In today’s fast-paced business world, efficient production planning is crucial to gaining competitive advantage and meeting customer needs. Companies are challenged to make optimal use of their resources to meet increasing demand while reducing costs.  This blog post illustrates how companies can benefit from multi-resource planning in SAP PP/DS and how it can help optimize production processes.

What is Multi-resource planning?

Multi-resource planning is a function in SAP PP/DS that allows companies to consider multiple resources simultaneously when planning and managing production orders. These resources can be machines, work centres, personnel or other production resources that are required for manufacturing.

In contrast to traditional planning, which often focuses on individual resources, multi-resource planning enables the simultaneous planning and consideration of multiple resources in an integrated planning process. This enables more comprehensive and accurate planning that takes into account the interactions between different resources.

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Extended planning board after the scheduling run and before scheduling

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Advanced planning board after simultaneous scheduling of alternative resources, reducing resource overload

Benefits of Multi-resource planning:

Optimization of resource utilization: By planning multiple resources simultaneously, companies can use their production capacities more efficiently by taking availability, capacity and utilization into account to create an optimal production plan.

Bottleneck management: Multi-resource planning enables companies to identify and manage bottlenecks in their production processes at an early stage. By taking multiple resources into account, bottlenecks can be identified and resolved through targeted measures such as capacity expansion, prioritization of orders or alternative resource allocations.

Flexibility and responsiveness: Multi-resource planning offers companies the flexibility to respond quickly to changing production requirements. The system can create alternative planning scenarios and make recommendations for adjustments to respond to unforeseen events or changes in demand.

Application example

A company in the discrete process industry runs production on multiple resources. With multi-resource planning in SAP PP/DS, the company can take all of these resources into account simultaneously and create an optimal production plan that maximizes the capacity utilization of all resources involved and minimizes bottlenecks.

We will look at how to use the most suitable heuristic in PP/DS to reduce the total lead time of multiple orders loaded onto the same resource with the same start date.

The following scenario is based on the semi-finished materials: “Half 1” and “Half 2”.

In this example, the production plant has two lathes that have the same capacity. The two products “Half 1” and “Half 2” are now scheduled on both machines.

Produktionsplanung WB BP Halbfabrikat

For multi-resource planning, we use a heuristic that comes standard with PP/DS. For the heuristic to work, we need to maintain certain master data, classifications, characteristics, etc. The diagram below shows an overview of the required elements.

Produktionsplanung WB BP Multiressourcenplanung

Customizing Settings

The heuristic “SAP_MULT_SCH” is delivered without any preset settings, so we need to copy it and save it as a new heuristic.

Depending on your planning requirements, certain heuristic parameters can be maintained here. For example, whether the planning mode should be finite and continuous or should be executed as PP/DS bucket planning. Also, the planning direction (forward / backward) can be selected.

We can also select the period in which the orders will be rescheduled, either on a weekly or daily level, as well as the period in the past that should be considered.

Produktionsplanung WB BP Kopieren Multiressourcenplanung

Copying the standard multi-resource scheduling heuristic

Create master data

Work centres:  The work centres KDREH_1 and KDREH_2 were created for this example, and by clicking the “Advanced Planning” checkbox, the work centre then becomes relevant for PP/DS. In PP/DS, a work centre is referred to as a resource.

 Produktionsplanung WB BP gekennzeichnet Multiressourcenplanung

Workplace marked for Advanced Planning

The classification in the work center is maintained to identify the alternative resources. This setting is relevant for multi-resource planning.

The prerequisite is to create a characteristic and a class and assign this characteristic to this class. We have named the characteristic “resource” and the class “alternative”. The naming can be determined arbitrarily. The class type is work center class.

Produktionsplanung WB BP Klassifizierung Multiressourcenplanung

Select classification in the workplace

Produktionsplanung WB BP Klassifizierung anlegen Multiressourcenplanung

Create classification in the workplace

The created class is entered, in this example it is “Alternative”. The assigned feature is automatically adopted.

In the following example, the feature “Resource” has the value 1. The value 1 is used here to identify all machines that have the value 1 and to group them. This ordering criterion can also be set up to suit the application. For example, TURN for all lathes, CNC for all CNC machines to be grouped or DRILL for drilling workstations to be grouped.

The same settings are maintained for the second workstation.

Produktionsplanung WB BP Klassifizierung anlegen zweiter Multiressourcenplanung

Create classification in the second workstation

The Work Plans for the semi-finished products are created, maintaining the operation details with the classification. Two routings have been created, one for each resource.

Produktionsplanung WB BP Klassifizierung Arbeitspläne

Produktionsplanung WB BP Klassifizierung Arbeitspläne

Select classification in the task plan

Produktionsplanung WB BP Klassifizierung Arbeitspläne    Produktionsplanung WB BP Klassifizierung Arbeitspläne

Create classification in the task’s work plan

After the standard steps,  the Manufacturing version is created. The manufacturing version is a combination of the BOM and the routing.

With S/4HANA, the production version is mandatory. More on this topic in a future blog post.

Fertigungsversion im Materialstamm anlegen

Create production version in material master

IIn this scenario, one production version is required for each plan group counter.


Product Data Structure (PDS)

The product data structure in PP/DS is generated from a production version in SAP S/4HANA. The structure contains information about the production process and the component assignment for the production of a product.

PDS from SAP S/4HANA master data is generated when it is transferred to PP/DS and is therefore available in active form for planning.

Produktionsplanung WB BP PDS

The two resources are displayed in the PDS as “Modis”

Production planning and detailed scheduling

The MRP run for the two materials is shown below. This creates planned orders based on demand. The MRP run schedules these planned orders infinitely. In addition, all planned orders created are scheduled on a single resource.

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Production planning run

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Extended planning board after the MRP run

The capacity for the alternative resources can be balanced, with just one click. The planned orders are scheduled evenly based on the available capacity of the resources.

In normal planning, only individual resources are usually taken into account. Planning is often done sequentially, with individual steps being carried out one after the other.

Multi-resource planning with SAP PP/DS is an advanced and more powerful form of production planning that was specifically developed for complex manufacturing environments and allows for a more comprehensive consideration of various production resources.

The multi-resource planning heuristic can be executed in the advanced planning board.

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Execute multi-resource planning heuristics

Produktionsplanung WB BP Erweiterte Plantafel

Extended planning board after simultaneous scheduling of alternative resources


With PP/DS multi-resource planning, you can work much more efficiently and precisely than with standard planning. It enables you to take several resources such as machines, workers and materials into account and optimize them at the same time. Detailed capacity planning functions and advanced optimization algorithms improve production plans by avoiding bottlenecks and optimizing resource utilization.

PPDS also offers the option of simulating and evaluating various planning scenarios, which supports flexible and well-founded decision-making.

Real-time data and increased transparency allow plans to be tracked precisely and adjusted quickly. PP/DS multi-resource planning therefore ensures more comprehensive, efficient and flexible production planning compared to standard SAP planning.


The PP/DS module provides a variety of tools that can be used to optimize and stabilize production planning in your company.

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