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Today, October 27th, 2021, SAP® Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain 2111 has been generally released as planned.

We’ve used the summer months to focus on a number of features that will bring integration and visibility in SAP IBP to a whole new level:

In this release, a major milestone has been achieved with real-time integration of master and transactional data.

The new contextual navigation to SAP Logistics Business Network helps to improve execution visibility.

I'm also very proud to announce the integration of footprint analysis. This new capability is a valuable contribution to SAP’s promise to enable sustainability practices for our customers and to run better with sustainable business decisions.

In demand planning, we’re delivering smart new algorithms leveraging machine learning.

Check out these and some of the other exciting highlights included in this release:

Response and Supply

Real-Time Integration for Order-Based Planning Processes

For order-based planning, the real-time integration between SAP ECC or SAP S/4HANA now transfers master data and transactional data to SAP IBP. Real-time integration enables faster planning cycles with up-to-date planning data.

The new feature captures planning-relevant data changes in the source systems and sends them immediately to SAP IBP. The planning results can be transferred back to the source systems using application jobs.

You can select at a granular level which planning-relevant data you want to transfer. A push-based delta integration provides up-to-date planning data in SAP IBP. Multiple source systems can be integrated into one common or several individual planning areas. Real-time integration supports initial load and delta load of data. For future releases we also plan to support time-series data.

Flexible Master Data

It’s now possible to share master data between order-based planning and time-series-based planning applications. With flexible master data in order-based planning, you can configure and share master data between all SAP IBP applications. This enhancement eliminates the need for external master data types and extends your flexibility in shaping the data input for your planning applications. You can, for example, add your own attributes to master data types and use them in time-series-based planning applications as well as in the SAP Integrated Business Planning, add-in for Microsoft Excel.

Simple and compound master data types are available to store master data. You can use real-time integration or maintain master data directly in SAP IBP.

Creating your master data for order-based planning processes directly in SAP IBP, for example, makes it a lot easier to simulate the impact of changes of the supply chain in a planning version.

Planning UIs

Planner Workspace: Integration of Analytics Charts

Supply chains are getting more and more complex, leading to an increase in data volume that can make it difficult to keep an overview. Charts help to simplify the analysis of comprehensive data. Embedding new or existing analytics charts into the Planner Workspace allows users to grasp the situation and impact of simulations at a glance while simultaneously working on their plan and addressing supply chain issues. This feature is fully integrated into simulation, scenario, and version management and basic configuration changes can be made directly from the Planner Workspace.

Intelligent Visibility

Supply Chain Control Tower: Execution Visibility with Contextual Navigation to SAP Logistics Busines...

Contextual navigation from SAP IBP to SAP Logistics Business Network Freight Collaboration and SAP Logistics Business Network Global Track and Trace provides you with insights into shipping statuses and disruptions that impact planned customer orders. In the Intelligent Visibility app in SAP IBP, planners gain insights into the current transportation status for inbound shipments that potentially impact customer shipments and internal operations. The transportation status can be displayed without a replication of data in SAP IBP. Based on the severity of the transportation issues, planners can then make informed decisions to resolve impacts.

Footprint Analysis 

Build sustainability directly into your supply chain planning: Based on the footprint data from SAP Product Footprint Management, you can monitor the greenhouse gas emissions of your plants based on the results of the supply planning heuristic run. SAP IBP allows you to monitor the greenhouse gas emissions of your plants on a geographic map and to make them visible in the production plan. 

Global supply chain planners can use, for example, the Intelligent Visibility app to analyze the footprint which is calculated based on the production receipts of the long-term production plan multiplied by the footprint of the product-location. They can then create scenarios in the Planner Workspace to solve the alerts. 

Preconfigured content including alerts, charts, procedure playbooks, intelligent visibility profiles, is available as part of the SAP Best Practices for SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain. 


Next-Generation ML-based Algorithm for Demand Sensing 

We now offer a new demand sensing algorithm that utilizes a state-of-the-art gradient boosting machine learning framework for better accuracy and increased flexibility. The new algorithm comes with automated ML-feature engineering built in for optimizing short-term demand. It supports customer-specified additional demand signals in a flexible way. The algorithm can handle up to 8 extra signals for the model to learn from. Extra signals can be used for the sensing horizon if the data is available. Gradient boosting will pick the most impactful signal first, there is no requirement to add the signals in a specific order. With this new algorithm, demand sensing accuracy can be improved even without open orders.  

Demand sensing with gradient boosting helps to ensure that companies are always making production/inventory/transportation decisions with the most recent demand trends. 

Variable Impact Analysis within ML-Based Forecasting 

What is the impact of a certain trade promotion or calendar event like Super Bowl on your demand? The new variable impact analysis for the gradient boosting forecasting method helps you to better understand the main drivers of your demand, such as promotions or events. We offer a fully automated process analyzing each planning combination, such as each customer-product combination. Automated learning is adapting to potential changes. You can calculate and store the impact of an independent variable on the overall forecast and define the granularity of the impact analysis, for example, to analyze the impact of all promotion-related data or to analyze individual promotion-related drivers like promotion tactic or percentage of price discount separately. 


Learn How to Take Advantage of Machine Learning Forecasting Algorithms in SAP Integrated Business Planning... and check out the video “Intelligent Forecasting with Machine Learning in SAP Integrated Business Planning for Supply Chain”: 

Sales and Operations Planning 

Freeze Horizon on Sources of Supply  

To improve the interaction with distribution/production and procurement, freeze horizons now enable you to keep planned supplies stable for the near future. The length of time for which you freeze a supply plan is called “freeze horizon”. It ensures that planning runs don’t affect fixed decisions in the execution system and that any firm elements in SAP IBP are respected.  

Inside the freeze horizon, the quantities specified in the firmed key figures are taken as fixed values: The time-series-based supply planning algorithms can’t plan more or fewer receipts. Outside the freeze horizon, the values of the confirmed key figures are respected by the SAP IBP supply planning runs. 

This new feature helps to set up well-defined ownership between planning and execution system and improves the stability and accuracy of your supply plans. 

Integration and Foundation  

Integrated Financial Planning with SAP Analytics Cloud 

In this new financial integration scenario, SAP IBP forecast data is transferred to sales and profitability planning of financial planning in SAP Analytics Cloud for SAP S/4HANA. There, it is combined with financial data to improve the quality of sales and profitability planning. The planning results are sent back to SAP IBP where they are used to increase the accuracy of the S&OP management business review. The result is one single approved plan with consistent quantities and calculated values.  

Please note that due to different release schedules of the products involved, this integration is only available productively as of 13 November 2021.  

Download and Upload of Planning Area Configuration 

In the Planning Areas app, you can now download and upload planning area configurations to and from a local ZIP file. This feature allows you to transfer core planning area configurations across SAP IBP landscapes. SAP and SAP partners can share pre-built planning area configurations with partners and customers, eliminating the need for error-prone manual configurations in new and existing systems and enabling an easier and faster ramp-up for customers. 

The ZIP file contains the core configuration, including master data type configurations with attributes, planning area details (attributes, planning levels, key figures, versions, etc.), and time profile configuration. Transactional data and additional configurations and settings are currently not supported.   


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