Skip to Content
Product Information
Author's profile photo Anurag Tiwari

SAP IBP : Subnetworks in Supply Planning

Dear IBP Folks,

Planning by Sub networks has been a Key element of Supply Planners using the SAP IBP to compute the the Supply Plan. In Recent Release of 2102 SAP has introduced some new ways of using the Subnetworks (Part of networks) which will be planned during the planning run. This would be provided to be very useful tool for planners to restrict the planning run selection.

In this blog we will try to cover some of the suggestions which might be used when we are defining our Subnetworks and Later we will also touch base with the latest feature introduced by SAP  in Time Series Planning (2102) which offers some flexibility to the planners in the selection.

What is Subnetwork  ? As per SAP Help , A subnetwork is a subsection of the overall supply chain network for which a planner is responsible or that the planner wants to plan in a separate planning run (for example, all location products in a particular region or all location products in a particular product group)

Is it necessary to have multiple subnetworks in your Supply Chain ?   The answer really depends on various factors which determines the number of Subnetworks.

  1. Scope of Planning : If we want to have one global network and if number planning combinations are also not hampering our Planning run. We can still decide to have one global subnetwork and all Product Locations are assigned to the same. But in case we want to have a regional planning and where each of the region wants to plan the SKUs for their own regions (without impacting other regions)  you need different subnetworks.\


  1. Size of Planning Combinations : This also play a crucial role specially when you are planning to run the optimizations across your network and combinations are more within a defined subnetwork criteria , You will still need to do some slice and dice.


  1. Area of Responsibility : There might also be cases that even within a Country/Region , we have different Planner roles who are responsible for their own Product Groups / Segments, and they want to plan and report their results separately we again would need to divide.


What are some of the ways to choose  our subnetworks ? This is pretty much linked to previous step as to why there is a need of classification. Some of the possible suggestions to segment our portfolio into Sub networks are as below :

  1. All Product Locations in a particular region falls into one Sub network.
  2. All Product Locations falling in one product groups can form one Sub network
  3. The Products which contribute to Top X% revenue can be grouped into one and remaining into other Sub Networks. The ABC/XYZ can also help us to make decisions here.
  4. All Products which are planned on common Production Lines share same resources and should be planned together for a better capacity planning.
  5. Division based on some other common attributes like Brand , Packaging etc.

I am sure there are also many other possibilities than the listed ones :).

Let’s also discuss the new feature introduced in 2102 around the Subnetwork Filtering in Time Series Planning i.e. Subnetwork Selection by Filter

SAP help suggests that You can plan subnetworks by selecting their IDs, or by creating filters that can include a filter environment policy. This enables you to plan or re-plan just an affected part of a large supply network to see the impact of a change.

In nutshell we have many options to choose from when we are running our Supply Algorithms and we are not bound to use the Subnetworks which we have defined.

The Filter Environment Policy which is and extension of these filters  also helps us to even go beyond the selected Product Locations and plan all the impacted nodes.

More you can read more details  here.

Some of the use cases  which came to mind and that might fit around each of the Filter Environment Policies are :

  1. No extension of environment – This policy will be most commonly used when we just want to Plan/ Re-plan any of our Materials which are sold to our customers or for which we anticipate the demand/Supply situations are changing more frequently.
  2. Include only direct components of production sources – The ideal candidates for these Policy will be the Crucial Materials which are produced in house.
  3. Include everything along downstream – This policy will help us to see impact of any supply change situations at our Customer Demands.
  4. Include everything along upstream – This would be more like exploding the BOM /Cascading our Demand from DC and tracking our key raw materials situation .
  5. Include everything along downstream and upstream – This can help to analyze the impact of shortages of a material both on Customer as well as on Raw Materials.

These are just some of the examples which can be ideal candidates for respective polices. We will have many such use cases for the items.

All in All, A good feature added to the SAP IBP Umbrella and I hope this will give lot flexibilities for planners to plan in future.

Happy to hear your feedback as well 🙂


Assigned Tags

      Be the first to leave a comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.