SAP SCM (R)evolution: What is SAP Integrated Business Planning about?

Posted by Steve Rampton on 07-Mar-2016 12:02:39

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.

The IBP Executive Review of the future

The day started with ‘The IBP Executive Review of the future’. This was a role play showing how SAP IBP for sales and operations can be used to support a real IBP process including on the spot ‘what-if’ analysis, analytics and financial integration. As one customer fed back, although the Olivehorse amateur dramatics group probably won’t do Broadway:

 SAP IBP Live demo

Figure 1: IBP Executive Review of the Future

“It was a really insightful day and while the acting was a little stiff!!! (great effort) the concept of the kick off S&OP meeting really got the point across (it demonstrated the power / game changing ability to have the stats at your fingertips in these meetings)“

Trevor Barrett
Head of Supply Chain IS & Projects, Premier Foods - ISC  

 SAP IBP What-if scenario comparison of financials

Figure 2: What-if scenario comparison of financials


SAP Supply Chain Strategy and Introduction to Integrated Business Planning

This was followed by a session delivered by Patrick Crampton-Thomas (SAP’s VP Solution Management - LoB Supply Chain) entitled “SAP Supply Chain Strategy and Introduction to Integrated Business Planning”. Nearly half of attendees rated this session as being Excellent in their feedback.

Patrick started by explaining how the digital economy is disrupting business and the supply chain including the increasing customer centricity and growth in business networks.

Digital Transformation Framework

Figure 3: Digital Transformation Framework

After describing how SAP are responding to this challenge with new products including of course IBP as a key element, Patrick outlined some of the key features of IBP including the embedded social collaboration and the enhanced user experience that comes with embedded Excel. SAP’s Roadmap for the product makes it clear that SAP are continuing to invest significantly in IBP, and we can look forward to the brand new functionality such as response and supply that comes in the 6.x release due soon.

 SAP IBP product roadmap

Figure 4: Integrated Business Planning Evolution 

We then had the first of three rounds of workshops covering specific areas of IBP. The four different workshops were S&OP and Control Tower, Inventory, Demand and Response & Supply. Running them in parallel enabled a more informal atmosphere with smaller groups attending the sessions. Each was a mixture of presentation, live system demos and Q&A. 


Workshop 1: IBP for sales and operations and Control Tower

Led by Steve Rampton (IBP Practice Lead for Olivehorse) and Chloé Darlison (SAP Global Solution Management LoB Supply Chain), the challenge here was to cover IBP for S&OP and Control Tower in 45 minutes! Chloe gave an excellent live demo of the SCOR based Order Fulfilment KPI Analytics functionality that comes with Control Tower, and Steve covered key aspects of S&OP including collaboration in IBP using SAP JAM and the user-centric Excel add-in.

Olivehorse SAP IBP Sales & Operations workshop

Figure 5: Chloe & Steve presenting



Figure 6: SAP JAM embedded in SAP IBP


Workshop 2: SAP IBP for inventory optimisation

The second workshop stream on IBP for inventory optimisation was led by Fred Akuffo (Olivehorse Managing Director) of Olivehorse and Inventory Optimisation expert Jesper Waaben (Solution Principal from SAP EMEA - SCM Centre of Excellence).

The session covered the challenge of managing inventory in an environment of ever increasing supply chain complexity, the sources and impact of uncertainty, the theory of inventory optimisation and finished with a live demonstration of IBP for inventory in action.

Olivehorse Inventory Optimisation Workshop

Figure 7: Fred & Jesper in the Inventory Optimisation Workshop

Some key points from this session were:

  • Integrate Inventory with S&OP to create SI&OP
  • Use the recommended safety stock in your supply plan
  • What-if modelling to understand the impact of inventory decisions
  • Less reliance of planner determined values
  • Excel planning familiarity
  • Personal, customised dashboards for visual reporting
  • Encourages inventory process maturity


SAP IBP for inventory optimisation dashboard

Figure 8: IBP for inventory optimisation dashboard


Workshop 3: IBP for demand

IBP for demand is a relatively recent addition to the IBP family having only been released in v5.  The audience were therefore keen to learn more about this module, and the proposed enhancements to come in version 6.x and beyond. The session was led by Stephan Kreipl (Chief Product Owner Demand Management, SAP SE) and Ian Brister (IBP Demand Practice Lead for Olivehorse).

