SAP IBP for Response has limitations when it comes to confirmation of stock transfer orders with competing external sales orders. This article shows an innovative way to work around the issue, with the goal of a higher customer service level and optimized overall supply chain.

In the dynamic world of supply chain management, ensuring efficient and reliable order fulfillment is crucial for businesses. Customer service level (CSL) is a critical metric that has a direct impact on a company’s success. Delivering on-time and in-full to external customers is a top priority for any business striving to maintain customer satisfaction. Available-to-Promise (ATP) representing the available amount of a specific item, a company can commit to delivering on a specified date based on inventory levels and existing commitments. While companies often focus on external customer orders confirmation, there are some business scenarios when getting confirmation on stock transfer orders (STOs) are also important when they compete with external sales orders for limited supply.

While SAP IBP for Response is a powerful supply planning tool with excellent ATP functions, it faces limitations in providing STO confirmations. In this blog post, we will explore the challenges associated with STO confirmation in SAP IBP for Response and discuss a creative solution implemented by Camelot to address this limitation.

Why can this not be achieved with SAP IBP deployment functionality: In case of a supply chain structure where a specific plant is not in scope of an IBP response planning, the deployment function of IBP also is not able to generate the same results. As in deployment, STO demand is considered as the highest priority, and it doesn’t prioritize between external sales orders and STOs.

Supply chain structure
Figure 1: Supply chain structure

The Challenge: Missing STO Confirmation Feature

SAP IBP for Response is designed to optimize supply planning and improve order fulfilment processes by considering several factors, such as prioritized demand, inventory, and production. However, a significant limitation arises when dealing with confirmation of STOs, which facilitate the transfer of inventory between different company locations.

In some business scenarios and a specific supply chain set-up, it is important to get confirmation in STOs along with a competing external sales order from available supply. One common use case is a specific plant in SAP that is exclusively dedicated to serving a particular business segment / channel, such as project business / online channel and which is not part of IBP response scope. In such situations, STOs also compete with external sales orders for limited supply.

Unfortunately, the standard functionality of SAP IBP for Response does not help here as STOs demand is considered as highest priority in IBP in comparison to external sales orders. Because of this, we cannot get confirmation in STOs along with sales order from IBP.

The Solution: Innovatively Leveraging Staging Tables Enable STO Confirmation in SAP IBP for Response

To address the limitation of missing STO confirmations in SAP IBP for Response, an innovative solution has been designed and implemented by Camelot. The solution involves the manipulation of staging tables and the treatment of STOs as sales orders to obtain the required confirmations from SAP IBP with competing external sales orders.

How the process works

To overcome the limitation, the solution manipulates STO data in the staging tables which makes STO appear as sales orders. Thus, they can be temporarily treated as sales orders for ATP calculations within SAP IBP for Response.

In the context of SAP IBP for Response, the STOs, now treated as sales orders and processed along with external sales order to receive ATP confirmations.

Integration architecture
Figure 2: Integration architecture

Benefits of the Solution

The implementation of this innovative approach offers several benefits:

  • accurate STO confirmation: businesses can now receive reliable ATP confirmations for their STOs along with competing external customer orders.
  • enhanced visibility: businesses gain better visibility into the availability of inventory in a specific plant and can make informed decisions.

Enhancing SAP IPB for Response for STO confirmation

SAP IBP for Response is an excellent supply planning tool with robust ATP functions based on prioritized demand. Still, the absence of a STO confirmation functionality has posed challenges for businesses to get confirmation in STO (which caters specific business channel) along with external sales orders. However, by staging table manipulation and treating STOs as sales orders, our solution overcomes these limitations effectively. By implementing this creative approach, businesses can enhance their supply chain operations, and improve order fulfilment processes.

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