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IBP Partner/Sales Enablement Webinar: IBP for inventory Q&A

Please find below the Questions & Answers for the SAP Integrated Business Planning Partner/Sales Enablement Webinar on SAP Integrated Business Planning for inventory on April 5, 2016.  The slides and replay for this webinar will be posted here:

Answered Questions


1. Feedback Link :

3. Can 'Drivers of Inventory' be customized, lets say if I want to see production capacity is one factor, can I set that as a factor and display the percetage?

Yes, you can.  You can add attribues or configure new Key Figures to do so.

4. Question: is 6.1 available now? it was announced to be release in Q1/2016

Yes it has been released.

IBP 6.1 has been released.

5. there is a rumour that the hardware requirements for 6.1 is double in comparison to 5.0 - this is due to the single planning area. is thsi statement correct?

IBP is a cloud-based solution and so hardware requirements other than HANA sizing are not that relevant. In any case, I am not aware of any such rumor

6. Does IBP allow safety stock calculation using Normal vs. Poisson methods? Does that have to be explicitly defined, or does it choose the best method of calculation?

IBP for inventory uses Gamma distribution to model non-normal demand. It automatically does the mapping to any distribution and so no user setting is required. Gamma distribution can model any distribution shape

7. Are there customers using this solution for non SAP backend?


8. If I already have EIS(Smartops) .at my client...and client is implementing IBP S&OP....whether IBP-Inventory should be considered as well?

Definitely. There can be benefits of consolidating the data model.

9. is this demo based on 6.1? or still an older version?

This will be 4.x. We will share the 6.1 IBP for inventory demo in a future session. Thanks!

10. Does the IBP for Inventory generate orders?

It sets the targets. Execution or supply planning systems generate the orders based on the supply needs.

11. According to a previous slide there is an interface between IBP Inventory and ERP / APO for the inventory targets. Is this interface already available or will this be included in a future release?

Already available

12. Target Inventory calculated by IBP-I is to be seen at the start of bucket or end of bucket ?

Target inventory is at the start of the bucket. We will also report average inventory in addition to target

13. Is IBP 6.1 having full-fledged NW ABAP App Server? What is the division of code in HANA DB and ABAP

IBP 6.1 is based on SAP NetWeaver. Since it is a cloud application (SaaS), it doesn't matter what the division of code is.

14. Can IBP Inventory fully replace an existing EIS(Smartops) implementation?

Yes. It has most of the capabilities used by EIS customers today.

15. Any pointer to compare EIS (on-premise) vs IBP Inventory

We can. However, it is more productive to look at the requirements vs. the capabilities.

16. Does IBP Inv allow to factor independent variables ? like revenue ? either as positive or negative factor on inventory targets?

You could model this as configuration or within forecasting. Since inventory uses the forecast, the inventory targets will adjust automatically

17. Is IBP - I is comparable to MEIO of smartops or all modules (DIm,SIM,PIM) of smartOps?

Yes, with release IBP 6.2

18. Customer has resistance to move to cloud and is interested in EIS. What should be compelling advantage to convince to move to IBP Inventory?

User Experience, HANA, flexibility, analytics, improved planner adoption. Cloud is great because it frees up IT resources from many initial and ongoing tasks. It allows companies to get started really quickly.

19. continuation to earlier questions - Means independent variables to be used in calculating factor in forecast error to be used in inventory? how independent variables it can have reverse impact? do you have any link or doc with such example?

You would use independent variables in statistical forecasting to adjust forecasts. The forecasts would be an input to inventory

20. so with IBP 6.2 is it comprable to MEIO only or all?

IBP 6.2 is comparable to EIS (all). Some things are handled differently (better) in IBP. IBP for inventory has additional functionality that EIS does not.

21. Can IBP for Inventory calculate Lead Time errors automatically or do they have to be entered manually?

Both options are available. LT error calculation can be configured

23. are lead times used to calculate safety stock in IBP fixed? or can the system determine the lead time based on history, and therefore also lead time error?

Similar question - answer is both. Lead time and lead time error calculation based on history can be configured

24. Can IBP for Inventory calculate Forecast Errors automatically?

Yes.  The forecast error operator released in IBP 6.1 will calculate forecast error CV and bias.

