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Top 10 New Features in SAP IBP 1911

With the latest release of SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) 1911 due out, it’s time once again for our quarterly peek behind the curtain of SAP IBP.

In addition to the ones listed below, there are many stability enhancements in the 1911 release concerning integrity checks for configuration, performance enhancements, and simplification. I recommend reading through the  What’s New in SAP Integrated Business Planning 1911 overview to see what will impact you now vs. later.

1) Supply Planning – Time Series: New Unconstrained Supply Planning Heuristic

As most of you are aware, IBP TS supports the Unconstrained Supply planning heuristic and Constrained Supply planning optimizer. The Order-based planning supports the rule based constrained heuristic as well as optimizer.

SAP has introduced a new heuristic type for the time-series-based supply planning heuristic, called the finite heuristic. It creates a supply plan based on prioritized demand, taking certain supply and resource constraints into account. Priorities are derived from the costs of demand and sources of supply (higher costs mean higher priority for demands, lower costs means higher priority for sources of supply). This new heuristic is the only one that enables you to create a supply plan based on priorities and, unlike the optimizer, prioritizes demand over costs.

This will bring IBP closer to APO-SNP in terms of supporting all the 3 planning engines – Unconstrained Heuristics, Rule-based Constrained Heuristics(CTM in APO) and Optimizer.

2) Supply Planning – Usage of Calendars

Order-based planning now supports separate calendars for transportation, goods issue, and goods receipt (the latter for stock transfer and purchasing).

Previously, there was no calendar for transportation scheduling; that is, all days were considered working days. The factory calendar was used to schedule goods issues and goods receipts.

As of 1911, it is the newly added shipping, receiving and transportation calendars that support you with scheduling goods issue dates, planning duration of goods receipts and calculating transportation time – all that, considering non-working days. Similar capability is planned for inclusion in Time series-based Supply Planning and Inventory Optimization in in Q2/2020. These features will make it easier to compare and share the outputs from Inventory/Supply with the external systems or even APO-SNP.

3) Supply Planning - New Parameter for Shelf Life Planning Heuristic

IBP has introduced a new parameter to support an alternative approach for shelf life planning, where you separate quantities that you already have in stock (stock on hand) from quantities arising from new production receipts or external receipts anywhere in the supply chain network, so you can see in the IBP Excel add-in whether they originate from existing stock (stock on hand) or from new production or external receipts. To do this, set the parameter to Y (Yes).  This would enable the planners to view and prioritize the usage of the existing stock by reorganizing the supplies or negotiating with the customers.

4) Supply Planning - Order Series-Source of Supply Selection Profiles

You can now set up source of supply selection profiles to define how the planning engine selects sources of supply to meet demand. Up until 1908, the planning engine selected sources of supply based purely on their priority. As of 1911, three different selection modes are available:

  • Priority

Sources of supply are selected in order of priority.

  • Alternating

The planning engine switches between sources of supply to meet demand, switching to sources with a lower priority if necessary to fulfill demand as late as possible.

  • Quota

Sources of supply are selected to meet quotas over a particular time period. These quotas are defined using the new key figures for inbound quotas.

The alternative approach would enable the IBP to switch to the other sources of supply to minimize the pre-build of the inventory using high priority sources, instead of switching to lower priority sources.

5) Prioritizing Data Sources for Data Integration Jobs

By default, data integration jobs are added to a processing queue and processed in the order in which they were added to this queue. The size of the data integration job or the source where the data to be imported originates from does not influence this order. As a result, it is possible that smaller data integration jobs with a short processing time need to wait until bigger data integration jobs with a longer processing time have been processed. Because interrupting or canceling data integration jobs is not possible, users that import data into IBP interactively may have to wait for their data to be imported even if they only want to import small volumes of data.

This feature would enable the administrator for example to prioritize the manual loads being done by the planner from the Data integration app over the scheduled loads happening over the CPI.

6) Adding an Attribute to Multiple Planning Levels

As of 1911, you can add an attribute to multiple planning levels at once on the Attributes tab of the Planning Areas app, which considerably speeds up the model configuration process. The earlier process of manually adding them to each and every planning level was prone to errors.

This new feature would enable the implementation team to add the new attributes more easily at the later phases of the project. This would help in making a course correction much easier at a later stage, when it is discovered that a new attribute is needed to meet the business requirements.

7) Statistical Forecasting-Change Point Detection

The change point detection functionality is now available in the Manage Forecast Automation Profiles app. Change points are data points at which significant long-term changes can be observed in the characteristics of the time series. The following changes may occur:

  • Level shift, when the mean of the time series values alters significantly
  • Trend change, when the direction or the slope of a trend alters significantly

8) Inventory Optimization-Unit of Measure Conversion Support

Inventory Optimization now supports unit of measure conversion. You can plan inventory for finished goods, work in progress, and raw materials using applicable units of measure. It was a pain beforehand to create a copy of the key figures and manually configure for the UOM conversion.

9) Assigning Multiple Logical Systems to an Integration Profile

Earlier in Order Based planning, there was a technical restriction to integrate data from one ERP source into one planning area now. With the 1911 release, it is now possible to assign multiple logical systems to one integration profile. This would allow the large organizations having multiple ERP systems/planning systems to integrate easily with a single IBP planning area for response.

10) Comparing Key Figures from Different Time Periods

In the Define and Subscribe to Custom Alerts app, you can now define alert rules that compare key figures using a time-period offset.

For example, you can compare the difference between the current value of a key figure against its value from two months ago:  Consensus demand in November, compared to Consensus demand in September. This would eliminate the need for creating additional copy key figures or using attribute transformations.

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