Customer Business Planning – Data Flow
As a functional consultant, implementing SAP Customer Business Planning (CBP) for a CPG company, I’ve realized that, to design and develop an end to end solution, it’s very important to understand how data flows for different data elements in CBP. The purpose of this blog is to identify different data elements in CBP and to explain their flow between different systems, mainly SAP ECC, SAP CRM and SAP BW/BI.
SAP Customer Business Planning, offered as a part of SAP Trade Management 3.0, is a great tool, especially for CPG companies, to Plan targets for their customers and keep on monitoring them. It gives a complete picture of the customer’s sales, promotional activities, trade spends for both the past and the future periods. To have this complete picture at hands, it’s very important that data flows correctly between different systems and system integrators / consultants are aware of how the data flows. This blog tries to establish data flows for various elements of a Customer Business Plan.
It’s expected that you have a basic knowledge of SAP CRM and SAP Trade Management and the functionalities covered in them.
SAP ECC – In most of the CBP implementations SAP ECC is the source system for master data like, customers, materials, customer hierarchy, product hierarchy & pricing
SAP CRM – Customer Business Planning is done in SAP CRM and is tightly integrated with Trade Promotion Planning in order to have the Trade Promotions and Trade Spend details.
SAP BW/BI – SAP BW is the foundation for Customer Business Planning. There are different Infoproviders or Data Source Objects (DSO) in BW system that store the data.
Master Data Elements and their flow
- Customers: Customers are the accounts for which you create a Customer Business Plan. They are usually created in ECC and downloaded to CRM system via middleware. They are also extracted from ECC to BW system via extractors.
- Customer Hierarchy: To use customers to create Customer business plan, we need to assign them to customer hierarchy. The customer hierarchy structure depends on the business requirement. It’s created in ECC and downloaded to CRM via middleware. It’s then extracted from CRM to BW via extractors and stored in the relevant DSO. We thus have both Customer ID from ECC and Account Hierarchy GUID from CRM in BW system.
- Products: Products are created as Materials in ECC. They need to be assigned with EANs for applicable Units of Measures. They are downloaded to CRM via middleware and the EANs are mapped as GTINs in CRM for the respective UOMs. There should be 1:1 mapping between Material and EAN for a particular UOM, else the EANs data will not be downloaded to CRM, resulting in this product not being used in CBP. Trading Unit and Consumer Unit need to be defined in CRM system.Materials data is extracted from ECC to BW system as well. Product data from CRM is also extracted to BW system along with TU-GTIN and CU-GTIN data. These TUGTINs and CUGTINs are the most basic building blocks of planning. The conversion between TU and CU is also maintained in BW. We thus have both ECC Material ID and CRM Product GUID in BW.
- Responsibility Area: Responsibility Area (Territory) is created in CRM for a customer (account hierarchy node) for which the plan is to be created. We need to add all the relevant ECC product categories to this responsibility area in order to have the relevant products available for planning.
- Planning Product Hierarchy: PPHs are the customer specific product hierarchies created in CBP. They can be created based on the ECC product hierarchy or can have a different structure that suits the customer. By standard, it can have maximum 7 levels with products at the last (7th) level. PPHs are extracted from CRM to BW.
- Assortments: After creating the PPHs, we need to give validity to the products present in the PPH. This results into creation of assortments. These assortments are extracted from CRM to BW and combinations get created in the Planning DSO (ILOTE) for the Account Hierarchy node and CRM Products associated with that particular plan. Only valid products from the assortments can be used for Customer Business Planning and Promotion Planning.
- Prices: Prices for customers and materials are fetched and stored in a staging table in ECC using inbound pricing program. These prices are extracted from ECC to BW. The pricing records coming from ECC are for Customer ID and Material ID. These need to be converted into for CRM Account Hierarchy GUID and Product GUID. This conversion happens in an intermediate (staging) DSO and the results are stored in the pricing DSO (TNPR). The pricing data then flows from TNPR to Planning (Latest Estimates) DSO (ILOTE).
Data Elements in CBP and their flow
Customer Business Plan shows the latest estimates for the plan year capturing the Actual data for the past periods and Plan / Forecast data for the future periods. These are entered / displayed on CBP for the Products coming from PPH and Assortments. The Planned and the Actual data are stored in different DSOs in BW and they are derived based on different data elements. In the next sections, we’ll see how the planned and actual data flow occurs.
Forecast / Plan Values
Forecast (future) values are entered by the users while creating the Customer Business Plan
- Baseline Volume: The planned baseline volumes are entered on the CBP screen in the planning layout and are stored in ILOTE DSO in BW. This baseline volume also flows to promotions.
- Uplift Volume: The uplift volumes are calculated / updated in promotions and are stored in the Promotion DSO (DTP) in BW. This volume is then copied to CBP DSO (ILOTE). We get the Total Sell-In Volume on CBP by adding Baseline and Uplift volumes.
- Prices: Prices for the planned / forecast periods are copied from TNPR to ILOTE DSO in BW and are shown on the planning layouts in CBP.
- Trade Promotion: Trade Promotion created from a CBP is linked to the CBP. It also creates a marketing element that’s extracted to BW and stored in DTP DSO. The promotion data flows to ECC as well and is stored there as a Campaign.
- Trade Spends: Trade Spends are added in the promotions and are saved in the promotion DSO (DTP) in BW. From there, they are copied to the CBP DSO (ILOTE) and displayed on the CBP layout. These trade spends result in generation of discount conditions in CRM. These conditions flow to ECC and are store in the condition tables and are applied while creating orders in ECC.
Actual values are updated based on the actual data coming in from ECC and / or Retailers Point of Sale
- Shipment / Billing data: The orders are created in ECC. The shipment (order) data is then extracted to BW system. This data comes with Customer ID and Material number and is converted to Account Hierarchy GUID and Product GUID in an intermediate (staging) DSO in BW. This data is then saved to the DSO storing actual data (TINTA). This data is copied to the ILOTE DSO and is displayed on CBP in Latest Estimates for the past periods for KPIs like Sell-In volume and Values. This includes Sales Volumes, Prices and Sales Values. This data is updated for the periods the orders are shipped.
- Retailer POS data: This data is the data collected from the Retailer’s point of sale and gives the volumes and values for the products sold by the retailer during that period. This data is received in flat files (excels) and is loaded to BW after proper conversions. It’s loaded to the BW DSO for storing external data (TEXTA). This data is then copied to ILOTE and showed on the CBP layout for KPIs like Sell-Out volume and Value.
- Trade Spends: When orders are created in ECC, the campaign (promotion) is determined in it, if applicable. This results in the application of relevant discount conditions in the order. This further results in the creation of accruals in the ECC system. These accruals are then posted to CRM via standard jobs. These accruals update the fund usages and fund postings in CRM. These fund postings are extracted to BW and are stored in the fund postings DSO (FPO). These values are copied to ILOTE DSO and displayed as actual trade spends for past periods on CBP layout.
After reading this blog, you should’ve have a basic understanding of various data elements involved in Customer Business Planning and their flow between various systems. This should help you in deciding how you should set up the data to design a CBP solution and understanding the impact the data changes can have on your solution.