Questions to Ponder in Production Planning

1. Master Data

Organizational Structures

• What are the various organizational structures in the R/3 System?
• Which R/3 organizational structures are used primarily for PP?
• What is the relation between controlling area, company code, valuation area, plant and storage location

Material Master

• What is the purpose of different material master views?
• Which views are available?
• Which views are used primarily for PP?
• What is the relationship between material master views and individual organizational structures?
• How does the industry sector influence the material master maintenance?

• How does the material type influence the material master maintenance?
• What is the difference between external and internal number assignment and how is it set up in Customizing?
• Which other factors can influence the selection of fields in the material master?
• How can MRP profile and forecast profile be used to optimize material master maintenance?
• How can a material master be reorganized (deleted/archived)?
• Which units of measure can affect processing in the material master (base unit of measure, production unit, order unit, etc.)?
• What is the material status used for and on which levels could it be maintained?
• Review the usage of the following settings?

– MRP group
– MRP type
– Reorder point
– Planning time fence
– MRP controller
– Lot size
– Procurement type
– Special procurement type
– Production storage location
– Backflush flag
– Stock determination group
– Bulk material
– Scheduling margin key
– Safety stock
– Strategy group
– Consumption mode and consumption period
– Availability checking group
– Alternative selection flag
– Dependent requirement flag for individual and collective requirements
– Production scheduler
– Production scheduling profile
– Underdelivery/overdelivery tolerance
– In-house production time (lot size dependent/independent)
– Valuation class
– Price control indicator
– Moving average price/standard price

Bills of Material

• What is determined by BOM usage?
• What technical types of BOM are available?
• Can the technical type of a BOM be changed?
• During which processes will BOM usage and status be considered?
• When would it be useful to make use of a Group BOM?
• What is meant by area of validity and effectivity of a BOM?
• Which item categories are available and what are their specifications?
• What is a sub-item?
• Under which circumstances could a BOM be recursive and what the usage of the recursive indicator?
• What is the usage of the following BOM settings?
– Explosion type
– Relevant to production
– Relevant to costing
– Material provision indicator
– Bulk material
– Production storage location

Work Centers

• What is a work center category?
• What data can be maintained on the various views (basic, default, capacity, scheduling, costing, etc.)?
• What is the purpose of a standard value key?
• What role does the operation control key play?
What does referencing mean?
• Why to use a work center hierarchy?
What is a pooled capacity?
• Analyze the usage of the following fields?
– Backflush indicator
– Capacity category
– Formulas for determining capacity requirements
– Rate of capacity utilization
– Relevant to finite scheduling indicator
– Overload
– Formulas for scheduling
– Location group (move time matrix)
– Queue times (normal and minimum)
– Cost center
– Activity types
– Formulas for costing


• What does a routing define?
• How is a routing structured?
• What task list types are available in the R/3 System?
• What is a routing group and group counter?
• What is a routing sequence, and what types of sequence are available?
• What could be reasons to use sequences?
• What are the various options to assign materials to routings?
• Under which conditions would it make sense to assign components to operations?
• What is a reference operation set?
• How could the lotsize-dependend inhouse production time be calculated and updated into the material master?

Production Resources/Tools

• What types of PRT are available?
• What is the relationship between PRTs and a routing/operation?

Engineering Change Management

• What are the objectives of Engineering Change Management?
• What is the significance of changes with a history?
• Which PP objects can be managed using Engineering Change Management?
• What is the purpose of an engineering change request/order?
• How is a change master record structured?
• What is a revision level compared to engineering change master?
Other Issues

• Which scheduling options are available, and how do they differ from each other?
• Which time components are taken into account during scheduling?
• How are basic order dates determined?
• How are the scheduled dates determined?
• Which scheduling types are available in lead time scheduling?
• What role do reduction measures play in scheduling?
• What types of scrap can be maintained in PP basic data and how would they be considered during MRP repectively scheduling?
• What is external processing, and what conditions must be fulfilled before external processing can take place?
• What are co-products?

2. Production Planning

General Issues

• What are the various planning levels available in R/3 PP?
• What are the dependencies between Sales and Operations Planning, Demand Management, Long-Term-Planning and Material Requirements Planning?

Sales and Operations Planning

• What is the purpose of Sales and Operations Planning?
• What is the structure of product groups and how could they be used in SOP/DM/LTP/MRP?
• What is the purpose of proportion factors and aggregation factors within product groups?
• Which planning methods are available in SOP?
• Which sources are available as input data for SOP?
• Which options are available for creating a sales plan in SOP?
• Which options are available for creating an operations plan in SOP?
• What is ‘disaggregation’?
• How could the result of SOP be passed on to different planning tools within the PP planning environment?

