SAP Demand Planning, which is part of SAP Supply Chain Management, is a powerful and flexible tool that supports the demand planning and forecasting processes in your company. User-specific planning layouts and interactive planning books enable you to integrate people from different departments, and even different companies, into the forecasting process. Using the library of statistical forecasting and advanced macro techniques, you can create forecasts based on demand history as well as any number of causal factors, carry out predefined and self-defined tests on forecast models and forecast results, and adopt a consensus-based approach to reconcile the demand plans of different departments. To add marketing intelligence and make management adjustments, you use promotions and forecast overrides. The seamless integration with SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) Supply Network Planning supports an efficient sales and operations planning (S&OP) process.
To find out more about SAP Demand Planning, visit the SCM Wiki.
The Demand Planning ES bundle simplifies and extends the use of SAP Demand Planning, by enabling both the connection of external applications or user interfaces to SAP SCM (version 5.0 or later) and the execution of SAP Demand Planning through enterprise services.
The deployment of the Demand Planning ES bundle:
- increases the flexibility for using other user interfaces custom-made for the needs of planners, sales representatives, or managers who need to work with or retrieve data from SAP Demand Planning. Previously, only those familiar with the graphical user interface (GUI) of SAP Demand Planning could work with the functionality.
- simplifies master data management as specific enterprise services for creating, changing, and deleting SAP Demand Planning master data (so-called characteristic value combinations) can now be used.
- streamlines the basic configuration of SAP Demand Planning since setup steps (such as the creation of the planning object structure and planning area) can now be easily handled using enterprise services
This functionality allows master data, configuration data, and application data to be collected and maintained in any format desired (typically using a spreadsheet) and then exchanged with SAP Demand Planning in SAP SCM (version 5.0 or later) using the enterprise services in the Demand Planning ES bundle.
Demand Planning (click to enlarge)
The Demand Planning ES bundle leverages enterprise SOA through service-enabling SAP Demand Planning and interfacing it with SAP SCM (version 5.0 or later). It covers the basic aspects of SAP Demand Planning. This wiki page will show in five use cases how enterprise services can be used to:
- Configure SAP Demand Planning
- Work with SAP Demand Planning master data
- Perform lifecycle management for SAP Demand Planning
- Enable trade promotion management by easy connectivity of SAP Demand Planning to a CRM solution
- Execute interactive demand planning in a spreadsheet that can interact with SAP Demand Planning through enterprise services. For this example, Microsoft and SAP provide a ready-to-use Duet scenario.
For each example, you will find a business description and an explanation of the usage of the enterprise services.
This ES bundle is valuable to all businesses interested in simplifying or extending usage of SAP Demand Planning, for example using custom-made user interfaces or by connecting the application with other software. Consultants can now collect all relevant configuration information in a spreadsheet and then upload the data to SAP Demand Planning using enterprise services. Regional demand planners at a large company could use the ES bundle to create local demand plans and then sync the information with a demand plan at the company's headquarters. Companies focusing on CRM can now easily exchange information on promotions between their CRM system and SAP Demand Planning using enterprise services.
For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.
How to Use This ES Bundle
Demand planning is typically carried out by a small group of highly specialized individuals who manage the planning and forecasting process either for an entire organization or for large parts of it (such as divisions, product groups, and regions). These planners require training and experience with the SAP Demand Planning application and its user interface. These planners have to coordinate all required input, from sales representatives and others, and consolidate the data to come up with a demand plan. This often leads to suboptimal demand plans since not all relevant input from stakeholders is considered or provided to them in time. Also, the planners would typically also have to provide the information about the current demand plan to other interested units in the company that usually have no direct system access or knowledge of how to access the data of interest to them.
Configuring SAP Demand Planning and maintaining master data is currently also a time-consuming process that requires specialized skills, especially when setting up the application for the first time. It requires trained consultants to collect data from the business experts and later maintain it using several transactions in the SAP SCM system. This often leads to longer and more tedious implementation projects than is necessary. The enterprise services offered in the Demand Planning ES bundle make the process more efficient, as we will see.
