SAP Variant Configuration That Will Actually Make Your Life Better.

Introduction

Welcome to the tutorials, Today we will take close look at Variant Configuration. it’s a tool that simplifies the complex manufacturing process when the manufacturer has various specifications for the same product. E,g, Car. Car price starts with standard equipment, If if want to buy any specific feature that will cost higher than the car’s base price.SAP Variant Configuration allowed us to meet such a requirement without any enhancement.

Many times, with simple changes to existing products we can satisfy the customer’s expectations. just adding new attributes to the existing products. Variant configuration is one response where we create properties for material and configure the material to match the customer’s expectations.

Usage of variant configuration

  • Using variant configuration consumer expectations by introducing new models or making improvements to an existing product.
  • Increase the Company’s profits by selling new goods at higher prices.
  • Variant configuration significantly reduces the costs of research and development when creating new goods.
  • instantly configure new product features, and adjustments in manufacturing costs, the system automatically takes into account the price for the new product

What is a variant configuration?

The configuration of variants is for the development of complex goods. The manufacturer must always be selling new products or versions of existing products. Modifications to the existing product designs also produce new products. The main thing is to respond quickly to the needs of the customers & market demands.

The consumer determines the product’s characteristics. For example, a customer buying a Bike may choose the Bike’s features and combine those features as needed. The Model design enhances knowledge sharing between sales, engineering, and manufacturing. Variant configuration allows the customer or salesperson to compile product requirements to ensure the product can be manufactured from those requirements. It also ensures the cost of production does not surpass the pre-established level.

The configuration for variant contains the following baseline configuration

  • Configurable content
  • The characteristic contains the values that are used to describe the object.
  • Dependency is used to limit the mix of characteristic values.
  • Configuration Profile: -is used in sales orders to monitor the configuration of an item.
  • Variation Conditions are used to describe a variety of rates or surcharges.

Scenario Explanation

Let’s explore the scenario of the finished material “Boxer” with its three variants: The “Boxer” is a versatile and stylish garment with three variants: Premium, Red, and Classic. The Premium Boxer is made from high-quality materials and features intricate designs, making it perfect for formal events. The Red Boxer is eye-catching and versatile, suitable for casual and semi-formal wear. The Classic Black Boxer is timeless and elegant, suitable for daily wear.

Configurable Material

The material master record must have the “Material configurable indicator’ selected in its basic data before we can construct configurable content. We can build materials using a material form specified in customizing, which has a configurable indicator. This means that all materials that are made with this form of material are configurable. For this purpose, the material type KMAT is specified in the standard system. We may describe the configurability of individual materials of other material types. To do this, set the Configurable Material indicator in the Material master record’s Basic Data.

Characteristics represent specific attributes of a product, defining options for customization. Transaction Code CT04 can be used to create and define characteristics, while Transaction Code CL02 group related characteristics together for simplified configuration. Materials and Components represent end products or components that users configure. Super Bill of Materials (BOM) and Super Routing simplify production planning for variant materials. Object Dependencies define rules for selecting valid combinations of characteristics, while Configuration Profile links materials to their variant characteristics. Understanding these concepts helps in creating a more efficient and effective product design process.

Characteristics

We use properties to describe the characteristics of a configurable material. To allow us to use properties to configure a material, we allocate the material to a class of type 300. Type, color, and engine are possible features of a bike, for example, as anticipated by the consumer. For. Characteristics (values) the customer can choose between different options

Dependencies

Dependencies apply to combinations of features that, for technical or marketing reasons are not possible Example: We can not combine all types of Bike engines with all types of transmissions, as certain types of engine models are available only for more expensive models

We use dependencies in variant configuration to manage variant combinations. This avoids combinations of not-permitted alternatives. Dependencies often precisely pick the correct BOM components and operations to generate a version.

Configuration Profile for variant configuration

the configurable object must have a configuration profile. The material configuration profile controls the sales order configuration process.

Maintain configuration profiles for objects that can be configured to specify core object settings. We can create multiple configuration profiles for an object with different configurations. A profile must be selected during configuration if an object has multiple configuration profiles. We can only make configuration adjustments using the profile that you used to configure the object first

In the configuration profiles, we define different material settings than for other configurable artifacts. We use the configuration profile to allocate one or more groups of variants to the configurable object. This connects the object to the configuration class properties.

Note that the configurable object then is allocated to the class, not the profile. The profile helps you to go into classification only.

We can define settings on the value assignment screen that affect the display options and the scope of characteristics. For each object, you specify certain settings, and they refer to the object everywhere it is used. However, the configuration editor can overwrite these settings for the user.

We can use an interface design to group together the characteristics and identify a series on the screen for value assignment. We must assign a name to an interface design to permit more maintenance in the configuration simulation.

We can use the configuration profile to assign dependencies to a configurable object. Only Dependency Nets can be allocated to a configuration profile. If you delegate the configuration profile to activities and procedures, we can handle them more easily because they are all in one location.

Variant Conditions

We may depend on the characteristic values to make the price of a variant. For a variant, we may use variant conditions to describe overloads and discounts. For material variants, we can create variant conditions used in the sales order.

Depending on the characteristic values assigned we may use variant conditions to affect the price of a configurable item. We have two conditions for the variants:

  • This type of condition expresses an absolute number.
  • This type of condition expresses the percentage of the surcharge/discount.