Demand Management

• What is the purpose of Demand Management?
• At which points is Demand Management integrated with Sales and Distribution?
• Explain the main strategies in Make-to-Stock as well as in Make-to-Order planning logic. Pay attention to master data settings.
• What does consumption respectively reduction mean in the context of planning strategies?
• What role does the individual/collective requirements indicator in the material master have during make-to-order production?
• What is a stocking level, and how can it be influenced?
• Which types of availability check are available (ATP and check against planning) and what are the characteristics of these checks?
• Explain the link between MRP group, strategy group, strategy and requirement class.
• What settings could be made in requirements classes (on PP as well as on SD side)?
• Explain the purpose of version management in Demand Management?

Master Production Scheduling

• Under which circumstances would you recommend the usage of MPS?
• Compare the functionality of MPS with MRP?
• What is meant by the ‘firming’ of procurement proposals, and how can this effect be achieved?
• What is a planning time fence, and where is it defined?
• What is a manual firming date, and where is it defined?
• How can a planned order be ‘firmed’, and which firming indicators are available in a planned order?

Material Requirements Planning

• What is the purpose of MRP and how does it fit into the PP planning environment?
• How would you organize MRP runs? Discuss the different options
– MRP for a plant – online
– MRP for a plant – in background
– MRP for a material (individual planning) – online
• Which planning types are available (NEUPL, NETCH, NETPL)?
• Which planning parameters are to be set in the application itself?
• What is the function of the planning file?
• What is meant by single-level planning, multi-level planning?
• What is meant by interactive MRP?
• What are the characteristics of an MRP scenario that is performed in simulation mode?
• What is meant by low-level code and how is it considered in MRP?
• What is a net requirements calculation?
• Which buffers can be taken into account for the net requirements calculation in MRP (quantity buffer: safety stock, time buffer: safety time)?
• What does lot-size calculation entail?
• Which lot-sizing procedures are available in the R/3 System (static, periodic and optimizing procedures)? What are the characteristics of these lot-sizing procedures?
• How does the procurement type defined in the material master affect MRP?
• What is backward scheduling? What are the characteristics of backward scheduling?
• What is the difference between basic scheduling and lead time scheduling?
• How are the order due dates determined in basic scheduling?
• How are the order due dates determined in lead time scheduling?
• How does the in-house production time defined in the material master affect scheduling?
• How does the scheduling margin key affect scheduling?
• How are BOMs selected in MRP? Which criteria are taken into account during BOM selection?
• What is a ‘BOM selection ID’?
• How are alternative BOMs selected?
• What is a production version?
• How are routings selected in MRP? Which criteria are taken into account during routing selection?
• What is an MRP list? What is a stock/requirements list? How are these lists structured? What are the differences between these lists?
• What is the function of exception messages?
• What are planned orders?
• What is meant by the individual/collective conversion of planned orders?
• What is meant by “days’ supply” and “receipt days’ supply”?
• How can component discontinuation be managed in MRP?

3. Production Order Processing

General Issues

• What are the characteristics of work-to-order production?
• What is defined in a production order?
• What is a document type, an order category and an order type?
• What are the various elements that a production order contains?
• Which functions are executed when an order is created?
• What are the various options available for creating an order?
• Describe the system logic during routing selection?
• Describe the system logic during BOM selection?
• At which point in time are reservations generated and what information does it contain?
• What can be achieved by performing the “Read master data” function?
• How could routing sequences be considered during production order creation?
• Describe the conversion of planned orders into production orders with focus on scheduling aspects?

Order Release

• What happens when an order is released?
• Which operations are made possible and which are prevented when an order is released?
• What is meant by status management?
• What are business transactions?
• What are the differences between system status and user status?
• At which points in time can availability checks be performed? Which settings can be made, and which must be made? On which objects can the availability check be run?
• What is meant by machine commitment?
• What is meant by midpoint scheduling?


• Which shop floor papers can be printed?
• Which print modes are available (online, update, background)?
• What does “reprinting” mean?
• Which conditions must be fulfilled before order documents can be printed?
• Which conditions must an operation fulfill before shop floor papers (and in particular confirmation slips and time tickets) can be printed?

Goods Issue

• Which control indicators influence the behavior of the components in the production order (bulk material, backflush, phantom assembly, etc.)?
• What is meant by picking?
• What is meant by stock determination? Which settings have to be made for stock determination during production order processing?
• What is a goods issue posting?
• How can goods issues be entered (reference to order, reference to reservation, unplanned, etc.)?
• What is the purpose of movement types?
• What are the effects of a goods issue posting from an integrational point of view (MM, FI, CO)?
• What is meant by the backflushing of components and how can this be achieved?


