GUI Script

SAP GUI Script is a fantastic tool that can be used to create transactional testing data, Change existing master or transactional data, create master data in mass or even just data conversion for certain tasks that LSMW can’t handle.  GUI Script has been around for a while, but it always surprises me that so few people are familiar with it.
The basic concept around GUI script is that you can load information into an Excel worksheet, and using a macro, allows you to load data into SAP.  This document is going to walk you through creating your own GUI scripts and using them effectively.

Turning on GUI Scripting

Tranaction: RZ11
Param. Name: sapgui/user_scripting

Press Display
gui-01
If current value is not set to TRUE, press the Change Value and set the value = TRUE.
Please note, typically this a basis function, so if you don’t have access to transaction RZ11, please contact your basis team.
As an additional hint, if you want to have GUI Scripting always active, it is encouraged to activate it in RZ10 (this adds it to the startup profile).

Recording the Transaction

When you are ready to perform the recording,  be sure you know the transaction you want to execute and the data that you can use.  You should also know the screens you plan to visit and the fields that you will be filling in.  Keep in mind, you can always update the recording file, but the better your recording, the less errors you will encounter.
The important thing to remember is that GUI script can NOT perform any logic.  it only works for repeating the same steps over and over again.  This means that if you receive an error on some records, but not others, you will need to execute 2 different scripts.  One script will do the non errors, and other script will do the errors.  You can cut down a lot of time if you can segregate the data early.

gui-02

Activate the recorder.  It is encouraged to always start the main screen in SAP.  This prevents weird things that happens if an error occurs during the playback.

gui-03

Press More if you want to control where the file is saved.

gui-04

When you are ready to start, press the record button (Red Dot Button).

Then proceed to execute the transaction you wish to record.

gui-05

Be sure to use ‘/N’ in front of the transaction code.

gui-07
Enter in the document number and press Operations Button.

gui-08

Please note, when I added a new operation, I entered it on the bottom of the screen.  This allows you to avoid the risk of overriding exisitng data.

Press Enter.
Press Components Tab

gui-09

Again, add the data to the bottom of the screen.
Press Enter
Press Save
Note:  sometimes there will be errors.  If errors occur, you need to remember that maybe not Every order you change will have the error.
gui-10
I encourage you to press the green arrow back on every recording at the end.  This just helps to avoid incorrect loading of data.
gui-11
Press stop.
Now, go find the file.  Be sure to RIGHT click on it.  If you double click on it, it will attempt to execute the exact same transaction again.
You should see something similar to this:

gui-12
The parts of this file you care about are the lines that start: session.xxx
I encourage you to skip the first line that resizes your screen.  and copy all of the remaining lines in the file.
Next up, add this information to the excel file.

Gui Script

This will depend on your version of excel, but what you need to do is find the macro button:
MS 2003:

gui-13

MS 2007

gui-21
Be sure to enable macros.
gui-14
When the macro window opens, be sure to select the correct view on the left hand side of the screen.  Then move to the code section and find the area shown that says “Paste your recorded script below”.
If there is anything currently in this section, be sure to remove it, and replace it with the information from your recording (session.xxx).
gui-15

Now, I’m going to show you how to point this to your excel document.
session.findById(“wnd[0]/tbar[0]/okcd”).text = “/niw32”

session.findById(“wnd[0]”).sendVKey 0

Change:
session.findById(“wnd[0]/usr/ctxtCAUFVD-AUFNR”).text = “4000000”
To:
session.findById(“wnd[0]/usr/ctxtCAUFVD-AUFNR”).text = A

session.findById(“wnd[0]/tbar[1]/btn[17]”).press

Change:
session.findById(“wnd[0]/usr/subSUB_ALL:SAPLCOIH:3001/ssubSUB_LEVEL:SAPLCOIH:1107/tabsTS_1100/tabpVGUE/ssubSUB_AUFTRAG:SAPLCOVG:3010/tblSAPLCOVGTCTRL_3010/txtAFVGD-LTXA1[7,8]”).text = “my test op”
To:
session.findById(“wnd[0]/usr/subSUB_ALL:SAPLCOIH:3001/ssubSUB_LEVEL:SAPLCOIH:1107/tabsTS_1100/tabpVGUE/ssubSUB_AUFTRAG:SAPLCOVG:3010/tblSAPLCOVGTCTRL_3010/txtAFVGD-LTXA1[7,8]”).text = B

Since this can get long, I’ll jsut show you the first 2 changes.  You’ll notice that I found the first two lines where I entered in data.  I changed it to a single letter (no quotes).  This is the excel column where you enter in the data.  It’s that simple.  If anything is a constant, just leave it as it is.
When you’re done, press save and you’re ready to execute.

