#001 - The SCM planning process in SAP ERP and its weak points (overview)

The diagramed process chain is a simplified representation of the functions in SAP ECC or SAP S/4 HANA. It illustrates the complexity of the tasks to be solved on a daily basis, the high demands on the integration of the data, starting with the customer requirements, and the high demands on the expertise and process knowledge of the participants. In the following, the individual process steps are discussed with their special problem points in SAP ERP.

Sales Orders / Requirements

Sales orders and scheduling agreements as planned primary requirements and the basis of the availability check.



The availability check, which examines only one plant in essence and quickly reaches its limits in the event of fluctuations in the available quantity in a supply chain.

SOP / Demands & Forecast

The forecast and the resulting demand forecast with planned primary requirements.


The forecast as the basis of material requirements planning or for the determination of planned primary requirements in the horizon up to at least one year into the future.



The technical design of the forecast in the ERP makes continuous monitoring of the results for errors difficult, the forecast is largely manual and hardly collaborative lynottobe processed and is practically missing as a useful source for material requirements planning and availability testing.

Material Requirements Planning

Material requirements planning with net requirements determination, BOM resolution, lot size calculation and scheduling for all daily operational MRP tasks.



The capacity utilisation in in-house production can be determined, but the retroactive effect of changes is difficult to realize. Alternatively, SAP APO PP-DS can be integrated, but this means the use of another interface, additional royalties, etc. Only with S/4 or the PP-DS add-on in ECC is this situation significantly improved by the integration of PP-DS and the concept of the MRP Live.


Long-Term Planning

Simulated material requirements planning based on planned primary requirements.


In the absence of the planned primary requirements for products as the basis of the simulation, it is also not possible to simulate.


The simulation requires a complete planning run, so a quick comparison of different scenarios in real time is hardly possible. A comparison of the profitability of different scenarios would only be possible with considerable effort.


Procurement Proposals

Plan proposals for in-house production or purchasing as a result of material requirements planning and their operational implementation.



Lack of backward integration in situations where the supplier cannot confirm the required quantities.

Capacity Requirements Planning

Capacity planning based on planned orders for in-house production and production orders.



Without PP/DS difficult to use, low-performing planning boards.

No restriction-based finite planning, no optimization procedures for production planning.


Some additional problems come to light: SAP ECC is divided into modules, over time this has also been reflected in the actions of the users, but the process is highly inclusive. Some questions, such as determining an optimal stock, are not sufficiently addressed, but are some of the most common lynotatous areas in the SCM. Global supply chains with complex transports are subject to constant deadline changes, the retroactive effect on the ERP functions is difficult to integrate (e.g. delay of a goods receipt and impact on production and customer delivery).


As a result, since the release of SAP R/3 Release 2.2 (1994), in thousands of companies either additional programs have been developed, planning software such as SAP APO or JDA has been used via interfaces or the planner's most popular software EXCEL. Are companies satisfied with this situation?


The blog articles below in detail examine step-by-step approaches to how to improve this situation iteratively by integrating selected processes into SAP IBP. Learn more in these blog articles:


  1. Business case on an integrated planning approach
  2. Tools and processes for determining the sales plan in SAP IBP for Demand
  3. The continuous burner inventory optimization with SAP IBP for Inventory
  4. Supply Chain Planning with SAP IBP for Sales and Operations
  5. Functional reactions and affected transactions in the ERP system
  6. Technical and organizational requirements of the integration of SCM solutions with the ERP system
  7. Roadmap to integration