For many years, SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization, or SAP APO, used to be the gold standard for successful Supply Chain Planning. SAP, however, will discontinue standard support for the product in 2025. Find out how, by switching to SAP S/4HANA and SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP), you will be able to forecast demand even more accurately and make efficient use of your production capacity.
1. What exactly will the IT architecture for supply chain planning look like?
There is no clear successor to SAP APO. Starting from 2025, some of the functionality provided so far will be available in S/4HANA while other elements will be moved to SAP IBP. On top of that, new functionality will be added. The chart below will give you a rough overview:
Product architecture of SAP’s supply chain solutions starting 2025
2. What are the specific benefits of switching to S/4HANA and SAP IBP?
More accurate planning through real-time analytics and simulations
SAP IBP eliminates a lot of the hassles that come with SAP APO and gives you an effortless user experience. Its intuitive SAP Fiori-based UI combined with a Microsoft Excel add-on lets you quickly and easily create and compare best, worst and realistic case scenarios with different sets of master and transaction data.
User interfaces in SAP IBP
A holistic view of the supply chain
SAP IBP is built around advanced analytics and dashboard capabilities. These ensure end-to-end visibility across the supply chain – from production to purchasing and finance metrics all the way down to customers and suppliers. Intelligent algorithms are in place to automatically identify and report in real time any unexpected situations like bottlenecks or delivery problems.
Reports and dashboards to control the supply chain
Faster implementation of optimization projects
SAP IBP delivers actionable insights that drive the in-depth analysis and optimization of existing supply chain processes. Its optional direct integration with the SAP Jam social collaboration software provides a straightforward path to setting up and implementing corresponding projects across the enterprise.
3. What do you need to consider when making the switch?
Because SAP APO is not replaced by a single solution but rather by various function modules that are spread across SAP IBP and S/4HANA, carefully analyzing your processes beforehand is the key to a successful transition. If you already have a migration strategy for S/4HANA in place, you will need to reconcile it with your supply chain planning requirements.
That doesn’t mean your transition project will have to grow to mammoth proportions: SAP IBP comes with out-of-the-box templates that make it quick and easy to implement. You will start to see results within only a few months.