SAP is constantly modernizing its products to help customers implement industry best practices, respond to ever-changing market conditions, and stay ahead of their competition. One of those products is the SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) supply chain management (SCM) system.

SAP APO is a suite of supply chain planning applications that provide forecasting, planning, and optimization tools. In this article, we’ll break down the core components of SAP APO, different application levels within SAP APO, and explain the benefits you’ll experience with the solution. Let’s dive in.

Core Components of SAP APO 

SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization is one of the most important components of SAP Supply Chain Management. SAP APO also integrates with SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), which supplies it with master, transaction production, sales, and material data in real time. Let’s examine each component in SAP APO a bit more closely. 

Demand Planning

Demand Planning (DP) helps you better understand your customers’ future demands so that you can deliver from a supply chain and business management standpoint and includes advanced forecasting and demand planning tools.

With the demand planning library of statistical forecasting and advanced macro techniques, it’s easier than ever to create forecasts based on demand history and other factors, test forecast models and results, and adopt a consensus-based approach to reconcile the demand plans of different departments. Marketing and promotion can also be executed by forecasting market demand using this application. 

Supply Network Planning

Supply Network Planning (SNP) integrates manufacturing, purchasing, distribution, and transportation, allowing you to use a consistent model for tactical planning and sourcing. Supply Network Planning also uses advanced optimization techniques based on penalties and constraints to make it simpler to plan product flow throughout the supply chain, resulting in optimized production, purchasing, and distribution.

By taking advantage of both heuristic and mathematical optimization methods of Supply Network Planning, you can ensure that your company meets demands and that transportation, production, and warehousing resources are operating at peak performance. 

Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS)

Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS) allows manufacturing units to plan material and other critical resources by analyzing the lead time and resources needed for production.

An example of PP/DS is when the application can plan for products that require a long replenishment lead time or products produced on bottleneck resources. The results of PP/DS? Reduced inventory costs, increased on-time delivery performance, and lessened lead times (not to mention happier customers).

Global Availability to Promise

This application is used by companies that manufacture and sell products on a global scale. An availability check is performed on required items, existing product allocations, and a forecast check. The availability check on required items is performed on the available to promise quantity, which is then calculated from the current stock, planned receipts, and planned requirements.

The available-to-promise tool automatically checks stock and planned goods movements, as well as for products that require longer shipping times due to certain region requirements. This forecast check allows you to identify if there are enough planned independent requirements available for the sales order, something that might get missed otherwise.

Supply Chain Cockpit

Supply Chain Cockpit (SCC) consists of a graphical instrument panel for supply chain management, one that can be configured to conditions within many different industries and business situations.

Supply Chain Cockpit not only allows you to view the entire supply chain from every angle, but you can drill down to the smallest detail. It can also be used to minimize the complexity of relationships among supply chain components and makes dealing with a complicated supply chain much easier and far more manageable. 

Benefits of Using SAP APO

Today’s supply chains are in turmoil. The swings in supply and demand that started during the pandemic continue to wreak havoc. SAP APO is used throughout every industry around the world to ensure supply chain stability and to ultimately remain competitive. 

Here are some of the benefits companies gain by using SAP APO:

  • Enhanced supply chain and demand planning for internal and external supply chains
  • Improved forecast accuracy and fewer inventory buffers
  • Increased revenue and improved profit margins
  • Optimized production planning for all of your factories
  • Reduced purchasing, production, and logistics costs
  • Reliable sales order confirmation dates
  • Enhanced demand planning process to meet your customers’ needs
  • Seamlessly integrate with SAP ERP to access sales, material, and other data

Getting Started with SAP APO

SAP APO is one of the best solutions that support scm, and our US-based SAP consulting team can help you take advantage of all its features to gain more out of your solution.

We’ve worked with many different companies in a wide variety of industries on their SAP APO setup, giving us plenty of unique insights we’re ready to share with your team.  Let us help you improve your supply chain by taking advantage of all the important components of SAP APO.

Here’s a sample profile of one of our SAP APO senior-level consultants to help you know what to expect when partnering with us:

Surety Systems Senior SAP APO Consultant:

  • US Citizen
  • 20+ years of cumulative SAP experience
  • Strongest in SAP SCM/APO module(s)
  • Completed several full SAP APO implementations and multiple upgrades
  • Excels with DP, Master Data, CIF, SNP, PPDS, and GATP
  • Well-versed in SAP S/4HANA; Supported numerous clients

Learn more about SAP APO and our SAP supply chain management services by contacting us today.