SAP Integrated Business Planning FAQ

The purpose of this document is to cover common questions that come up prior to purchasing Integrated Business Planning applications. If you have technical questions related to an implementation, please see: SAP Integrated Business Planning FAQs for implementations.

General Questions

What SAP IBP customer reference assets are available?

Click here to access SAP IBP Customer Reference Assets.

What is Integrated Business Planning (IBP)?

The term “IBP” is an industry standard term referring to the process of integrating sales forecasts, inventory targets, supply plans, and financial plans into a single operational plan for the business or business unit, agreed by all parties (sales, operations, logistics, finance) and “blessed” by business leadership.

What is IBP at SAP?

In SAP terms, “IBP” is the next generation SAP supply chain planning applications that sit on SAP HANA and support the above Integrated Business Planning process.

SAP IBP for supply chain: 1 Page Product Overview

There are 5 applications in SAP IBP:

  1. SAP Integrated Business Planning for sales and operations: “One set of numbers”

1 Page Product Overview | YouTube Demo

2. SAP Supply Chain Control Tower: “Visibility”

1 Page Product Overview

    • Achieve end-to-end visibility in the extended supply chain
    • Integrate Data from various Systems
    • Drive visibility and action with configurable Analytics & Alerts and Case Management
    • Pre-delivered Supply Chain Performance (SCOR) metrics.

3. SAP Integrated Business Planning for inventory “Master Uncertainty, use inventory efficiently”

1 Page Product Overview

    • Efficiently position inventory to best respond to forecast error, demand variability and supply uncertainty
    • Multi-echelon (multi-stage) inventory optimization to solve the science of postponement
    • Drive S&OP decisions to inventory target recommendations for Planners (item-location-timeframe specific)

4. SAP Integrated Business Planning for demand: “Forecast Better”

1 Page Product Overview

    • Demand Sensing (predict and reforecast, pattern recognition)
    • Forecasting statistical techniques
    • Collaborative Demand Planning

5. SAP Integrated Business Planning for response and supply: “Master supply planning and response intelligence”

1 Page Product Overview

    • Plan production, procurement, and distribution
    • Respond to daily disruptions through what-if analysis to change supply plans and reschedule demand
    • Manage allocations where supply is scarce

Comparison of each of the SAP IBP solutions and their capabilities: LINK

SAP IBP Overview Blog: Getting started: What is SAP Integrated Business Planning

SAP IBP Overview Webinar: SAP IBP Overview Webinar

I have SAP APO. Do I need SAP IBP?

SAP IBP adds important functionality to SAP APO and other Advanced Planning software, but the true answer depends on YOU!

    Every customer is different. That being said there are different ways of adopting the solution.

    Even if you have SAP APO DP, you can leverage demand sensing (part of SAP IBP for demand), to obtain better short-term forecasting based on pattern recognition and multiple forecast inputs.

    SAP APO SNP vis a vis SAP IBP for inventory

    SAP IBP for inventory is a planning tool, taking in factors around risk and uncertainty (forecast error, supply uncertainty) to most efficiently absorb risk using the lowest amount of inventory to meet customer service levels. It accomplishes this by setting most-efficient safety stock targets across the supply chain.

    SAP SNP then uses these SAP IBP for inventory “SS” targets to optimize how to most efficiently supply demand (forecast + demand + any change in SS). This meets both service levels (by supplying safety stock), forecast and existing orders.

    SAP APO SNP does have a safety stock optimization function, but this is extremely limited in scope: SAP APO SNP only handles an individual location, essentially considering only demand variability. SAP IBP for inventory considers the entire supply, using multi-stage optimization, as well as considering additional uncertainties like supply timing variability. SAP IBP for inventory can meet the same service level targets using (typically) 10-30% less inventory.

    What are the benefits of SAP IBP?

    • End to end comprehensive view of supply chain current and historical supply chain performance
    • Alerts quickly identify current and future potential supply chain problems
    • Collaboration enables the quick resolution of issues across functions
    • Real-time scenarios and simulation on entire model
    • Demand, supply chain, and financial model at aggregate and detailed levels

    What is the value proposition?

    • 1%-2% Top Line Revenue Growth
    • 5%-15% Better Inventory turns with improved service levels by using inventory more efficiently
    • 5-10% better order fulfillment metrics, better service
    • Better user engagement, faster planning cycles and consistent planning processes
    • Full support for your monthly or weekly planning processes

    What synergy is available when applying 2 or more SAP IBP applications? In other words, why does "one + one" = "more than 2"?

