SAP IBP for Sales & Operations Planning

Importance of Sales & Operations Planning

In recent years, there has been a shift in thinking about S&OP and a move towards a paradigm that is better characterized as Integrated Business Planning. It is no longer about simply matching supply with demand or about chasing quarter-end or year-end financial goals or conversations focused on the supply chain function alone. S&OP in the age of IBP is about allocating resources (think of the 4Ms of Men, Machines, Materials and Money) to generate profitable responses to customer needs. This is accomplished by collaborating across all functions in an organization, led by senior management. It also means that S&OP process is no longer just about volumes, but value - and value is embedded every step of the way.

This new S&OP paradigm requires a robust and scalable database and platform functionalities such as what-if analyses and scenario planning. SAP's IBP provides such a platform to help companies adopt this new paradigm.

Some Key Trends and Challenges in Sales & Operations Planning

Need for effective cross functional engagement to overcome siloed planning (symptoms: functional goals, disparate perspectives, disconnected processes)

Managing volatility: Ability to simulate effects of demand and supply volatility and collaborate on responses

Need for timely, accurate, integrated data that is also easily scalable

Ability to document plan assumptions, reasons/context of key decision

SAP IBP for Sales & Operations Planning Capabilities

Unified Planning Environment & Collaboration

SAP IBP provides unified data model for cross business processes. This helps functions to re-align towards common organizational goals.

Information flow among business units are transparent & real-time. This means demand planners & supply planners can work collaboratively in alignment with organizational financial targets. This leads to effective decision-making during planning as well as operational phases.

Seamless Integration and Advanced Dashboards & Analytics

SAP IBP can be integrated seamlessly with other SAP / non-SAP IT systems, on-cloud or on-premise through SAP’s Cloud Platform Integration services. This enables rapid flow of data into a IBP’s Unified Data Model. Along with IBP’s Advanced Analytics & intuitive Dashboards capability powered by HANA, the planners can visualize key supply chain aspects in real-time and can take correct, timely decisions, which is vital for an effective S&OP process.

Documentation & Tracking of Past Plan Assumptions, Key Decisions & Reasons

With IBP’s Integrated reporting, each S&OP cycle along with decisions, discussions, approvals can be recorded.

Retrieval of previous cycles' data along with various types of commentary can be easily done with preconfigured apps integrated within the tool.

Source: Kepczynski R, Dimofte A, Jandhyala R, Sankaran G, Boyle A (2018) Implementing Integrated Business Planning: A Guide Exemplified with Process Context and SAP IBP Use Cases. Management for Professionals Ser. Springer