I have the dubious privilege of having been working prior to the invention of both the personal computer (PC) and applications such as spreadsheets and word processors. Since their arrival, there has been an explosion in the use of spreadsheets to plan all areas of businesses large and small. While this has delivered significant value it doesn’t come without some disadvantages. This blog describes these drawbacks and discusses one alternative planning platform, Anaplan, which can retain many of the advantages of spreadsheets while avoiding the negative aspects.Read Article
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.
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
For those of you exposed to the full force of SAP marketing for SAP Integrated Business Planning, I’m sure you will have heard the phrase ‘financialising the plan’. But have you ever stopped to think about why this is beneficial and what this means in practice when it comes to implementing it in SAP IBP?Read Article
As conceived by the Oliver Wight International modern Integrated Business Planning (IBP) means breaking down the functional silos that exist in many enterprises today and truly working together to achieve common objectives. In this article I want to explore why collaborative working is important, the different tools available and the functionality that SAP Integrated Business Planning itself delivers in this area.Read Article
The main user interface for SAP Integrated Business Planning is Microsoft Excel using a special Excel Add-In provided with the product. In this article I want to explore if and why this interface will satisfy the needs of planners. Let’s start by having a look at where spreadsheets originated from, and then what planners need from the tools that support them.
The history of the spreadsheet
I’ve been around long enough to remember a world without electronic spreadsheets – a world that instead either involved pens, paper and calculators or punched cards, a mainframe and reams of printed output. In my first career as a Mechanical and Manufacturing Systems Engineer working for Dunlop, Chloride and Lucas, I had what in retrospect was the privilege of witnessing the birth of the personal computer and the early PC spreadsheet applications such as VisiCalc, SuperCalc and Lotus 1-2-3.
It is also worth pointing out that at that time in the mid 1980’s, I had a DEC micro-computer on my desk where the computer was contained inside the VDU (a screen to youngsters) and the operating system, application and data were all held in RAM. Said computer was used to control manufacturing machines in real time. So some concepts are perhaps not so new!
Figure 1: VisiCalc running on an Applell (source wikipedia)Read Article
During the SAP SCM (R)evolution, the Olivehorse team reanacted what an "Executive Review of the Future" would look like using SAP Integrated Business Planning for Sales & Operations Planning.Read Article
On the 25th February 2016, SAP and Olivehorse hosted the first customer event in the UK covering a Supply Chain Planning cloud solution: SAP Integrated Business Planning. Held at SAP UK’s Maidenhead Offices, specialist areas such as SCM don’t usually attract large numbers but this event attracted nearly 50 attendees. Equally gratifying was that the attendees came from a wide range of industries: manufacturing, pharma, oil and gas, and consumer goods.Read Article
In our discussions with customers around the world, it is clear that following the introduction of SAP’s Integrated Business Planning (IBP) there, is still a great deal of uncertainty and confusion around SAP’s SCM roadmap.
Where do the various Supply Chain Products fit with each other?
Does the new suite of SAP HANA based products replace SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO)?
In this post I intend to focus on Sales & Operations Planning (S&OP), but in subsequent posts I plan to cover the other products in IBP.
For SAP to stay in the game, the ability to react to the huge changes taking place in business is critical. In particular, those resulting from customer expectations regarding rapid product innovation and speed of delivery as well as customer knowledge about alternatives (via Social Networks and the Web). SAP’s software has to enable businesses to transform what were previously Supply Chains into Demand Networks to respond faster to customer needs.
So where does S&OP sit?
Well to start, it is useful to look at how SAP categorise their Supply chain portfolio:Read Article
What is SAP IBP Sales and Operations Planning?
Sales and Operations Planning is now part of the SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) suite from SAP, powered by HANA. It is a critical process which helps engage key stakeholders in an efficient and integrated planning process, delivering aligned and profitable demand and supply plans. This next generation planning solution provides a unified model to;
- Facilitate demand and supply balance
- Integrate financial and operational planning to maximize
- Link high level strategic plans with day-to-day operations