More and more, businesses are requesting roadmap assessments to determine when they should move from APO and ECC landscapes to IBP and S/4 for HANA. The question of when you should make the move depends on tool maturity for the required functionality and the business value you can expect from making the move.
In this post, we highlight some basic benefits in considering SAP IBP versus APO (and other tools) in supporting an S&OP process, and why it makes sense to begin the move now.
Automating Data Collection
Staff time is far too valuable to be consumed with gathering data and preparing meeting presentations. Automate the pull of all S&OP data into IBP (including financial and budgetary data) and build your S&OP process directly through the tool. By eliminating the constant need to manually perform data analysis and create reports, your team can instead focus their time on planning, managing exceptions and determining root causes of past issues. The benefits will be realized from replacing rote administrative tasks with meaningful, value-added activities.
CONTRAST: APO may have the most S&OP data, but requires a significant time investment to bring off-line data through third-party tools to present a complete, actionable picture.
Near Instant What-If Modeling
Most businesses likely take days or even weeks to prepare a what-if S&OP scenario for the purpose of making production and profit decisions. These simulations can be achieved in IBP in a matter of seconds. Because all data is integrated into a single planning model, the ability to see how a specific demand change will affect the capacity of critical production resources—and ultimately profit—can be done instantly. Explore multiple options to identify the strategy most likely to maximize benefits and make marketplace decisions far in advance of your competition.
CONTRAST: Running a similar scenario in APO and/or ECC is technically challenging and involves time-consuming data releases due to different demand and supply models in each planning area.
Intelligence in Real Time
IBP embedded analytics and dashboards empower decision makers at every level of your organization to make better decisions based on real-time information. Reacting and responding to that intelligence is made much more effective through collaborative case management and JAM functionality built directly into the IBP platform. Team members can quickly and effectively resolve issues and plan more accurately, resulting in a nimble organization that flexibly responds to outside forces and opportunities.
CONTRAST: These analytics are not natively supported in APO and must be built in costly external data warehouses which restrict the ability to drill into planning issues and rarely offer real-time results.
Complete Planning Capabilities
Originally designed to support the S&OP process, IBP has since evolved to take on more direct planning capabilities including inventory optimization, demand planning and supply planning. Tightly integrated with an SAP back-end system like ECC or S/4 to support dynamic execution intervention, this S&OP process support capability is the most mature segment of IBP and is immediately ready to begin delivering value. Transitioning your S&OP process into IBP today will create an anchor on which all your inventory, demand and supply processes can be built, achieving a single-platform planning system across your entire enterprise.
CONTRAST: APO was built as a quantity-based planning tool relying on RAM technology to process various modeling and optimization algorithms, and does not effectively accommodate a modern flow-centric process.
Understanding why you should make the move to IBP, and when it makes sense to start that effort, is one of the biggest challenges facing planners today. Continue to follow us here at SCMO2 for future posts that will dive deeper into specific IBP capabilities that support the S&OP process steps related to demand and supply planning, inventory optimization and responsive action to a dynamic business environment.