Before Release 3.1, product and location were the only characteristics that could be transferred from Demand Planning to Supply Network Planning (SNP) and Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS). As of Release 3.1, it is possible to define descriptive characteristics for use in the applications that use Order LiveCache. These characteristics permit more detailed planning in several applications.
As far as Demand Planning is concerned, descriptive characteristics do not differ from other characteristics.
Descriptive characteristics are used in Order liveCache. In order to use the forecast from Demand Planning, you must release the demand plan to SNP. In the release transaction, you must edit the fields that appertain to descriptive characteristics. The descriptive characteristics are then attached to the resulting planned independent requirements. See also Descriptive Characteristics in Production Planning.
This process recognizes the characteristics attached to the LiveCache order and transports the constrained forecast back to DP with the same characteristic values. See also Release of Supply Network Plan to Demand Planning and Receipts and Requirements During Release to DP.
With descriptive characteristics, it is now possible to perform forecast consumption on any characteristic in DP that can be matched to an R/3 attribute of a sales order. For example, including the customer in the descriptive characteristics enables the identification of customer-specific forecasts for the same location/product that can be consumed by a sales order for that customer.
It is possible to assign priorities based on descriptive characteristics. For example, you can specify that one customer or customer group is given preferential treatment if the demand cannot be completely satisfied.
Currently, rules can be found for a few attributes of the forecast (product, location, category). With descriptive characteristics it is possible to perform the rule finding process on any characteristic level in DP. For example, including the customer in the descriptive characteristics enables the identification of customer-specific rules for the same location/product.
For more information, see Demand Prioritization.