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I see this tragedy over and over - companies using SAP ECC’s Production Planning module do not know about all of the functionality contained therein so they buy additional software such as SAP’s Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO) to provide the functionality.  And then, they use about 5% of the functionality of APO, all of which was offered in ECC’s PP module anyway.

Not only is this tragic it is a waste of shareholders’ money!

I have been an SAP PP consultant for 14 years and have seen the following:

  • a personal care manufacturing company took demand from Excel spreadsheets; loaded it into APO; did the equivalent of a rough cut capacity check and then fed this demand into ECC’s demand management module.


                    Hello company – you’re using APO as a glorified spreadsheet, nothing more.

  • a food processing company generated demand inside of APO, ran MRP in APO and then fed only the supply elements to ECC. They couldn’t perform exception monitoring in ECC because they had the supply without demand and the planners didn’t have access to the APO system to perform exception monitoring there. 


                    Hello company – how can you possibly plan without using exception monitors?

  • a pharmaceutical manufacturing company is considering implementing APO so they can get an alert when forecasted demand is greater than sales orders and then delete the excess demand.  

               Hello company – have you looked at ECC transactions MD73 Display total requirements and MD74 Adjust Requirements?

  • This list goes on and on….

SAP Software vendors – I know you’d like to sell the APO licenses but you need to come clean with the client.  If this is all the client wants to do with APO tell them they already have what they need in ECC.

Implementation companies – You’d like to get your hands on this implementation work but you too need to come clean with the client.  Tell them you’ll take on a project to implement the desired functionality inside of ECC.

IT departments and end users – You need to educate yourselves on ECC functionality. Attend SAP classes; it’s the best way to learn.

CEOs and CIOs – don’t allow the IT department of your company to be a profit center because they will buy and implement more and more software to keep their department “profitable”.

Let’s all do our bit to increase productivity; let’s extract more from the ECC resource we already own!

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