SAP SCM APO (SAP SCM Advanced Planning and Optimization) in SAP SCM (Supply Chain Management) is a component of the SAP Business Suite. It is certainly one of the best known Advanced Planning and Scheduling systems that is used for planning of the entire supply chain in commercial enterprises.
SAP SCM APO covers the various planning levels in a company. From a time perspective, it is used for long-term, medium-term, and short-term planning. From an operational perspective, this covers the strategic, tactical, and operational planning levels.
SAP SCM Advanced Planning and Optimization is a very powerful planning software, which typically communicates bidirectionally with an ERP system (SAP ERP ECC) via defined interfaces (e.g. RFC = Remote Function Control, CIF = Core Interface). Via the liveCache (an optimized database model that is implemented in the main memory), a very powerful, highly-efficient calculation speed of complex SCM networks is achieved.
SAP SCM APO consists of five core modules:
SAP APO demand planning is used in companies to determine forecasts and sales figures. It typically maps a long-term period, and, with its different forecasting methods and macro techniques, it offers flexible and powerful tools to determine the sales plan. The forecast sales figures are determined, on the one hand, from previous figures and, on the other, are supplemented from various instances such as departments, based on sales activities. Information from the sales markets (e.g. promotions, events) can also be taken into account and processed with appropriate forecast corrections. The sales plan can be transferred directly to supply network planning.
SAP APO SNP (SAP APO Supply Network Planning) facilitates tactical planning decisions and integrates the areas of procurement, production, distribution and transport. The basis is a detailed supply chain model that contains all the supply network information. Using very advanced, heuristic and mathematical optimization procedures, SAP APO SNP plans the entire logistics chain while taking constraints (e.g. transport capacities) and penalty costs into account. It generates a feasible plan to cover short and medium-term demand and sales volumes. This plan can flow directly into production planning and detailed scheduling (SAP APO PP/DS) or it can be transferred selectively via the appropriate interfaces to an SAP ERP.
SAP APO PP/DS generates procurement proposals for in-house manufacture and external procurement to cover product requirements. It also plans the deployment of production resources, and details and optimizes the order dates. With SAP APO PP/DS planning, the availability of resources and components can be considered simultaneously.
SAP APO Production Planning & Detailed Scheduling (SAP APO PP/DS) is primarily used for planning critical products in order to reduce throughput times and to increase the punctuality of deliveries. Production plans are created which optimize throughput and which have cost-saving effects. For production planning and detailed scheduling, there are numerous different methods available. These range from interactive planning, through detailed planning procedures, heuristics, optimization including pegging, where relationships are established between the stock, receipt, and demand elements of a product within a location.
The results achieved with SAP APO PP/DS can then be processed and analyzed using flexibly configurable dashboards and extensive alert handling.
In the course of globalization, globally active companies require reliable information quickly on their business transactions. The global ATP is a key method to achieve this in SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization. It supplies not only the basis ATP but also extensive and highly-developed decision support on availability in the supply chain. Using diverse scenarios (e.g. multi-level ATP, rule-based ATP, capable to promise), the production planning, detailed scheduling, and the ERP data are integrated into the availability check. Available resources such as material and capacities are considered directly and simultaneously and are displayed in connection with orders.
The goal of SAP global ATP is to check the customer demand deadlines across the entire supply network and to confirm these. It ensures that the relevant products can be delivered in the right quantities and on the required date. SAP APO global ATP can be used in heterogeneous system landscapes to deliver the information required when it is required.
The transport planning / vehicle scheduling component (SAP APO TP/VS) is used to plan and optimize transports for orders (sales orders, purchase orders, returns and stock transport orders) and deliveries. Vehicles are assigned to the orders and deliveries, for which transports are to be planned. Various restrictions, such as requested delivery dates or transport capacities can be taken into account. The results of SAP APO TP/VS are planned shipments.
With this planning in SAP APO, there are also diverse planning scenarios available, such as interactive planning, optimizations, or selection of the transport service provider. The goal is the reduction of transport costs, optimal route determination, and the best possible utilization of the transport capacities.