This section will explore a series of use cases for the Demand Planning ES bundle. Each use case will show how different outcomes can be achieved by using the enterprise services in different combinations. While these examples illustrate some of the ways that this ES bundle could be used, the intention is to show the flexibility and reusability of these business objects and enterprise service operations so that you will have a clearer understanding of how to best deploy them in your own environment. The use cases sometimes refer to users in various roles using enterprise services and business objects. The use cases are written this way to illustrate the logical flow of the services; in actuality, end users access the enterprise services through an interface and the business objects and enterprise services are working behind the scenes. Please note that this wiki is also a space for you to share knowledge and collaborate with others who are implementing the Demand Planning ES bundle, so please come back and share your experiences with this bundle after implementing it. Please be aware that the use cases described are not delivered by SAP but are examples only of how the Services in this ES bundle can be used.
Use Case 1: Setting Up SAP Demand Planning Using Enterprise Services
A shampoo company wants to set up demand planning for its products, taking into account regions and product groups. But before the planning can start, an administrator or business architect must confirm the scenario data is in the SAP SCM system. Parts of the needed scenario data are:
- A planning object structure, which contains plannable characteristics for one or more planning areas. Characteristics determine the levels on which you can plan and save data such as product, location, brand or region.
- A planning area, which is a central data structure for demand planning. It specifies, for example, the unit of measure in which the data is planned (ml or packs for the shampoo) as well as key figures (such as sales history, planned demand, and promotion).
The combination of this data is called a Demand Planning Scenario.
This data can now be collected and orchestrated by a business architect in spreadsheets or other formats convenient to the customer. To create a demand planning scenario from scratch, the administrator or business architect would then use the Create Scenario enterprise service operation to create a Demand Planning Scenario business object. This allows a business architect (such as an SAP Demand Planning power user or administrator) to flesh out the following aspects of the plan:
- Characteristics (customers, regions, and so forth)
- Key figures (such as historic sales and promotional campaigns – up to 10 figures)
- Time period of plan (by week or month)
- Units of measure
- Currency (optional)
In addition, service operations like Change Scenario, Cancel Scenario, and Read Scenario are provided. In this use case, for example, several product lines can be planned, such as specialty shampoos and normal shampoos. Since they might have very different markets, they require individual planning attributes.
A so-called planning book is used in SAP Demand Planning to define the content of the interactive planning screen. Several planners might work within one product line and might require different views of the planning data. For this purpose, SAP Demand Planning uses different data views. Both planning books and data views require additional configuration in SAP SCM before SAP Demand Planning can be used.
After customizing its first two product lines, the company decides to use SAP Demand Planning for another four product lines: liquid soap, bar soap, shaving cream, and deodorant. All these product lines should profit from the work already done for the first product lines. The business architect creates a Demand Planning Scenario Template using the enterprise service operation Create Scenario Template, which contains the basic information for all the new product lines:
- Characteristics that are used
- Key figures that are used
- One or more time periods in which data is stored
- Unit of measure in which data is planned
- Planning calendar representing a specific work pattern (optional)
- Currency in which data is planned (optional)
Related service operations such as Change Scenario Template, Read Scenario Template, Cancel Scenario Template, and Find Scenario Template by ID are provided for the administration of these templates.
Based on the templates already created, those responsible for the new product lines can easily extend and modify the templates to adapt to their planning situation and create their own Demand Planning Scenario.
Use Case 2: Maintaining Master Data (in SAP SCM)
The configuration has been started, but the demand planner cannot yet start his planning. First, master data must be maintained and in this instance that means that all possible combinations of characteristic values have to be maintained. For example, the product line for colored shampoos has 10 different products that should be planned for 5 different regions and 5 big customers. That results in a maximum of 10 x 5 x 5 = 250 characteristic value combinations that must be planned individually. To enter those 250 value combinations the system, the business architect can now easily collect the data, typically in a spreadsheet, and upload each value combination to SCM using the Create Combination enterprise service operation, which uses the Demand Planning Characteristic Value Combination business object. For greater efficiency, he can do mass maintenance using the Create Combinations enterprise service operation. Similarly, he deletes data using the service operations Cancel Combination and Cancel Combinations. Additionally, if he wants to verify which combinations already exist in the system for a certain shampoo, for example, he can use the enterprise service Find Characteristic Value Combination By Characteristic Value.
