In this blog I explain a key use case, Business users in the Sales & Operations Planning process are always looking for : Adding master data on the
fly. Let’s see what the use case is and how SAP Sales & Operations Planning Powered by SAP HANA solves it.
Master data on the fly use case:
Planning is future and one of the key use case is around planning for new product , new customer, new territory, new resource, new promotion or a
combination of them to achieve objectives. The expectation is that the S&OP planner whether he is from sales or supply side in the process will have to add these master data on the fly and start planning for it. These master data are not yet in the transaction systems, as the planner has not even sure if the product is going to be launched or the new customer will be acquired or new territory introduced or new resource procured to meet the capacity. But as he supports the management in pursuit to growth, the planner needs to add these products, customers etc (technically referred to as master data).
How is this accomplished with software tools and the challenges?
In Microsoft Excel, its very flexible and is as easy as adding a new row in your sheet, its often painful to get more people across the organization to add their plans against new product as someone has to send it across to others. Usually this also gets chaotic and leads to spreadsheet hell. So while its very flexible, it can really lead to total misalignment especially when everyone want to orchestrate a very collaborative Sales & Operations Planning process.
In a pure OLAP (online analytical processing ) based planning tool, its once again a big technical challenge as when you would like to add master data, this needs to change the entire OLAP structure and often needs IT support. This is something Business users gets pained about and complain that their planning tool is not flexible enough, and given they are used to flexibility of Microsoft Excel, they find this as a missing functionality in the planning tool.
SAP Sales & Operations Planning powered by SAP HANA
Master Data Planning Feature:
Given this is a key use case and since SAP HANA is a seamless realtime platform across OLTP (Online transaction processing) and
OLAP(Online transaction processing), we introduced this key feature for master data planning,at the hands of the end user. This feature provides the flexibility of Microsoft Excel as S&OP Business users do their planning with Excel, but it also provides a collaborative platform where master data added can be accessed by different planner users in real time, as the master data gets added to the underlying HANA platform.
Below screenshots shows some of the capabilities of this feature:
Master data option in Excel Addin
Add master data (new product) based on existing master data (product)
Copy of master data (existing product id to another product id to create new product)
Delete not required master data (subject to security)
Add new combinations of master data (eg Location/Resource combination )
To further try out this feature and more, subscribe to the 3 free day trial :
Happy New Year 2014 and looking forward to great interaction on HANA based innovations for Planning & Analytics applications…..and taking them to end user empowerment !