More and more companies are seeking to support their future supply chain planning with a technology platform that integrates all aspects of planning – strategic, tactical, and operative (“end-to-end”).
They are increasingly relying on SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP), a cloud solution from the software provider SAP, according to a Camelot ITLab study. Transparency, inventory reduction and improved customer service are regarded as the main benefits of end-to-end supply chain planning.
For the study, Camelot ITLab interviewed supply chain and IT managers from around 80 companies. The focus was on supporting supply chain planning processes with SAP technology.
“With the availability of appropriate software solutions such as SAP Integrated Business Planning, companies are becoming increasingly willing to integrate their supply chain planning processes. End-to-end supply chain planning addresses business-critical issues such as reliable order confirmations and dealing with continuously fluctuating requirements, thus helping to achieve goals such as optimizing delivery reliability and supply chain costs,” says Frank Arnold, Head of Sales Supply Chain Management at Camelot ITLab.
However, the survey participants recognized the complexity of the task. The integration of tactical and operational planning (24 percent) and change management (24 percent) are seen as the greatest challenges in the implementation of end-to-end supply chain planning. However, the maturity of the corresponding processes (21 percent) and master data management (19 percent) are also regarded as possible stumbling blocks.
Major changes in SAP IBP
When it comes to supporting supply chain planning with SAP software solutions, the study participants are currently confronted with extensive changes. SAP’s roadmap for supply chain planning solutions envisions the use of S/4 Hana and SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP). The survey results show that the companies surveyed are accepting the roadmap and are engaged in targeted preparations for it.
More than 40 percent of the study participants will switch to S/4 Hana and almost a quarter will introduce SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP). When migrating to the new SAP planning software, most companies start by replacing SAP APO Demand Planning with the SAP IBP Demand Management module. The second most common module is SAP IBP Sales & Operations Planning, partly with integration of forecast data from existing systems.
“The study results and our discussions with customers and potential customers show that many companies already have a clear strategy for their end-to-end supply chain planning and that leading companies are already working on its implementation. This trend could become even more pervasive in the future,” added Frank Arnold.