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How does SAP APO PPDS enable better supply chain management?

These seven Advanced Planning and Optimization tools in Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling can help materials and capacity planners do their job even better. Here's how.

Using APO planning tools in Production Planning and Detailed Scheduling, or APO PPDS, is one way that CIOs can...

get more mileage out of the software they likely already have.

Why is that important? One of the main key performance indicators CIOs must meet is getting more return on the investments from their existing technologies. However, CIOs often face resistance from business users who insist on implementing newer technologies instead of digging deep into the existing ones to see which features, functionalities and tools are still unused or barely used.

One such example is the demand from planning managers to implement Integrated Business Planning on the perceived understanding that it'll improve materials planning, instead of leveraging SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO), which has several working reporting and interactive dashboards. For example, the planning data from SAP ERP Central Component moves to SAP APO for detailed planning. Depending on the planning manager's preference, the evaluation and processing tool they choose can either use graphical or tabular layouts.

Here are seven APO PPDS planning tools that can benefit materials and capacity planners. The transaction code to the access report is noted in the parentheses.

  1. Product View (Transaction /SAPAPO/RRP3)

In this report, a planner can choose to display the planning results of one or multiple products within one specific manufacturing or planning plant (known as a "location" in APO). The product view of the report is commonly used, as it offers the maximum planning details to the planner. Other views available are the material requirements view, the material receipts view and the pegging view. Pegging links each material's requirement to its semifinished or finished product.

  1. Product Planning Table (Transaction /SAPAPO/PPT1)

With the Product Planning Table (PPT), a planner gets an interactive dashboard wherein any change made to planning results automatically updates all of the associated planning numbers. For example, a change in the production date of a product in PPT will immediately be reflected if this change will result in capacity overload or material shortage.

  1. Product Overview (Transaction /SAPAPO/POV1)

Planners use this report to access the planning results of multiple products, with the option to restrict the planning results' display to a user-defined planning horizon, such as a day or a week.

  1. Detailed Scheduling Planning Board (Transaction /SAPAPO/CDPS0)

Like PPT, this interactive planning dashboard offers several profiles to view planning results from different perspectives, especially in capacity overload and bottleneck situations. Further, it can also display two types of information with different timeframes, such as a week, for evaluation only, and the actual planning that needs to change or be updated, such as for a day.

  1. Resource Planning Table (Transaction /SAPAPO/RPT)

This table-based planning tool helps by suggesting order sequencing and production activities that best utilize the available capacities of machines.

  1. PPDS Optimizer (Transaction /SAPAPO/CDPS0)

The prime purpose of the PPDS Optimizer is to improve overall production planning to optimize material availability, production scheduling and capacity utilization. It makes sense to limit planning products to a short time horizon, as the PPDS Optimizer consumes significant data processing power and can take longer to show results if too many materials are simultaneously planned. It is also possible to access the PPDS optimizer from PPT.

  1. Alert Monitor (Transaction /SAPAPO/AMON1)

This dashboard not only lists the planning exceptions from APO PPDS, but also lists the other subcomponents of APO, with the option to filter for only the alerts that the planner needs to work on. The alerts provide the actual problem faced during planning and how best to fix it.

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