25. Forecast error calcualtion : is it the same approch the EDS follows to calcualte it ?

Yes it is and also same as in EIS

26. Data Integration: I assume input/output data points are quite standarized. Is there out-of-box data intergation available, e.g. via HCI ?

HCI Template is on the roadmap.

27. What is the Back end system for IBP? Is current SAP-ECC is required to get the data for IBP Planning? Is Non HANA db is allowed for IBP?

IBP is cloud based solution and so the stack is determined by SAP. SAP-ECC is not required but we have pre-built integration points. We can also connect to other systems via HCI

28. Recommended safety stock in IBP Inventory is time phased. Is there a best practice for how to transfer this information to connected transaction system - e.g. ECC?

If you the target is IBP for Supply or APO SNP, you can use time-varying safety stock. If the target system only supports a static field, we recommend that you run IBP for inventory more frequently (weekly) and update the static field (saefty stock, safety days of coverage, ROP) as an average or maximum over X weeks (easily configured) or handled in HCI

29. Can IBP - Inventory optimize the service level based on target stock and other parameter?

We can configure rules to do rules-based segmentation. We will also predict the service level given inventory levels by Q4 2016. Supporting service level optimization based on a constraint (overall target, inventory budget,e tc). can be handled via versions

30. Is there a document which cleanrly  describe (Pros/Cons, Differences, Any recommeded settings)   different algorithms  used for Inventory Optimization?

There are limited settings such as whether you want to use Fill rate or Non stockout probability, if a product location is stocking or not which are straightforward.

31. updating this static fields for safety stock is something standard in IBP? Or we would have to connect to SNP and then update the fields through a macro?

This can be configured in IBP

32. can we create own macro here ..if yes then where ?

Yes. In the Excel template. Then save the template.

33. Does IBP 6.1 consider calender weeks, or can weeks still be assigned to only one month at a time?

This is on the short term roadmap.

34. Hi, Will inventory optimization consider lead times to deliver at customers as well, just like vendor lead time or production lead time?


35. are manual changes done to safety stock proposal are recorded in system?

yes. you can enable change history in IBP and it tracks the changes and creates a report

36. Forecast error and bias compensation and demand variability analytics is available with 6.1 (released)

37. can we access the inventory optimization log? optimizer log along with input and output log

This is planned

38. What is Service-level prediction? Is it Service-level Optimizaiton?

No. This is a simulation where given current inventory levels (or any inventory level), we can predict the service level achievable

39. Intermittency in forecast error calculation is available in 6.1 We will expose some of the settings that drive it in 6.2.

40. Are the forecast error calculations in 6.1 by lag? and does SS calculation use those by lag?

In 6.1, it is for a single lag and the lag must be predetermined in the IOFORECAST key figure. That is, either via HCI, you load the right lag forecast directly into IOFORECAST. Or you could load different lags into different KFs and then copy the right lag into IOFORECASt. In 6.2, we can calculate different lags. Which lag to use can be configured

The last sentence, the correct release is 6.3

42. Are the inventory courses currently only for the 4.0 and 5.0 versions?  Was the live demo just now in 4.0 system or 6.0 system?

All training courses are based on 6.1 now. The demo shown by Alexis was 6.1.

44. any plans in the future to have similar ISL overrides as we had in EIS?

Yes, with min and max ISL constraints

45. is it possible to influence calculation algorithm?

Broadly speaking yes through inputs. This question is a bit too vague. If you are more specific we can better address.

46. Is there a plan to include enhanced segmentation capabilities in IBP (for inventory)?


47. how this time depending safety stock works with ERP (ECC) alone (so without APO)?

ECC can only accept a static value. Typically we send an average safety stock value when only a static value can be received.

Open Questions


50. For Raw materials and Semi finished materials, is IBP will drive the vendors to supply for their external procurement to manage manufacture of Finished products requirements as per IBP Planning?

51. min/max overrides in 6.2 or 6.3?

52. how is the calculated SS transferred to IBPSupply / IBPSOP?

53. Can IBP for inventory be used to calculate SS based on consumption variability only (without forecast error) for consumption based planning?

54. There is mention of 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 versions? What is the timeline for making these versions available - quarterly?