Enhancements in SAP Production Planning and Scheduling and Future Integration with ERP

At the SAP Insider SCM CRM 2016 event in Vienna this month, Ulrich Mast presented the current status and the planned future for Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling (PPDS), including SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer PPDS (SAP APO PPDS) within the SAP Supply Chain Management suite (SCM) and S/4HANA .

SAP Screen Shot

Smaller lot sizes, increasing variability and shorter product life cycles tend to make planning and scheduling more complex, resulting in increased order lead times, stock levels and work in progress. Responsive supply chain networks can compensate for these effects, in particular by more tightly integrating engineering with supply chain and manufacturing and provide real world feedback on supply chain performance to planning and scheduling.  This shortens time to manufacturing and provides the opportunity to reschedule continuously based on actual manufacturing progress. Industry specific planning methodologies such as Kanban, Lean or product wheels also help manufacturers to be more responsive and efficient. Key according to Mr. Mast, and we agree with him, is the ability to:

  • plan and schedule taking detailed ‘real-world’ resource constraints into account,
  • apply exceptions to rules for specific products or resources to cater for personalization and specific order needs,
  • having the capability to analyze causes of delays or shortages,
  • adapt scheduling continuously to reflect actual demand and plant conditions,  and reconcile schedules to meet priorities,
  • provide optimized plans and schedules to maximize efficiency

Workflows and data flows are currently seamless between ERP and SCM. Some recent enhancements are simpler navigation and embedded analytics provided in side panels, supporting faster and improved decision-making. SAP APO is available on SAP HANA since November 2012, accelerating end-to-end processes by on average 40% to 50%, and providing synergies with APO operational analytics deployed on the same SAP HANA server.

In many customer cases, unconstrained Materials and Resource Planning (MRP) is used alongside constraint-based planning and scheduling (PPDS), many customers run two systems sequentially.  SAP presented plans to embed PPDS in S/4HANA  on a single shared platform, therefore  having the capability to harmonise  a single MRP run providing ease of use, efficiency and time benefits.  Currently this option is available for ERP (SAP Business Suite on HANA) with PPDS embedded on SAP HANA platform.  Other major benefits are that “material masters” and “resource maintenance” come from the same source and integration is significantly simplified.  Also presented were other improvements to usability such as new production scheduling boards based on SAP Fiori

ARC Advisory Group believes that recent enhancements in PPDS and the embedding of PPDS in SAP Business Suite on HANA with and in future in SAP S/4HANA will deliver benefits in terms of cost and efficiency, but also in terms of value.  We think of improved decision quality, improved responsiveness, and improved planning and scheduling accuracy. ARC Advisory Group believes that recent enhancements in PPDS and the embedding of PPDS in ERP on SAP HANA will deliver benefits in terms of cost and efficiency, but also in terms of value. We think of improved decision quality, improved responsiveness, and improved planning and scheduling accuracy.