Tis the season to be jolly…. about the new SAP IBP 2011 features, that is. No matter how you celebrate the coming season, we can all rejoice about the upcoming functionality that will salvage what little remains of 2020. So come along with me on a virtual sleigh ride as we take a look at the best enhancements coming to an IBP server near you. A full breakdown of the 2011 release can be found here!
1) Enhanced Attribute Sorting in Excel
The attribute sorting functionality in the Excel add-in has been basic for some time, with attributes sorted in ascending order based upon the order of the attributes in the view. Finally, it’s time for an emergency makeover! SAP IBP 2011 provides several functional upgrades to attribute sorting:
– Each individual attribute can be sorted in ascending or descending alphanumerical order. In the past, this could be achieved in a number of ways, most of which would “break” the native report. Now this can be done without any excel hacks.
– Each attribute can be given a customized sorting sequence, which is manipulated in a similar manner as adding/moving attributes around in “Edit Planning View” and saved in a similar manner as adding favorite planning views. Planners can now add these sort sequences to their existing reports, build them on the fly, or toggle them on and off in shared reports as necessary.
2) Mass Upload for Data Realignments
The data realignment tool has been around for several versions now and while it is a handy tool, for larger organizations with frequent product transitions or organizational shifts, creating realignment steps for thousands of rules was a nightmare, let alone validating them for accuracy…
With the SAP IBP 2011 release, users &/or admins with appropriate privileges can upload flat files with any number of different realignment rules, similar to the upload capabilities in the maintain employees application. The format of the upload file has not been released but it is likely to follow a similar format as the CSV file that can be downloaded from the realignment application.
3) Dynamic Lag for Inventory Optimization
All of the I/O fanboys out there, myself included, take this moment to revel in the sweet glory that is dynamic lags. Lag based snapshots have been around for some time in IBP and the next logical progression was to allow Inventory Optimization to take full advantage of that data.
Dynamic Lag will base Forecast Error CV on a lag that corresponds with the transportation / production lead time of each distinct product/lane combination. The overall effect will lead to more accurate variability and cumulative lead time calculations to drive more appropriate inventory targets without the need to manipulate the input data.
4) Supported Functionality for S&OP Operators
Documentation doesn’t usually make anyone’s list for best new features, but for everything there is a season and anyone who has worked with the S&OP operators in Time Series or Order Based Planning knows that determining which functions work with a particular operator is not always easy to determine without some first hand knowledge. A functionality matrix, similar to what exists for Business Roles & Catalogs but for S&OP operator functions, will be available with the SAP IBP 2011 release via the SAP Help Portal.
5) New Calculation Functions
It seems like each of the recent quarterly release have included much needed calculation functions. Version 2011 is no exception.
This handy function, aptly named, generates missing time buckets with data for key figures over a specified time range. This is much needed improvement over creating CPI-DS work arounds to ensure that the calculations line up when there is missing data.
– Multiple inputs for MIN & MAX
Now a key figure using a Min or Max aggregation can have multiple input key figures and the min or max is selected from those inputs.
Now a key figure can take into account working/ non-working calendar days directly in the calculation. Secondly, this function can be combined with other functions to create some very interesting scenarios. Case in point, this could be a very elegant way to alter capacity supply in the S&OP module based purely upon a factory calendar.
Demand Sensing without Lag Snapshots
While this feature didn’t crack the top 5 features of SAP IBP 2011, it is worth noting that lag-based snapshots are no longer a mandatory input for Demand Sensing. For companies beginning their IBP journey, a lack of snapshot data was certainly a hinderance to getting Demand Sensing up and running. Now the snapshot data can be omitted and demand sensing can be used to enhance short to mid-range forecasts. Alternatively, if consensus forecast does not vary much within the Demand Sensing horizon, this feature can eliminate some unnecessary data processing.
Where Used Application
The where used application allows developers and admins to determine how and where any key figure is used in the landscape. This includes copy operators, other key figures, and planning views.
Monitor Application Jobs
Job scheduling in IBP is now even easier and more robust with enhanced capabilities, such as quick scheduling, as well as Gantt chart representations of application job templates scheduled in the system.