• Which conditions must be fulfilled before confirmations can be entered?
• What is a confirmation?
• Which functions are linked to confirmations?
• Which confirmation procedures are available?
• What data can be entered during confirmations?
• What is a milestone confirmation?
• What is an unplanned milestone?
• What identifies a progress confirmation?
• What role does the control key defined in the operation play during confirmation?
• Is it possible to link a confirmation with a goods movement posting?
• What is a goods receipt?
• What are the effects of a goods receipt posting?
• What is the relevancy of the “delivery completed” indicator?
• What is the function of overdelivery/underdelivery tolerance in the material master play?

Order Settlement / Archiving and Deleting

• What is meant by order settlement?
• What causes a production order to be debited/credited?
• What is the difference between prelimenary costing and actual costing?
• Which are the usual steps during order settlement?
• What means variance calculation?
• How is an order settled if the header material is a standard price material?
• At which points in time can an order be settled?
• Which conditions must be fulfilled before an order can be archived?
• How are orders archived/deleted?
• What is meant by “residence times”?

Order Information Systems

• Which information systems can be used for order management?
• What are the characteristics of the order information system?
• What are variable object overviews?
• What are the special characteristics of a (multi-level) order report?
• What is the difference between the order information system and the Shop Floor Information System?
• Which functions are available from the order progress report?

Automation Options

• What options are available for automating the processing of orders?
• What role does the production scheduling profile play?
• Describe the most lean production order and the necessary settings to achieve it?
• Which functions could be executed in the mass processing?

Collective Orders

• What are the characteristics of collective orders?
• How can collective orders be created? Which conditions must be fulfilled?
• What are the advantages of working with collective orders?
• Which functions can be performed on collective orders?
• How is scheduling for a complete collective order done?
• What happens if a date/quantity for an order is changed within the collective order?

4. Product Cost Planning

General Issues

• What is a cost element (primary/secondary)?
• What is a cost component?
• What is a cost component split?
• Explain the Costing Variant and the main settings in customizing.
• What is a costing type?
• What settings can be done in a valuation variant?
• How is a costing sheet structured?

Base unit costing

• Describe base unit costing
• Which master data are required for base unit costing?
• How can results of BUC be used in further calculations?

Cost estimation without quatity structure

• What is meant by quantity structure?
• Describe costing w/o quantity structure
• Which master data are required for that costing logic?

Cost estimation with quantity structure

• Describe cost estimation with quatity structure
• How can the quantity structure be determined?
• What is activity based costing?
• How could results from standard cost estimation be updated into the material master?
• What happens if stock is on hand during that price update?

5. Repetitive Manufacturing

General Issues

• What are the differences between discrete manufacturing and repetitive manufacturing?
• What are the characteristics of make-to-stock repetitive manufacturing and make-to-order repetitive manufacturing?

Master Data for Make-To-Stock Repetitive Manufacturing

• What master data are necessary in repetitive manufacturing (material master, bill of material, production line, routing)?
• Describe the the following material master data:
– Repetitive manufacturing indicator?
– Repetitive manufacturing profile?
– Production versions?
• Which object is used to collect the material costs and production activities?
• What are the various options available for establishing a link between the cost collector and the production version of a material? What role doe the repetitive manufacturing profile play here?

Planning Make-To-Stock Repetitive Manufacturing

• What is the planning table in repetitive manufacturing? What functions can be executed from here?

Material Provision

• Describe the usage of pull list and stock determination as one of its function.
• Which other ways are available to make sure that sufficient components are provided to the shop floor?


• What does backflush mean in a repetitive manufacturing context?
• Explain the functions of final backflush.
• How can production activities be entered in the system?
• What is meant by post processing list?
• What are the advantages and disadvantages of negative stock?
• What does the reporting point backflush procedure entail?


• Which evaluations are available?
• What is a reporting point overview?

6. Logistics Information System

Data Warehouse

• What is the concept behind the Data Warehouse?
• Which individual information systems does the SAP Logistics Information System comprise?
• What data are evaluated by the information systems?
• What are info structures? What are the characteristics of info structures?
• Is there any relationship between system transaction data and the data in the info structures?
• Which reporting options are available in the SAP Information System?
• What is the difference between evaluations in LIS and evaluations on system transaction data in the PP component?

Standard Analyses

• What are standard analyses?
• Which navigation options are available in standard analyses?
• Which options in standard analyses can be used to influence the way in which data is presented?
• Which analysis functions are available in standard analyses (ABC analysis, comparisons, classification, etc.)?

Early Warning System

• What is an “early warning system”?
• What are the various applications for the early warning system?
• How can the early warning system be used in standard analyses?
• What is an exception analysis?
• Which options are available for defining that an analysis should be performed at regular intervals?
• Which types of analysis are available in the early warning system (threshold value analysis, trend analysis, planned/actual comparison)?

Flexible Analyses

• What are flexible analyses? What is the difference between flexible analyses and standard analyses?
• What are evaluation structures? What are evaluations?