Executing the Script

Now, the first step before executing the script is gathering all the data.  Typically, this is done using SE16, SE16N, or certain reports (IW73, VA05, COOIS, etc).  As always, be careful with the data you enter.  It’s your user id that will be assigned to the change :).

Once you have the data you wish to execute, simply go the excel worksheet and execute the macro
*** NOTE:  Remember, when the script is running you can’t do anything with Excel.  You can continue working in SAP, but Excel will be locked for the duration of the script.

gui-16
**** NOTE ***
This is a VERY important one.  Be sure that the first SAP window open on your screen is the client you wish to change.  If you are doubt, be sure to logout of any client/system you do not want to change.  For example, if you are logged into production and QA.  You want to make the change to QA, I encourage you to log out of production.

gui-17
Press Run
Note:  if you have multiple excel windows open, be sure the correct macro name is highlighted.  If you aren’t sure, close the other excel documents.

gui-18

Gui Script will always give you a chance to check the results of the FIRST record.

gui-19

I encourage you to always check and make sure it saved properly before pressing ok.  If it did not, press cancel.  Otherwise the script will go all the way to the end.

Once you are done, it will return control back to excel.

gui-20

As long as you see OK in the row, the record processed.  if you don’t see ok, you’ll need to check that record and possibly reprocess it.

 

SAP SM: Quoting In-House Repairs

For those you that have been reading my stuff for a while, this might be a repeat, but I think I’ve picked up a lot of readers since I originally posted this, so I thought it could be good to post it again.  One issue I’ve found in SAP Service Management (Customer Service) is that most companies want to quote the repairs they perform in house.  The problem is that the standard repair process doesn’t give a good alternative to handle this.  You can only use the DP80 functionality if you use a service order that is non-revenue bearing, but you must use a revenue bearing service order to perform in-house repairs.

Up until now, I’ve always handled it manually.  Simply creating a quotation with reference to the repair sales order.  The problem is that the connection to the process is loose at best, and you cannot use the information from planned service order to automatically update the quote.

Recently I found the following OSS notes.

Note 153869 – Creation of quotation after goods receipt for repair

Note 204874 – Settled costs in resource-related billing

This OSS note maps out a process that uses the original repair sales order as both the quote and the order.  Through the use of different item categories, we can use DP90 to perform quoting functions, as well as the actual billing.  Now, several things needs to be taken into account for this process to work.  The first is that you will need to add some addition item categories and item category usages.

I recommend you create Item category Usage, ZEIN & ZENI so you can control the quotation item categories.  Then you can leave SEIN & SENI for use in the billing items.  Be sure to add these new usages to the item category determination for your repair sales orders.

The next step is to properly setup the DIP profile in order to accommodate the new changes. What you need to do is change the billing portion of the profile to include the planned costs.  This will allow DP90 to pull in all of the planned costs, which can be used for quoting. DIP 1.jpg

The other thing you need to decide is if the quotation items will be statistical or not.  This depends on if you want all of the items to be displayed to the customer on the quotation, or if you plan to simply roll the items up for easy calculation of your quotation price.    The basic code provided by SAP assumes that quoting will be actual pricing, and billing will be statistical.  In order to provide some additional flexibility in the solution provided by SAP, I included a check in the code to look at the materials of the quotation usage to determine if each was statistical or not.

DIP 2.jpg

In my code below, if the Material Determination for an item was set to C: Transfer qty only, then it was statistical.  In all other options, it was normal pricing.  This does require you to maintain the items in both the quotation and the invoicing portion of the DIP profile, but the flexibility was worth the one time maintenance.

