With the latest release of SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) 1908, it’s time once again for a quarterly peek behind the curtain of IBP. I’ve decided to highlight some innovations and enhancements that I found particularly interesting. In addition to those highlighted below, there are a slew of stability enhancements in the 1908 Release along the lines of integrity checks for configuration. I highly recommend that you read through the What’s New in SAP Integrated Business Planning 1908 overview to see what will impact you now vs later.
The first set of changes I’d like to talk about relate to Demand Driven MRP (DDMRP). The 1905 Release was the first time that IBP included all 5 phases for DDMRP. You can see my write up on that here. The 1908 Release had some significant changes with calculations, data integration and usability.
SAP has expanded its “out of the box” integration using CPI-DS (Cloud Platform Integration – Data Services) as well as the ERP add-on to S4. The add-on has a flavor of the old APO core interface but uses SDI (Smart Data Integration) as the technology. The added elements you can transfer from S4 to IBP now include Total Demand, Confirmed Orders, Min Receipt and Initial Inventory. Total Demand utilizes the ERP add-on element /IBP/TOTAL_DEMAND_QTY_CI_KF. The remaining elements utilize CPI-DS templates. This gives you a choice for total demand that will be used to calculate ADU. You can point to an IBP key figure, feed it through the S4 or ERP add-on using SDI or transfer from ECC/S4 using CPI-DS templates.
The next change is the method for calculating ADU (Average Daily Demand). The old method was to use an IO operator for forecast error. I found this to be a little glitchy and we had to make some modifications to the standard key figures that came from the sample planning area. The new method uses two new key figures and two new attributes (available in sample planning area 8). The key figures are for total demand future and total demand historical. Combined with the attributes for ADU future horizon and ADU past horizon, the key figure for Total Average Daily Usage automatically calculates the ADU used by the demand driven replenishment (DDR) operators.
Another usability enhancement was added to display decoupled lead time in days instead of weeks.
The last call out I want to make is that the planning operators have moved from IO to their own dedicated section. You can now find DDMRP operators in the planning operators section for DDR.
Key Figure Enhancements
The next enhancement SAP has released is in the area of key figure simplification. The 1905 Release gave us the cumulative aggregation function IBP_CAGGR. The 1908 Release provides us with a much-needed last period aggregation function IBP_LPA. This simplifies the effort to grab the last value in a range and use that for aggregation. The elimination of helper key figures makes the calculation cleaner, faster and easier to configure.
Anyone who has spent time setting up IBP has inevitably toggled between the configuration app and the Excel UI to try to figure out what is behind a key figure. SAP has taken a step forward by giving us hover-over help for key figures in the Excel UI. When working in the Edit View of a planning view, you can hover over a key figure to get a pop-up with essential information to clarify the purpose of a key figure. This is helpful when you have hundreds of key figures and many have similar names!
Supply Chain Network
SAP has added a nice feature to the Supply Chain Network fiori app. Not everyone can memorize a full bill of material and we don’t want to toggle back and forth between the master data workbook in excel and the supply chain network map.
Now you can enter a finished good, a semi-finished good or raw material and the supply chain network app will give you a plus sign to go up or down the network map. Pretty handy for testing while giving you a graphical where-used function! As you expand, the material numbers get added to your filter. Sadly, there is no collapse button at this time!
Troubleshooting for missing authorizations was not the easiest process prior to the 1908 Release. It was a bit of a guessing game as to what was missing or what was restricted somewhere. SAP has given us a tool to trace a user’s activity and record successes and failures. The new app is called Display Authorization Trace and can be found in the Identity and Access Management section. You use the app to turn on the trace and then turn it off when you are done. The results can be viewed in the app.
Merger Policy for Key Figure
This release, SAP has given us more control over how IBP allows users to enter overrides in the system via adjustment key figures. Seems pretty simple, right? Since IBP time series doesn’t use orders, they had to create these upstream and downstream key figures. For example, a stock transport order would appear as both a receipt at the destination and a demand at the source. Quantities must be in both key figures for the system to balance. Planners can override these.
So, what happens if a planner enters an upstream override? If its’ outside lead time, it’ll create an entry in the downstream override to sync them up. However, if you delete the upstream later, the downstream is still there and the system will put the value back in upstream. What happens if you put values in both and they don’t match? This gets a little black box-ish and IBP has logic to choose which to use and which to get rid of. Maybe not your logic but it’s choosing anyway. SAP added a parameter in a drop-down list on the operator where you can force the logic to go in a particular direction. Not perfect but at least you have more control now!
As always, there’s much more in the latest release to discuss and we’d be happy to take a shot at helping you understand some of these features and changes. Feel free to reach out to us!