SAP transformation projects can be very diverse; what they have in common is that they are always related to organizational changes. The same is true of migration to SAP S/4HANA, which brings a new quality to enterprise management. One of its biggest advantages is the in-memory data processing, which allows for very fast execution of operations on large data sets.

Data migration to S/4HANA is a change that more and more companies are making. This business-critical decision was made by one of our customers, who has several manufacturing plants in Germany and the Czech Republic. The success of the brand is rooted in over 80 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. The company provides various products and services for advanced technologies on the market, e.g. in the medical industry, precision engineering, mechanical engineering, and aviation technology.

After determining the complexity of the project, analyzing various options for migrating the system and organizational structures, an optimal strategy of migration to S/4HANA was created. The project was estimated to take ca. 6-8 months to complete.

The migration plan included tasks such as:

  • creating source, control, and target systems,
  • extracting specific data from the source system using an in-house development data transformation tool (Transformation Cockpit),
  • converting data to the target system,
  • regular simulations and testing after each project phase,
  • go-live on the customer’s production system.

One of the final steps of the migration in each project phase is modular conversion. The logistics module is the first one to undergo the conversion process. To streamline this process on the target system, All For One uses S/4HANA Cockpit.

A few words about logistics conversion

If a customer wants to change its legacy SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA, the system conversion is carried out according to an appropriate scenario. Based on the technical tools offered, SAP S/4HANA software is installed to migrate the database to the SAP HANA database and transfer data from the old data structure to the new S/4HANA data structure (e.g., data migration to the new MATDOC table) in one step.

Complete technical conversion is the preferred option for customers who want to migrate their business processes to the new platform and therefore want to quickly implement innovations.

One of the modules subject to conversion is the logistics module responsible for warehouse and materials management as well as handling of sales and distribution processes. Transportation and quality management are also elements of the aforementioned module. All this makes it closely related to other modules as well, and its conversion in a migration project must be performed first.

The data model of the MM logistics module in SAP ERP Central Component was built based on tables of material, hybrid, and historical documents, as well as aggregates.
In this data model, the large number of tables and records often caused poor performance in reporting and displaying inventory values.

To address these limitations, a new simplified data model called NSDM was designed based on the following assumptions: all warehouse data will be calculated based on material document information stored in a single table managed exclusively using the INSERT operation. By calculating inventory information on the fly, the redundancy problem was solved.

Aggregate data tables were replaced with CDS (Core Data Services) views and the second table, MATDOC_EXTRACT, acting as a subset of the MATDOC (material document storage) table was used.

During logistics conversion, data from the MKPF (Structure for Material Document Header) and MSEG (Document Segment: Material) is transferred to the MATDOC table, so MATDOC contains both header and item data for material documents in the new model. The new MATDOC_EXTRACT table is used to speed up the MATDOC table summary when calculating inventory levels on the fly.

On the other hand, hybrid tables such as MARD, MARC, MCHB, MKOL, MSKA, MSKU, MSLB, MSPR still exist and return inventory data, however they are calculated on the fly using Core Data Services views created with the new data model.

The entire conversion process may seem quite complicated, but using S/4HANA Cockpit, logistics conversion is effectively carried out in four main steps.

The task of the migration consultant is to compare the periods assigned to the organizational unit (Company Code) in the MARV table. If this data is different on the source and target systems, a data synchronization operation is required.

The four consecutive phases are:

  1. Migration of material documents;
  2. Filling in tables;
  3. Filling in the MATDOC_EXTRACT file (which was cleared on the RET scenario just before the conversion)
  4. Creating PERFY in the MATDOC_EXTRACT file.

Properly sequenced processes make the execution smooth. The progress of this process is also monitored on an ongoing basis. The estimated time for the conversion of the logistics module depends, of course, on the number of data being converted – the more data, the longer it takes.

Once the logistics conversion is completed correctly, an important step will be the conversion of the next module, i.e. the financial module.

Correct completion of the logistics module conversion process in S/4HANA Cockpit

For a team experienced in data transformations, the conversion tasks are quite clear and easy to perform. Therefore, it is safe to say that the recipe for a successful migration to S/4HANA is to choose the right partner who will smoothly handle the transfer of large data sets.

Companies must stay ahead of the competition and make decisions that will impact the future. The real value lies in streamlining processes using new, more efficient workflows that leverage efficient technologies such as SAP S/4HANA.

It is a great idea to enable the company’s development and seamless operation in the digital economy by relying on All For One, a pioneer in SAP data migration.