SAP SRM and PLM integration
SAP Supplier Relationship Management (SAP SRM) supports integration with SAP Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) cFolders 2.0 or higher. After the installation of the SAP PLM cFolders, the purchasers can have their space to communicate clearly the engineering design documents and share the information with the potential suppliers and create a folder there to store information, and share it with potential suppliers. PLM functionality has a template which can be used by both parties where specific information relative to the specifications and design can be stored, the data can be kept more confidential by having segregation like public or private folders function for both purchasers and bidders.
To achieve this technical integration between SAP SRM and SAP PLM key configurations required are
1) Defining a new Logical System for cFolders in both systems for communication between the two systems
2) Define Logical System as a Back-end System so for SRM cFolders would be the backend system for any document flow
3) Adding cFolders Role Users for Purchasers and Bidders, and RFC Users in SRM system this enables the Purchasers and Bidders to access the documents dependent on the role
4) Add cFolders Role to Composite Roles for Purchasers and RFC Users
5) Activate Service CFX_RFC_UI and Create an External Alias in the cFolder System
6) Test Service CFX_RFC_UI
7) Configuring the users for communications
Once when the technical integration is achieved the functional flow to carryover the business can go along the process to follow is as below
1) The purchaser creates an RFx in SAP SRM, and then creates a cFolder for that RFx. The purchaser can do this under Collaboration in the Documents area of the Header data tab page in SAP SRM. When the purchaser chooses Create, a folder is set up automatically in a public area in cFolders, as part of the competitive scenario.
It is important at this point to save the RFx by choosing Save. If the RFx is not saved and subsequently gets lost, the link to the folder in cFolders will also be lost and you will be unable to retrieve it.
2) The purchaser goes to the cFolder and invites the engineers on the purchasing side to place all the relevant design and specification information in the folder for potential bidders to view. Only the purchasing side can make changes to the public area of the folder.
3) When potential bidders access an RFx, they can see whether or not a folder has been created for that RFx. If it has, they can follow the link to the folder in the public area in cFolders, view the project information, and decide if they wish to submit a bid.
4) Once a bidder chooses Create bid, a private area is created automatically in cFolders and all the data is copied from the public area to the private area. In this private area, bidders can place all the information surrounding their offer, and revise and update it at any time.
5) The purchasing side determines a winning bid.
6) All project participants on both the purchasing and supply sides can access the work area in cFolders,and add to and correct the data until all parties have agreed on the final and binding specifications.
Methods for working together include:
c) Data sheets
d) Discussions forums
The link to cFolders is included in the bid and also in the follow-on purchase order or contract. The
collaboration area remains open, allowing the purchaser and the supplier to refine the design
documents even after the winning bid has been determined.
This integration is very useful for engineering relative procurement for corrective buying in a collaborative environment between the purchasing organization and engineering department.