Be sure to setup ODP4 to show the cost in the sales order.  Be sure the condition you use (EK01 is recommended) is also a part of the pricing procedure for the repair.

Finally, the biggest thing to consider is the output changes that will be required for this process to work. I encourage you to create a new quotation Smartform.  It can be similar to your current quote or order confirmation, but you will want to handle the item categories appropriately for your customers.  For example, you may want to show the itemized quotation costs, but not show any of the repair process items like the inbound delivery.  You will also need to setup the form to show your pricing at the appropriate level.

Here’s the code I used in the exit: V46H0001 ->EXIT_SAPLV46H_001

data: da_vbak like vbak.
data: da_vbkd like vbkd.
data: lv_quant type AD01INVQUA.

CHECK NOT I_VBAKKOMVBELN IS INITIAL.

CALL FUNCTION ‘SD_VBAK_SELECT’
EXPORTING
I_DOCUMENT_NUMBER 
= I_VBAKKOMVBELN
IMPORTING
E_VBAK            
= DA_VBAK
EXCEPTIONS
DOCUMENT_NOT_FOUND
= 1.

CHECK SYSUBRC = 0.

* only in repair environment
check da_vbakvbklt ca ‘FG’.

* read billing form of repair main item
CALL FUNCTION ‘SD_VBKD_SELECT’
EXPORTING
I_DOCUMENT_NUMBER
= I_VBAKKOMVBELN
I_ITEM_NUMBER    
= C_VBAPKOMUEPOS
IMPORTING
E_VBKD           
= da_VBKD.

CASE I_SDSM_DLIWRTTP.
WHEN ’01’ or .                      “resource related quotation
CASE da_vbkdFAKTF.                 “billing form
WHEN ’01’.                        “fixed rate
select SINGLE INV_QUANT from AD01C_MAT into lv_quant
where PROFNR = I_SDSM_DLIFFPRF and
DPUS  
= ’11’ and       ” quotation
INV_MAT
= I_SDSM_DLISD_MATNR.
if sysubrc  <> 0.
select SINGLE INV_QUANT from AD01C_MAT into lv_quant
where PROFNR  = I_SDSM_DLIFFPRF and
DPUS   
= ’11’ and       ” quotation
MAT_DIR
= ‘X’.
endif.
case lv_quant.
when ‘C’.
C_VBAPKOM
VWPOS = ‘ZENI’.       “statistical
when others.
C_VBAPKOM
VWPOS = ‘ZEIN’.       “not statistical
endcase.
*         C_VBAPKOM-VWPOS = ‘SEIN’.       “not statistical
WHEN ’02’.                        “costs
*         C_VBAPKOM-VWPOS = ‘SENI’.       “statistical
C_VBAPKOM
VWPOS = ‘ZENI’.       “statistical
ENDCASE.

WHEN ’04’.                            “resource related invoice
CASE da_vbkdfaktf.
WHEN ’01’.                        “fixes rate
C_VBAPKOM
VWPOS = ‘SENI’.       “statistical
*       when ’02’.                        “costs
*         no change at the moment, because no change necessary
*         – item with service product   => SENI statistical
*         – items from costs            => SEIN non statistical
*         c_vbapkom-vwpos = ‘SEIN’.       “non statistical
ENDCASE.
ENDCASE.

Evolution of an Idea

As I dive head first in creating my Renovation product, I can really see the evolution of myself and my applications.  Back in 2006 when I first got the idea to build my own product, I never could’ve predicted all the skills I need to acquire to get me to where I am today.  Just to begin my own concepts I needed to learn to install and administer my own SAP system.  My hats off the basis guys out there…  I got a new appreciation for what they go through in a “simple upgrade”.

I finally designed my first product, originally called Rapier.  The idea behind Rapier was to deliver an out of the box customer portal geared toward aftermarket business (Returns, repairs, call center, etc..).  I spent a lot of time learning BSP (a now obsolete technology) to design this product.  I even had to start over a few times because of HDD failures (this taught me a lot about backing up my stuff to multiple places.  ha ha ha).

