BRF+ a flexible solution for standardized processes - Creetion

To not beat around the bush, I’m an absolute fan of BRF+ and here’s why I recommend clients to look into it:

Remember a world where nothing would change or only changes once in a decade. Back when we used to hardcode and build tables to steer the processes in a direction we wanted. Everything would be nice and calm and we knew where everything was headed. Now go back to our current world, where everything can change overnight, decisions are made fast to implement a new business model or to join businesses with a competitor. For businesses and IT it’s becoming a nightmare to keep up with all the changes and the IT backlog is getting clogged. Complexity is added to existing environments and before you know it gets so complicated the answer to any change is: Computer says no!

Why BRF+?

First of all for the ones completely new to SAP or SAP S/4HANA, BRF+ stands for Business Rules Framework plus. And now I can hear you think what is the plus exactly. Well the plus makes it possible to have more complex business rules defined , a more user friendly interface, easy integration and reusability throughout the SAP environment, performance improvements and Versioning & Traceability compared to predecessors.

For the ones heading towards a SAP S/4HANA implementation, are in the middle of one or are already on S/4HANA, you will know the mantra: Keep the core clean. Yes of course and yes easy until you are in the middle of the workshops and you figure out there are many differences between business units and company codes and they are valid. Or during the workshops it turns out that an extra control mechanism needs to be in place and it’s not there, then what. Most of the time people will fall back on what they already know and that is to take it as a gap and enhance (hardcode) the rule into the brand new system. This feels to me like you buy a Ferrari, take off the mirrors and put them on a horse and carriage and call it a successful operation even though agility in your system is dead. 

The fun thing about BRF+ is that it comes with your system and it gives you the advantage to create and maintain business rules based on the requirements of the time, area or whatever you can think of. The point I want to make is that this piece of functionality can be used for different modules in SAP S/4HANA, and still use the standard processes and fields. Enhance only when it is a real differentiator and not because it’s always done that way. Remember that every enhancement is an investment you have to make for the long run, yes I mean that there should be a business case to actually create an enhancement in the system. 

So in short what will BRF+ bring you according to SAP:

Of course it’s not all rainbows and sunshine or the holy grail for all issues concerning standard processes that don’t fit. As with all packages, some of the functionalities are great, some are just not to expectations. From a functional perspective the decision tables and decision trees are great, awesome even but for other business rules it could be that BRF+ is just not the right fit. The question of how to deal with those are the best discussions where functional and technical consultants have to work together to bring the best solution forward. So as a consultant the answer to the question if BRF+ is the best fit, will be: it depends……

Use Case

Since I’m an Order to Cash consultant the use case is in that area but of course this can be for any other process as well. 

The company is in the consumer industry and due to shortages in the supply chain, one of  the products they sell is scarce. To make sure the sales go to the most valuable customer, sales orders containing this product need to be checked and approved by a sales manager before the order is accepted. This rule is in place until the supply chain issues are resolved and the product is not scarce anymore. To create this in your system you can go the old way and hardcode it, which would mean it goes into the whole change process and again when the shortage is over. This can be done of course when it’s very static and will not change for a long period of time. But when it contains more products, different lines of business, different locations and the rule gets more complex and changes often it becomes harder to maintain it in the system and keep up with timelines to have the rules in place. There is also a new way to create these rules in the system and maintain them without coding. A specific user type can create and maintain the rules from a business point of view. The time to deploy or end rules becomes shorter and the business is able to address requirements at the moment they are needed, which creates speed to adjust to the changes in the world (yes I mean agility). When it comes out of the box will everyone be able to understand how this works? To be honest, no training is needed but once you know how an IT user should be able to use this functionality which creates less dependency on developers and consultants (yes I know this is my job and bread).

If you would like to know more about BRF+ you can read the documentation on the SAP Help Portal, or when you would like to know what BRF+ can do for your specific project please reach out to me!

Meet the expert

Mariska Blasweiler

Solution Architect Order to Cash

Imagine Mariska, a dynamic business consultant specializing in SAP, whose career has blossomed over the years. From adeptly managing projects to leading consultations and architecting solutions, she seamlessly blends these roles across diverse clients.

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