Exciting IBP Game-Changing Functionality on the Way!
New Capabilities Will Change the Trajectory for Many Businesses
By Matt Campbell, Founder SCMO2
SCMO2 attended the Digital Supply Chain Partner summit at SAP’s Newtown Square headquarters last week and gained some insights on new developments coming to all the DSC portfolio products including, IBP, EWM, TM, PLM, Intelligent Asset Management, and Digital Manufacturing.
The event was packed with announcements of great new features being introduced across the entire suite, but several were serious game changers in the IBP area and really got my attention. I have to admit that I have often felt frustration over the past five years at what seems like slow development and advancement of the IBP tool. But this is a week we will look back on and recognize that things changed. The urgency with which SAP is delivering critical functionality and benefits through IBP’s cloud architecture in the quarterly releases to the user base is becoming more obviously apparent.
The big highlight for me was the announcement that Finite scheduling functionality will be made available in IBP to enable end-to-end concurrent planning in IBP—that has never been possible before in an SAP product.
The current state requires IBP planning results to integrate with PP/DS in either S/4, APO or ECC, which is problematic since multiple systems and integration diminish the ability to run scenarios evaluating both operational and tactical planning horizons. Previously with APO, this was also an issue due to integration challenges resulting from the architecture and hand off required from DP to SNP and PP/DS, compounded by the limitations of APO what-if capabilities.
It is clear that SAP does not intend to deliver all of the PP/DS capabilities available in APO or S/4 in the IBP Finite scheduling solution, but the prospect that IBP will be able to mimic PP/DS planning and scheduling results opens a number of design possibilities. Additionally, the prospect that customers with less complex scheduling requirements can deploy IBP as a complete planning and scheduling solution decouples the decision point for making supply chain planning improvements from the S/4 migration timeline.
The other exciting update for IBP, building on the news from earlier in the year, is that the Supply Chain Control Tower will actually become a true operational supply chain cockpit to monitor logistics and execution in addition to planning KPIs. SAP plans to develop a Global Control Tower that will provide intelligent visibility to Planning data from IBP, but also Manufacturing data, Asset Management, and Logistics and Supply data.
When fully developed, this will allow users to have order-level exception management for freight orders, transportation data, inventory levels, production and maintenance, purchasing and sales. This is something that all of our customers have been asking for, and soon will have available from SAP.
Designing, developing, testing and deploying software systems with the vastness and scope of this in the DSC portfolio is immensely challenging, and we in the industry have to recognize that changes cannot be made on weekly timescales. But we also get anxious for big advancements that truly move forward our efforts in the field and allow clients to realize those kinds of big game-changing gains to their businesses.
I believe this week is one we will look back upon and recognize that the game has indeed been changed. And I for one am quite excited to get started in it!