If you want to work with descriptive characteristics in applications other then Demand Planning, you specify these characteristics in a consumption group.In the consumption group you assign fields from the ATP field catalog to characteristics in Demand Planning.
Consumption groups are used in conjunction with descriptive characteristics to enable the forecast to be consumed by sales orders and related orders, at a more detailed level than the location product. For instance you may want to create forecasts for individualcustomers and to then consume this forecast when the customer places a sales order. You use consumption groups to do this
This gives you significantly more flexibility when planning orders. For instance you can assign priorities to customers , so that your most important customer gets preference if all orders cannot be satisfied in a particular period. The accepted orders can then consume the forecast at customer level.
You define consumption groups in Customizing for Demand Planning under Basic Settings ® Maintain Consumption Group.
If you want to work with Descriptive Characteristics, you must create a consumption group and assign it to the relevant product on the Demand tab page of master record for the location product. Furthermore you require the consumption group when releasing a demand plan to SNP. You can also assign a consumption group to a demand profile, which simplifies the maintenance of product master data (see also Maintaining Global Product Master Data).
· If you are releasing a small amount of data online you have to enter the consumption group in the Extended section of the Release screen.
· Similarly, if you release the plan as a batch job, you have to enter the consumption group in the release profile.
For information on how to edit consumption groups, see the IMG for Maintain Consumption Group.
In order to avoid data inconsistencies the maintenance and use of consumption groups is relatively restrictive. This means that:
· You can change or delete a consumption group, if there are no orders for any location product to which the consumption group has been assigned.
· Similarly a location product cannot have any orders, if you want to assign it a consumption group.
· You cannot change a master planning object structure that is the basis of any planning area to which a consumption group has been assigned.
· It is not possible to create an order for a location group that has been assigned a consumption group, as long as this consumption group is being edited.
You can use report program /SAPAPO/DM_DISP_ORDERS_IN_LC to display the orders in which a consumption group is currently used. On the selection screen you further limit the selection, for instance by choosing a product or range of products. However you cannot use this report to find orders for a product or location without entering a consumption group.