With the latest release of SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) 2002 due to be released to customers soon, it’s time once again for a quarterly peek behind the curtain of IBP. I’ve decided to highlight some innovations and enhancements of the newest version that I found particularly interesting. In addition to those highlighted below, there are a slew of stability enhancements in the 2002 release concerning integrity checks for configuration, performance improvements, and simplification. I highly recommend that you read through the What’s New in SAP Integrated Business Planning 2002 overview to see what will impact you now versus later.
#1: Batch Jobs - Notification for Jobs
This has been a persistent demand from most customers, and SAP is finally planning to deliver it as part of its 2002 release. It will now be possible to configure the system to send notifications to a group of users whenever the execution of a job fails. Going forward, we will be looking forward to configuring the notification group by individual jobs.
#2: Rolling Aggregation
SAP has introduced a new function, IBP_RAGGR, to enable the Rolling aggregation of key figures across several time periods for a specified time window. This will be extremely useful, for example, to compute the Forward Days of supply, Average safety stock over the next 13 buckets, Historical demand over the past ‘N’ periods, etc.
#3: Ability to Compare Planning Areas
Up to this point, it has been a nightmare for the configuration team to compare changes across the different planning areas. Especially when considering the shorter upgrade cycles and agile methodology and lack of stringent change control in the same tenant, we have noticed that developers often lost track of some changes.
With the all-new compare planning area option, it will be relatively easy for the user to compare the different planning areas and narrow down the changes between them.
#4: Periods of Coverage for Lot Sizes in Inventory Optimization
Many process and food industries, which have seasonal demand and large changeover times, utilize the periods of coverage for lot sizes for production (for example, product is being planned using block planning and is run only once in 3 months), and in the case of ocean shipment or rail shipment, also utilize the periods of coverage for transportation lot sizes (for example, only one shipment per month). Though this functionality was supported in supply planning, it was missing from the I/O. With this new SAP IBP release, it will now be possible to integrate these lot sizes with Inventory Optimization. This is very helpful for aligning Inventory Optimization logic with planning logic.
#5: Planning Calendars
You can now create new planning calendars using the Planning Calendars app to achieve more accurate planning by defining exceptional days, thus reflecting the diversity of the working schedule of your locations. The planning calendars can be used as inbound calendars in time-series-based supply planning. This will allow the integration of factory calendars in S/4 or ECC with the inbound calendar in IBP. You can use this feature to define whether a period is working or non-working, enabling you to specify when a receiving location for a location source of supply is open or closed; that is, when it can and can’t receive goods.
SAP has been making tremendous improvements in simplifying the model design by including several functions like Last period aggregation, YTD calculations, and the most recent function related to rolling aggregations. These enhancements have enabled our clients to simplify their model and move several key aspects of reporting and KPI to native IBP. Our team has helped clients utilize these innovative functions in rebuilding their planning views to suit their MBR processes by having the ability to compare the YTD and YTG targets. With the newest release of SAP IBP, we have been working closely with our clients and have identified several use cases to make functional enhancements and support business needs.