Use Case 3: Perform Realignment (in SAP SCM)
Some time after implementing the Demand Planning ES bundle, the shampoo company revises the formula for its colored shampoos and wants to launch them with a new packaging. The company assumes that sales and distribution of the new shampoos will be similar to the old ones, just at a slightly higher price. To provide the demand planning algorithms with the important input of historical sales data that is stored in a time series for all existing characteristic value combinations (combinations of shampoo, region, and customer), the company wants to use the historical data for the old shampoo as the basis for planning for the new one. As a result, the new characteristic value combinations need to be created based on the existing combinations for the old shampoo products.
In demand planning, this process is called "realignment." The business architect can now easily use the enterprise service operation Find Characteristic Value Combination By Characteristic Value to identify existing value combinations that can be overwritten (for example, when a new product directly replaces an existing product) using the enterprise service Realign Characteristic Value Combination.
Use Case 4: Manage Planning and Information Exchange on Promotions between SAP SCM and CRM Applications
The shampoo company is also setting up customer relationship management (CRM) processes to manage its customers. One of the business scenarios in use by the company is Trade Promotion Management. You can use this business scenario to plan and coordinate marketing activities in cooperation with retailers to achieve a corporate-wide marketing and sales strategy. This leads to increased profitability of all joint marketing activities between you and your clients. As well as increasing brand capital, name recognition, and market share, this business scenario enables you to increase sales volume and put new products on the market.
Consumer product manufacturers are spending an increasingly large proportion of their marketing budget on trade promotions. For this reason, marketing, sales, and purchasing departments are tightly integrated with the marketing process. You can carry out evaluations of current and future plans based on data from your company or from external sources.
Trade Promotion Management offers the following benefits:
- A fast planning process
- The greatest possible planning reliability
- Savings in cost and time
- Greater transparency with regard to company processes
- Efficient reporting with the best possible analysis methods
The information on the promotions is also an important input to SAP Demand Planning and the shampoo company now wants to transfer this information from CRM to SAP Demand Planning. Before the Demand Planning ES bundle was available, a company interested in this integration would need to implement several BAPIs. Now customers can use the easy-to-understand enterprise services that operate on the Demand View Of Promotion business object. With the enterprise service operation Create Demand View of Promotion, a promotion, such as a price cut for the supermarkets for the two months prior to Christmas with supplementary TV commercials, can be introduced in SAP Demand Planning. As a result, the company can expect higher levels of sales. With the additional enterprise service operations Cancel Demand View of Promotion and Change Demand View of Promotion, the promotions can be maintained in SAP Demand Planning. In addition, planners can look for and review promotions within SAP Demand Planning using the enterprise services Read Demand View Of Promotion, Find Promotion by Demand Plan, and Find Promotion by ID.
Use Case 5: Performing Demand Planning Using a Spreadsheet
Most aspects of this use case are currently realized with Duet, a joint product from SAP and Microsoft. Demand Planning with Duet uses Microsoft® Office Excel® as a user interface, and so-called planning sheets show the relevant data in a straightforward, easy-to-use format. With the appropriate authorization, a sales manager can analyze and edit the data. The changes are then saved to SAP Demand Planning. The final Demand Plan is used as input for production and purchasing components or raw materials needed to manufacture a product.
Scenario data such as key figures are retrieved from SCM using services from the Demand Planning ES bundle (click to enlarge)
For demand planning with Duet, the relevant enterprise services use a synchronous connection method. Any changes made to the planning data while a user is offline are stored locally within Excel until the user is connected with the back-end application again.
When Duet is used, this ES bundle leverages much of the functionality of Excel so that planners can create graphs, add columns, or rows for additional calculations, and use formulas as required. The bundle takes demand planning to the next level: those with the closest proximity to the customers and therefore the best awareness of their demand requirements can use an intuitive, familiar interface to contribute their input to the planning process. These information workers (typically sales or marketing managers) who previously had no access to the planning data can also see all information relating to customers and products for which they have authorization. Excel is familiar to users and therefore requires minimum training.