As well as explaining the main features of IBP for demand the options for deploying IBP for demand were explained including incorporation in an existing APO landscape running DP.

SAP IBP for demand working with APO DP

Figure 9: IBP for demand working with APO DP


Workshop 4: Response and Supply

Patrick came back to the stage to lead the Response and Supply session along with Rick Lambrecht, Supply Chain expert and Finance Director for Olivehorse). The ‘Response’ part of Response and Supply will only come in the next 6.x release of IBP, so the audience were really keen to learn what is coming.

SAP IBP Response and Supply workshop

Figure 10: Patrick presenting


 Customer Sessions: Weir Minerals & Mondelēz

Customers always value learning how other customers are using software in the real world, and this event was no exception. One customer quoted:

“Great customer success stories, needed an in depth session of a company that uses IBP to its full extent

We were very pleased to be able to get two customers to give up precious time for this event – both of whom are live with IBP sales for operations.

IBP S&OP at Weir Minerals

The first session was given by Crispin Dobson, Divisional Manager Supply Chain Systems for Weir Minerals (who very kindly woke up at 6 in the morning to deliver it from the US!). Weir are a leading global provider of engineering solutions to mining and minerals, oil and gas, power and industrial markets with production sites and DCs all over the world. Weir Minerals, one of three divisions, are already live with S&OP for the Demand Review and are currently testing IBP for use in the Supply Review. Crispin stated that the key benefit will be to ensure global visibility of processes, demand and capacity. He also gave challenges as:

  • change management with 80% of the effort being in this area and only 20% technical
  • ensuring good quality master data
  • accurate specifications for HANA Cloud Interfaces

Mondelēz- Creating Delicious Moments

Phil Cottrell is the Global Solution Owner for the IS Planning CoE for Mondelēz - another global company with $30bn in revenues more recognized by their many brands including Cadbury’s, Oreo & Milka.

SAP IBP Mondelez presentation

Figure 11: Excellent performance requires continuous focus, aligment & synchronisation


Phil gave the following key benefits from IBP:

  • Reduction of costs and efforts involved in normalizing and aggregating data
  • Facilitating the creation of a ‘One Number’ plan
  • Ability to quickly simulate the effects of volume and revenue adjustments
  • Earlier identification of capacity constraints
  • Improved collaboration within the organisation

IBP in the Cloud

Peter Clancy, Technical Director for Olivehorse, gave a short but powerful session on considerations for running planning applications in the Cloud - a topic very relevant to SAP IBP as it can currently only be run in the Cloud. After explaining why Cloud is growing now, Peter went on to discuss some of the advantages of running IBP in the Cloud:

  • Lower barriers to entry
  • Faster implementation and returns
  • Simplified partner collaboration
  • Rapid innovation deployment

 Supply Chain- Topics to consider when using Cloud based applications

Figure 12: Topics to consider when using Cloud based applications

 So What Next? Plan Your IBP Journey

Many customers have been asking us how they can get started with IBP, and how Olivehorse can help them in their journey. Jim Houghton, Olivehorse’s Sales & Marketing Director wrapped up the event with a reflection of some of the key points from the day, and an explanation of the services that Olivehorse offers in the IBP space to support customers.

Olivehorse SAP IBP servicesFigure 13: Key Olivehorse IBP offerings


Key Takeaway’s from the Event

For me, the key takeaways from the event were:

  • Customers are increasingly interested in understanding how IBP can deliver value to them.
  • Many companies are looking to move to the next level of maturity in their S&OP process, and need tools to support it.
  • IBP is a key product for SAP, and they are continuing to invest significantly in it.
  • Running Supply Chain Planning software in the cloud offers significant advantages to customer and they embrace the concept whilst being aware of the challenges.

Olivehorse SAP IBP Demo station



Of course I must offer our sincerest thanks to all those from SAP and Olivehorse who helped organise and present at this event. Not least Mike Wade, Matt Atherton, Jesper Waaben, Stefan Kreipl, Patrick Crampton-Thomas and Priscilla Boateng from SAP, and Trisha Heah, Jim Houghton, Fred Akuffo, Peter Clancy, Ian Brister, and Rick Lambrecht from Olivehorse.

A special thanks of course to Crispin Dobson from Weir Minerals and Phil Cottrell from Mondelēz for sharing their customer experiences.


Steve Rampton, IBP Practice Lead

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