Variant conditions consist of a key variant and a quantity defined by a key variant. We can use variant conditions in Sales and Distribution to identify surcharges and discounts for configurable products, depending on the characteristic values you allocate.

E,g: If any customer wants a motorcycle with a disk brake, a Rs.3500/- value would increase the net price. with specific relation to a commodity/ material, a distribution channel, and a sales organization, we establish variant conditions in our sales pricing.

How to create variant conditions

We have to construct a property referring to table SDCOM, field VKOND. The character is assigned to the class of variants for the configurable content. The characteristic object with relation to the SDCOM field VKOND table is multi-value since it is possible to join several variant conditions.

We maintain a variant condition concerning a distribution channel and a sales organization for a product or material. When we configure the material, we access the variant condition produced for the material. A key defines the changing conditions.

Let’s say, We have two condition forms VA01 and VA02 to build a configurable material with variant conditions.

VA01 is used to construct a variant’s value state. If a motorcycle’s color is yellow ( which is not usually sales), and it has a price is different, then we establish its conditional value.

Another is VA02 is used to build a version with a surcharge condition for the variant

e.g., price increases by Rs.4000/- if a motorcycle is ordered with Disk disk brake with ABS. Configurable motorcycle material has a characteristic ‘Disk’ brake weight & ABS

How to achieve the variant condition

  • We need to create variant condition VA00 such as ABS brake with the sum of Rs. 4000.
  • We need to create a new characteristic, VARCOND with a reference to the existing structure SDCOM and field VKOND.
  • lastly, We need to create a dependency so that the characters must be entered using the table reference and the variant key as a value, as $SELF.VARCOND = ‘ABS’

Please note that variant keys are adaptive to individual cases (case-sensitive). In object dependencies, the variant key must be entered the same way as in the table on condition. If the combination of upper and lower case letters does not fit the table, then the state of the variant will not be handled.

Pricing Factors for Variant Conditions

Let’s say surcharges or discounts will partly depend on a particular characteristic value, and partly on other factors, such as length. This pricing approach can be expressed in dependencies, too. To do this, you enter the factor by which you want to raise or reduce the surcharge or discount, as well as the condition of the version. Pricing factors can be held only at the characteristic level, not in the order of sale screen. The price-factor syntax is as follows:

$SET_PRICING_FACTOR($SELF,<characteristic>,<variantkey>,<factor>)

$SET_PRICING_FACTOR($SELF,<characteristic>,<variantkey>,<factor>)

  • The characteristic refers to the SDCOM structure, in which conditions are specified for variants.
  • The key for the variant is used to connect a characteristic value to the state.
  • The factor that raises the surcharge by. We may join the element as a constant, numeric attribute, or numeric expression.

Steps in Variant Configuration

Create a configurable Material type.

Before we start the configuration. We need to create a configurable material type below: KMAT-Material type with Item category (002).

variant configuration
Create configurable material

Once changes have been done, We will be able to create new configurable Material .lets say we are configuring one motorcycle as Passion Bike

Create material master
Create material master
Material is set for configurable
Material is set for configurable

Create Characteristics for Material

In these steps, we need to define Characteristics. Transaction code CT04, One below screen appears, we are creating new Characteristics as cubic capacity. We are often found motor cycle pricing differentiated based on cubic capacity.

Create Characteristics for Material
Create Characteristics for Material

Once we have new characteristics created, kindly ensure the below setting

Create Characteristics for Material
Create Characteristics for Material

In the additional data tab, maintain the table SDCOM and field VKOND. We can also specify values by mentioning the Color of the motorcycle, and other features of the motorcycle.

Create Characteristics for Material
Create Characteristics for Material

Create Class for Material

Now we need to create a class for the variant. The class will hold characteristics and details.

Create Class
Create Class

Assign Characteristics to the Class

In these steps, We will have to add whatever Characteristics define the material. e,g we have defined one Characteristic as color, cubic capacity, price

Assign Characteristics to the Class
Assign Characteristics to the Class

Create Configuration Profile for material

Now, we need to Configuration the profile via CU41 select the material and enter the description then click on the class assignment

Create Configuration Profile
Create Configuration Profile
Create Configuration Profile
Create Configuration Profile 2

Create Dependencies for Characteristics

Now go back to CU41 and specify the select a character for which the dependency is to be created Dependencies would be –$self.ZPrice=’Red’ and save. repeat the process for other values.

Create Dependencies for Characteristics
Create Dependencies for Characteristics

Variant Conditions In Pricing Procedure.

To flow pricing for values of characters in the sales order, we have to include variant condition types in pricing procedure T.Code V/08 as below

Variant Conditions In Pricing Procedure
Variant Conditions In Pricing Procedure.

Maintain pricing condition records

Now we need to create condition records for pricing.T.code VK11 -Enter VA00 (Condition)–enter variant Red and Blue give the rates accordingly and create the sales order

Maintain pricing condition records
Maintain pricing condition records

Create sales order using VA01

Now that we are ready to create a sales order, please ensure to enter the value for characteristics so that system can assign values for characteristics in the sales & correct pricing will be carried out.

Conclusion

SAP Variant Configuration is a powerful tool that enables businesses to create tailored products efficiently. It involves understanding product attributes, configuration profiles, and dependencies. It’s used in product modeling, sales and production, and has been successful in reducing lead times, improving customer satisfaction, and streamlining production processes. SAP’s variant configuration capabilities are highly recommended for businesses.

Source: SAP help Portal

Happy Learning ..!!

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