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The history and future of the PP module

Jon Reed discusses the balancing act SAP plays with PP and what is in store for the future.

Can you elaborate on the scope of the PP (production planning) module in the present and future?
PP is an interesting area to project forward. At one point, most analysts thought that APO would essentially capture the bulk of the attention that companies have put into PP. But the APO market has slowed considerably. It seems that many SAP customers have found APO installations too complex and costly to justify the advanced functionality.

When we look at PP, we have to first understand that PP is not part of the core of SAP. The core of SAP on the functional side is FI/CO, HR, SD and some basic MM for companies in the manufacturing sector (MM obviously doesn't come into play in the services sector). PP is not considered core because PP gets into the core planning tasks that are specific to industries. And of course, there are plenty of best-of-breed systems in play here.

Companies also want to make sure their PP processes are perfect for their needs, since this is such a key area of competitive advantage. If SAP didn't cut it, then companies weren't willing to use SAP's PP module. The bottom line is that we do see more and more companies investing in supply chain planning functionality, and the trend of standardizing on one software system is going to continue. This bodes well for the PP module.

The way I would look at it is this: will SAP manufacturing customers, as a whole, invest in SAP supply chain planning functionality? Absolutely yes. Will this involve PP? Sometimes yes, and sometimes no. So it may be better to go forward thinking of yourself as an SAP supply chain planning consultant, and be flexible as to whether that means PP, APO, or some combination of applications.

The key is to understand the best practices for an industry and how SAP can help companies achieve that. And of course, it goes without saying that expertise in using Web services to allow a company's partners to share data and provide visibility into the supply chain process is fundamental to being a cutting edge supply chain consultant in the years to come.

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Hi, I m Vishal, BE Chemical with 5 years of experience in production. Now I m looking to move in SAP PP module.. How much it will be beneficial for me? And which institute should be preferred? Plz guide me.