For some time now, SAP have been clear with their intention to develop forecast automation via machine learning capability and functionality. With the 1811 release of SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP), SAP are really starting on their machine learning journey by leveraging content within their Predictive Analytics Library (PAL) and have introduced Gradient Boosting of Decision Trees (GBDT) to the available set of statistical forecasting algorithms within the IBP for demand license.Read Article
For many manufacturing organisations, Detailed Scheduling is mainly driven by the need to perform manufacturing by following a specific preferred sequence whilst generating an achievable finite plan. It is quite normal for companies to use Detailed Scheduling heuristics for this function, but there are scenarios where this does not quite fit the bill.Read Article
I have recently worked on an SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) project focusing on implementing an efficient Demand and Supply Planning process (with supporting S&OP layer), where there were many transactional interface requirements between SAP ECC and IBP. In this blog I will explain how powerful the SAP Cloud Platform Integration for Data Services (CPI-DS) tool is in integrating master data and transaction data from SAP ECC to SAP IBP and in passing the planning results back from SAP IBP to SAP ECC.Read Article
During my career I have worked as both a Demand and Supply planner, working across FMCG, Fresh Produce and Cosmetics industries. When it comes to creating baseline forecasts for New Product Introduction (NPI) or phasing out forecasts for End of Life (EoL), planners find it challenging to collect relevant information from various stake holders and spend more time crunching data sets than creating meaningful forecasts.
This blog will discuss the features of SAP's Integrated Business Planning (IBP) Product lifecycle application within the Demand module and how it will help planners to overcome these challenges and help create a more accurate base line forecast. Enjoy the read!Read Article
Forecast consumption is a core to most Planning systems, and is based on the assumption that the actual sales orders consume the forecasted quantities. This approach ensures that incoming sales orders are not treated as additional demand to the forecast during a planning period.
It has always been somewhat of a surprise that forecast consumption has previously not been part of SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) for supply as standard, and has only been introduced (time series based) as part of the recent 1805 release.
Prior to 1805, only a very simplistic forecast consumption method could be configured using key figure calculations within the week time bucket. In this blog I will explain the functionalities available within SAP IBP.Read Article
In today’s fast moving world, there is an ever increasing demand for customisation and personalisation, whether it be initials stitched on to your running shoes or a bespoke paint colour for your car. Everyone likes to have a personal touch in their day to day activities, so why should SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) be any different?
If you haven’t seen the SAP IBP Excel Add-In, or want to know more about the various functionalities offered, please take a read of this blog from Steve Rampton “SAP IBP Excel Views – A Planners dream?”. I will split this blog as to how Planners can create their own personalised views within SAP IBP in two;
- Basic formatting of the Excel Add-In
- The advanced Olivehorse way!
In our experience, most customers have planning data held on spreadsheets, with e.g. ProdLoc or ProdCust by row and a time dimension in each column, similar to the view below;
But! In order to send the above forecast data into SAP Integrated Business (IBP) via Cloud Platform Integration – Data Services (CPI-DS), there can only be a single row per time period, similar to the view below (note that the data is loaded in to a staging table prior to committing to the HANA database);
Obviously such manual reformatting of data every time a load is required for SAP IBP is a waste of planner time and effort.
Everyone says it, and almost every Supply Chain related blog states it as its raison d’etre – our supply chains are complex, covering the globe and existing at multiple levels of finished goods, raw materials, work in progress etc. Being able to see this complexity is notoriously difficult, and many specialist tools exist to provide better insight to your Supply Chain network – but they are often standalone software packages, not linked to the day to day operations and so only provide a static snapshot view.
SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) version 1708 added the next generation tool for visualising your Supply Chain network – a Fiori app which replaced the old analytics Network Visualisation chart. The old told tool was very basic and provided only a simple view of your network. Great for validating models, but added very little value add and wasn't user friendly or flexible.Read Article
In today’s fast moving world of growing customer expectations, shrinking lead times, reduced profit margins and inventories, Demand Planners have a big responsibility to act as the first gatekeeper to be able to foresee changes in Demand Signals and accurately make predictions for future. The margin for error is continuously decreasing, as any errors cause a major rippling effect on downstream processes. For example, a change of forecast bias by 5% may induce the following risks;
- Reduced customer service levels
- Increased lead times
- Improper mix of inventory levels leading to possibility of stock outs or over stocked DCs
- Added costs due to firefighting production builds and expediting fulfilment (air freight)
To cope up with this fast-paced supply chains, new metric must be adopted by demand planners all over the world. One of those is Forecast Value Add. I am going to take you thru details of Forecast Value add and explain how we can use this to improve the forecasting process. I would also be explaining examples using SAP Integrated Business Planning.Read Article
SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) is SAP’s next-generation planning application, which uses the computational power of SAP HANA to enable a truly integrated and collaborative planning process.
SAP have also recognised their past problems with somewhat un-intuitive user interfaces and have invested a great deal of thought into the underlying technology and implementation of the interfaces with which users interact with the system. Of course supply planners are not an easy group to please: they usually work in high pressure environments where time is limited and ease of use vital. To further complicate the issue, the user community for an IBP process is much wider than just Demand & Supply Planning and brings in the Finance and Sales departments among others.Read Article