APO stands for Advanced Planner and Optimizer. SAP APO had primarily four modules Demand Planning, Supply Network Planning Production Planning and Detail Scheduling, Global Available to Promise. SAP stands behind the success of companies all over the world in different industries, sizes, and countries by providing industry solutions and software solutions.
Is SAP APO Still Active?
The SAP APO product is still very much active and even still has releases going on. It was one of those tools that proved to be so useful that SAP never turned it off. That being said, you will find yourself tracking down bugs with recent versions of it and need to spend time updating extensions and fixing issues. One thing we can say though is that when it works, it is still very fast and accurate! The core strength of SAP APO lies in its functionality. While other planning systems focus more on capacity utilization by calculating and managing a material balance, many planning problems require both capacity management as well as actual demand forecasting, especially in industries like consumer goods. And although today’s planning systems have begun to address demand forecasting, they are still not integrated into overall supply chain management processes and often do not provide full visibility into real-time supply chain status information. Furthermore, since most organizations have separate production planning systems for individual business units or plants, overall performance measurement for each unit may be difficult or impossible without integrating all supply chain functions into a single application such as SAP APO.
SAP is among those companies that have a large number of legacy applications. SAP APO is still an active application, and even more so because it was very advanced in terms of technology. This means you’ll find almost everything you need to support, including original release notes, fixes, and all information you need for troubleshooting and integration. Also, since SAP never turned off or halted development on the application, third-party developers are still actively creating features for newer releases. All-in-all, SAP APO has remained fairly active and is a must-have if your business has multiple plant locations!
Understanding SAP APO
It is an integrated supply chain planning and execution software. SAP APO consists of four modules Demand Planning, Supply Network Planning Production Planning and Detail Scheduling, Global Available to Promise. In other words, it covers everything from demand planning to order management. It is one of the most used SAP modules among those who need these services or wants to use them daily. SAP has made it very easy for users with an easy user interface and several report programs that can be easily accessed as needed. These reports can be easily accessed by both new and old users. They provide much-needed information about sap transportation management every aspect of business operations in regards to production planning and control inventory management; capacity utilization; sales forecasting; materials requirements planning order fulfillment; logistics network design, analysis, and optimization. SAP APO also supports integration with many other SAP modules such as Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Enterprise Warehouse, Financial Accounting Information System, etc., thus providing an effective way to access detailed information on different aspects of business operations across multiple functional areas.
What is SAP APO Demand Planning?
Demand planning involves calculating demand requirements, typically by forecasting sales or consumption and developing purchase orders based on demand forecasts. Demand planning is used as an input to other SAP APO modules, especially supply network planning. Supply network planning uses several variables such as available supply sources and transportation capacities to calculate sourcing plans for materials. Both these modules can also be used in tandem with production planning SAP APO PP and a detailed schedule to determine where materials should be sourced from and how they will be produced.
It is part of SAP ERP and uses standard SAP ERP technology, including RFC interfaces to communicate with other components in an SAP system. Through these interfaces SAP IBP , it can also link with demand planning tools from other companies, for example, Oracle’s Oracle Supply Chain Planning software.
The SAP APO main modules are DSS, SNC, and OMS. They are most commonly used together to plan customer orders from inventory items in a supply chain network. You can learn more about these individual modules at What Are Important Functions of Demand Supply Planning? and What is a supply chain network and how does it relate to supply chain management?