Integration with Excel via Duet is just one possible use case; customers can consume the enterprise services using other user interfaces such as other spreadsheet applications or modeling tools.
In a possible use case for the shampoo company, a demand planner sets out to create a Demand Plan – a collection of quantitative forecasts of the product requirements within a planning period, generated according to demand at the product, region, or customer level. The Demand Plan business object provides service operations that the demand planner can use to create, change, or delete a Demand Plan. The Demand Plan is created on the basis of historical demand or consumption and is used to determine sales-oriented requirement quantities.
A wizard allows users to get data from SAP Demand Planning using enterprise services in this ES bundle (click to enlarge)
The Demand Plan business object also provides operations for the demand planner to maintain one or more demand plan versions for a Demand Plan. A demand plan version is a prerequisite to retrieve or change key figure values because each key figure value is connected to a specific demand plan version.
To restrict the content covered by the demand plan, the demand planner can use service operations for maintaining demand plan selections. Demand plan selections are used to retrieve key figure values of a demand plan only for a subset of the Demand Planning Characteristic Value Combinations.
Using his spreadsheet, the demand planner starts a new plan using the Create Demand Plan enterprise service operation. This allows him to create a Demand Plan tied to a particular scenario. The Demand Plan appears as a grid with the characteristics, key figures, and time periods mapped across it. Typically, a Demand Plan is created only once after the creation of a Demand Planning Scenario.
A Demand Planning Sheet, which can be used to read and update information in SAP Demand Planning (click to enlarge)
The demand planner can use the Cancel Demand Plan service operation to delete demand plans that are not required anymore.
The service operations Change Demand Plan Key Figure Value and Update Demand Plan Key Figure Value are provided for changing or updating individual key figure values, such as the forecasted sales value for shampoo A for customer B in Germany in February.
The Demand Plan can be saved in various versions and with user-specific views to make the planning process easier. The planner can create versions of the Demand Plan with different values for key figures using the Create Demand Plan Version enterprise service operation. The planner can also use the Create Demand Plan Selection enterprise service operation. A selection is a combination of criteria that is used to load data in the planning sheet, such as a range of products, range of locations, or values for brands of interest.
Similarly, the following enterprise service operations work with selections and versions:
- Read Demand Plan Selection
- Change Demand Plan Selection
- Cancel Demand Plan Selection
- Read Demand Plan Version
- Change Demand Plan Version
- Cancel Demand Plan Version
To allow less experienced users such as sales representatives to update the demand plan, the planner can create demand plan selections that can easily be displayed in a spreadsheet. These capture the important data and views of the demand plan in an easy-to-use spreadsheet format.
Additionally, query service operations are offered around the Demand Plan:
- Find Demand Plan by Scenario ID calls up the Demand Plan Scenario created earlier
- Find Demand Plan Key Figure Value by Elements can be used to read the key figure values of the Demand Plan
- Find Demand Plan Version by Demand Plan ID can be used to locate the correct version of the Demand Plan
- Find Selection by Demand Plan ID can be used to list all the selections available to get the desired view of the data
ES Bundle Connectivity
The Demand Planning ES bundle achieves connectivity between a client-specified UI and SAP SCM via SAP NetWeaver Process Integration (formerly XI) or via a direct web service interaction.
Duet Demand Planning uses the ES-DP-Bundle to provide a simple and timely access to planning Data in SCM using Microsoft Office Excel as a frontend.
SAP SCM Release SCM 5.0 SP07, including the add-on SAP SCM ES SP03 or higher SCM releases.
If this bundle is used in conjunction with Duet, please check SAP Note #1120022 for additional requirements.
The user can build a custom interface instead of using Duet, such as interfacing with another spreadsheet. Depending on the type of interface, the user might need SAP NetWeaver Visual Composer, use a guided procedure, or create a composite application using SAP NetWeaver.