S&OP in SAP-APO – a reality!
S&OP remains a distant perspective for many SMEs
For most Supply Chain stakeholders, Sales & Operations Planning ranks as the supreme achievement – from a process perspective. However, when companies gear up to convert organization and process efforts into a concrete IT solution, only a few can actually afford to go forward. Most players stick to their existing Excel-based tools, mainly because of the significant investment required for solutions available from the market.
Software editors typically push subjects such as big data, cloud access, ERP integration, calculation power and advanced optimization techniques – whereas S&OP solutions should primarily remain simple, easy and flexible – like Excel… On the other hand, many companies have invested in APS solutions to enhance their planning capability – which constitutes a meanigful piece of an S&OP intiative. Often, the APS came first to support DP, MPS, DRP and other planning processes.
Addressing SMEs’ requirements with pragmatism
We have been focusing our efforts on SAP-APO since 2001 at DOWAP, and decided to create a technical tool to support S&OP using APO-DP in 2010. SAP remained silent at the time on this trendy topic. Then came the launch of IBP, which has many qualities, yet still qualifies as a complex solution sized for key SAP customers and requiring a significant investment.
Our main driver was to design an easy-to-implement and comprehensive S&OP solution, for any company running APO-DP – not only the large ones. The proposed design covers all concepts of a modern S&OP (or Integrated Business Planning), with supply, demand, and financial dimensions, as well as simulation functionnalities – in real-time and agile mode delivery. Our solution consists of 4 main planning areas (cubes) that communicate in real-time like in a meta-cube, allowing to cross dimensions from product, resource and BOR. We developed ABAP elements to allow this dynamism, not possible otherwise. We believe the result to be outsanding and very easy to deploy.
Finally, our XSBS modular solution lets S&OP stakeholders personalize their screens and simulations to their requirements by simplifying the connection to SAP objects from Excel.
Daniel Lellouche – CEO and Founder – XSBS-DowapSolutions
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