    SAP IBP for sales and operations + SAP Supply Chain Control Tower = Management level strategic control and visibility over the business.

    SAP IBP for sales and operations + SAP IBP for inventory = taking S&OP to SIOP, taking S&OP decisions and applying multistage inventory optimization in near-real-time to drive inventory targets to the Planners the same day the S&OP decision is made.

    SAP IBP for inventory + SAP IBP for demand: = A 1-2 punch against uncertainty! Use IBP for demand to improve forecasting and, recognizing that even the best forecast is not 100% accurate (and suppliers aren’t 100% reliable either), position inventory most efficiently to buffer the remaining uncertainty in your supply chain.

    SAP IBP for supply and response + SAP Supply Chain Control Tower = Provides instant visibility to global inventory and capacity utilization. It incorporates the ability to understand exceptions and run what-if simulations on a global level to make decisions and effectively orchestrate fast issue resolution.

            Does SAP IBP support Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP)?

            Yes - please check out this blog post for more details.

            What does SAP IBP look like?

            How do I get started with SAP IBP?

            Want to try SAP IBP out:

            Please contact L.W.Bryan Charnock if you have any questions with the Starter Edition on the SAP Store. Starter Edition FAQ.

            Ready to buy?

            Our sales team would be happy to clarify any questions that you may have regarding SAP Integrated Business Planning and the Onboarding Process.

            Contact our SAP IBP Sales experts below:

            See our complete list of local country numbers

              Customer References

              Where can I learn about customer references with IBP?

              We have a large number of SAP Integrated Business Planning customers from many industries including: High Tech, Consumer Products, Life Science, Chemicals, and Industrial Machinery and Components.

              Here are some ways to hear from our customers:

              1. Listen to recorded SAP IBP Customer Story Webcasts:

              2. Listen to a short customer story video:

              3. Review a case study:

              4. Reference Call:

              SAP hosts multiple reference live calls where you can ask your questions directly to our customers.

              Contact your SAP Sales Team to request a recording of a previous session or to be included in a future session.

              Subscription and Services

              How long does the system provisioning process take?

              Starter Edition, Test, and Production systems can be available in as little as 5 business days of completing the order and submitting the completed provisioning checklist.

              What software is included in the SAP IBP Subscription?

              • SAP IBP – licensed Integrated Business Planning application(s)
              • SAP CPI-DS – Cloud Platform Integration - Data Services; CPI-dS gives you the ability to easily load data into IBP and extract data into other systems.
              • SAP IAS – Identity Authentication Service- Single Sign On capability
              • SAP JAM – SAP JAM is SAP’s collaboration platform (Optional additional license required)

              What do I get with my subscription?

              • System operations support
              • Upgrades
              • Standard application support
              • Data security
              • System monitoring
              • Access to subscribed IBP application(s), IAS, and CPI-DS
              • Access to the SAP IBP Customer Network

              Think about all the IT dollars you will save!

              What is the release cycle and patch upgrade process?

              SAP wants to make sure you get the latest and greatest bug fixes and enhancements, therefore we provide our customers with system updates every 2 to 3 weeks.

              Updated Releases (with major enhancements) come out 4 times a year.

              To find out more about the upgrade process and communication Information, please see this link.

                    Where can I get more information on each patch/release?


                    How long does it take to implement SAP IBP applications?

                    Implementations can take as little as 3 months. Of course, implementation timelines can range due to scope, implementation approach, data quality, and resource availability.

                    Upon request, the SAP Services team and SAP Partners would be happy to provide you with a sample implementation approach and plan.

                        Which SAP partners are enabled on SAP IBP applications?

                        Please contact L.W.Bryan Charnock for more information regarding SAP Partners for IBP.

                        Cloud and Security

                        How do I access SAP IBP in the cloud?

                        Through a URL provided by SAP. You can access SAP IBP through Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.

                        How do I load and extract data from the cloud?

                        SAP’s proprietary SAP Cloud Integration has prebuilt templates that allow you to load and extract data from many standard SAP systems as well as non-SAP systems.

                        I understand that SAP IBP is available in the cloud, how do I know that my data and system is secure?

                        SAP has very high levels of data center and data security meeting all the key certification and audit requirements.

                        SAP takes data security and system reliability very seriously. Take a tour of our data centers and learn about data security at the SAP Cloud Trust Center:

                        SAP commits to a 99.5% system availability SLA for IBP on the cloud:


                        Learn More

                        Where can I find Product Documentation?

                        What Education Courses are offered for SAP IBP?