Next I went through and converted Rapier to ABAP Web Dynpro, the next generation of SAP Web tools.  This taught me yet another skill.  And now finally, this very old idea is paying dividends 🙂  All of these skills (and thankfully much of the code) are being reused in my new application to help customer service/call center employees.  While I still have a lot of cool ideas to put into Renovation, I couldn’t have done it without my first idea of building a product.  The good news is that “Rapier” hasn’t gone away, but I’ve since turned it into part of Renovation.  An idea that has given me so much co be couldn’t be retired that easy 🙂

What’s the point of this story?  Run with your ideas.  If you just have an idea, but don’t act on it, you’ll never evolve to the REALLY good ideas… and more importantly, you’ll never gain the skills you need to take you to the next level.

thanks for reading,

Getting Over the Hump

I don’t know about you, but the Holiday season always seems to leave me more exhausted than refreshed.  It’s only wednesday, and I’m already struggling to keep myself going. For those of you with kids, I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Keeping your young children entertained for two straight weeks is not only a challenge, but it requires a lot of energy 🙂

Now, I’m good at the “Just keep swimming” mentality, but I’m finding as I get older, that it takes it’s toll on me.  I know that by next week, I’ll be back in the groove, and ready to rock ‘n roll again.  But that first week after a “vacation” is certainly a transition for me.  So, I’d love any advise y’all might have for me.  So far, it’s been lots of coffee and a couple of walks around the house to keep the blood flowing.  Also, for those of you with older kids, do the “vacation” weeks get easier?

For my SAP folks out there…  I promise to start getting back into the swing of things soon.  Lately, just been too focused on marketing, and web dynpro development (which has been nice to sit back in the developer world again, even if only for a few hours at night).

Thanks for reading,

Switching Things Up – Going to ASUG/Sapphire

Well, after two years of attending the SAP Manufacturing conference, this year JaveLLin will officially be a vendor at ASUG/SAPPHIRE in Orlando this year.  It wasn’t an easy choice.  There was a lot of give and take between the two conferences (I went into it in a previous post).  At the end of the day, we decided that booth “size doesn’t matter”.  I’m bringing in a new face this year to help me.  Not only is he a great friend, but he’s a dynamic personality and quite possibly the piece we’ve been missing at a conference.

The other defining factor was the fact that we haven’t got a sale in 2 years from SAP MFG conference.  This is partially due to the fact that we split between Production Execution and Service Management.  A detail we are fixing this year.  But it may also be the people that attend this conference.  The SAP MFG conference did seem to be a lot more of the people that “need” the solution, rather than the people that can “purchase” the solution.  We are hopeful that Sapphire will bring more of the people with the checkbooks to our booth 🙂

So what does all of this mean?  it means that we will be focusing heavily on getting the word out about ourselves, finding a customer or two to implement our Proximity solution.  On the development side, we will be focusing on the Field Service portion of Proximity and the new Renovation product, which will be bring needed tools to the call center/customer service groups.

It’s going to be a busy 4 months…  but aren’t they all 🙂  I’d love any feedback you could provide on my existing tools.

Thanks for reading,

Starting Off the New Year

Happy New Year.  If you’re like me, you’ve spent the past few days cashing in on the last of your deductions for 2014, paying off those last minute bills, and finding a little time to relax.  But that’s over now.  It’s 2015, and time to hit the ground running.  For me, it’s about a new beginning.  JaveLLin will now be focusing primarily on Service Management.  We will still provide the production execution products we’ve designed, but now the focus will be 100% SM.  Looking back, it has been an uphill battle, trying to do too much, spreading our resources too thin.  Now, we will be the end to end SAP SM solutions provider.

With the release of the E-Books, I hope to build some additional momentum in establishing myself as the SAP SM expert.  I’ll still be leveraging my Linked-In connections built in 2014, along with the connections I made at the SAP MFG conference.

In short, a lot of work happened in 2014.  In 2015, I need to capitalize on all the ground work we’ve laid.  I’m really excited that 2015 will be the year my solutions take off.  If any of you reading out there have any leads on a business that could use some SM help…  or if you know of some functionality that could be really useful, please let me know.

Thanks for reading,