The article covers personal insights into the collaboration functionality (forecast & PO) – the use cases, product information & technical aspects. The native integration (cXML messages) between the tools- Integrated business planning (SAP IBP) & Ariba Supply chain collaboration (Ariba SCC) enable the real-time net demand (forecast) sharing between buyer/manufacturer and forecast commit by the supplier. In IBP, the commit will be used for scenario planning & to derive the constrained plan considering supplier commit. SAP also provided 10 custom key figures to exchange additional transactional data both ways for collaboration. Part of execution, the planning results can be published to S/4. The Purchase order (PO) / Subcon PO collaboration then took place between S/4 & Ariba SCC.
Overview of Ariba SCC
SAP Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration is an extension of Ariba Network that enhances the ability of buyers to collaborate with suppliers for direct materials in supply-chain tasks like plan, buy & make, invoice & pay. Ariba Network is a cloud-based business network where buyers and suppliers establish business relationships and run their business transactions. The collaboration is buyer funded and no need for a separate license for suppliers.
The top reasons for using the Ariba SCC is to improve collaboration, enhance end to end visibility, increase control, improve customer service.
Overview of Integrated business planning
SAP IBP is a best of breed digital supply chain planning tool cloud offering based on SAP HANA technology. It consists of five modules that can be operated as fully integrated as a unified data modeling approach or used as an individual solution. The sales & operations planning is the perfect starting point for a customer.
The solution provides great flexibility in use and adoption, collaborating with all the stakeholders within the organization, extended collaboration with suppliers, simplified user experience with SAP Fiori & excel UI, and many more.
Use cases of forecast collaboration
The below use cases are samples to explain the functionality.
Case1: The component net demand sharing between manufacturer & supplier through the data-sharing arrangement. The initial constrained supply planning run will create a feasible solution considering the lead time of the supplier however supplier may or may not be able to supply full quantity on time. The generated component net demand will be shared with the supplier requesting commit. Hence, supplier constraint can be incorporated at manufacturer S&OP meetings considering their commit quantity. The planning run will propose an alternate supplier for the shortfall quantity. Planners can use what-if analysis -example surge in demand from customers. They can request a revised commit from the supplier. The forecast collaboration can help to automate the manual process of collaboration and provide full transparency.
Case2: Integrated planning approach and execution for the subcontracting scenario within IBP, Ariba SCC & S/4 (execution). The planning of subcontractor into IBP considering different sets of transactional data collaborating with them. The data sharing (cXML messages) will happen between IBP, Ariba SCC at different stages of the planning process to derive a consensus plan. The data-sharing arrangements between IBP & Ariba SCC examples are the inventory position of finished goods at the subcontractor, the component availability at the subcontractor, the component in-transit, the net demand for finished goods and semi-finished goods, etc. The CPI-DS integration will be used for data exchange between S/4 & IBP. The planning results will be published to S/4 for execution and further processes (Like Sub-Con PO collaboration). The data sharing for all those key figures can be performed through sap provided 10 custom key figures. They will be mapped in the data sharing plan (provider & consumer). The planning collaboration view at Ariba SCC is insightful for the supplier and provide a commit.
To connect Ariba SCC with IBP requires a few set up at both the systems. The CXML_PROACT - “PROA_OUT/1 Product Activity Notification” is outbound from IBP, send the forecast data into Ariba SCC. The CXML_PREM - “PREM_IN/1 Product Replenishment” message is in-bound to IBP receives the supplier commit from Ariba SCC.
The settings at IBP involve the below steps-
Maintain trust certificate (handshake between IBP & Ariba -network encryption)
Set up communication arrangement (When a cXML message is sent to Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration, the sending system must authenticate itself. The authentication method must be defined in both SAP Integrated Business Planning and Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration)
Ariba Network Credentials and Endpoints (The settings maintained here should exactly match how the Buyer account is set up in Ariba Network)
Assign Recipients to User (message monitoring purpose)
Manage data sharing plan (An agreement between business partners that governs what data is shared, with whom, and how, for example. What information is shared with external partners? Which partners taking part in the collaboration process? How is the information shared?
The settings at Ariba SCC involve the below steps-
Other administration settings (notification, messaging, etc.)
The custom key figure can be created in Ariba SCC and they can be mapped into data sharing plan configuration in IBP. The time series or order-based planning area into IBP can be set up to enable the data sharing.
Ariba SCC, manage planning views
IBP Data sharing plans, field mapping
To enable execution between S/4 and Ariba SCC, the infrastructures are prerequisite
-Cloud Integration Gateway (CIG) add-on on S/4
- SAP Cloud Platform cloud connector (cloud connector). Other middleware can also be used (PI/PO & CPI)
The component net demand once ready will be shared with the Ariba network. The data-sharing application job can be used to share the supplier forecast. The supplier will receive a notification at the portal inbox or through message chat. They also can receive the mailbox notification for chat messages from the buyer. The supplier will log into the Supplier portal and review the forecast quantity, either they can interactively enter the commit quantity, or they can download csv and upload it. IBP will receive the forecast commit, there are different ways to monitor the commit into IBP (message dashboard, message monitoring overview, via data integration, mailbox notification, etc.).
The below screenshot is from IBP, where the manufacturer/ supply planner/purchasing team shared the forecast and they received the commit. The preferred vendor-provided less commit and hence the remaining plan has been shared with an alternate vendor. IBP app “Monitor custom alerts” will show the less commit in quantity.
The screenshot is from the Ariba SCC supplier portal. The forecast view for the supplier. They can review the latest message received via inbox (product activity message), they can easily edit the commit in the view itself or download /upload the forecast commit.
The view below is “Planning collaboration” for the contract manufacturing where planning results and component availability is shared with the supplier (use case2). They will commit their product plan. The custom planning view is created and shared with the supplier for collaboration. The editable key figures will be supplier inputs. They will review material-wise and confirm their production plan.
The final planning result once released to S/4, or users can create the PO directly into S/4 and perform end to end processes collaborating with Ariba SCC.
Screenshots from Ariba Subcon PO collaboration
S/4 screenshot of PO
The message type
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