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Author's profile photo Damian Edelberg

What is SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration ?

Welcome to the first in a series of the ‘SAP Business Network for Supply Chain: What is ?’ blog posts where I will cover in more detail the scope, capabilities, use cases, and benefits of SAP Business Network for Supply Chain.

This first blog in the series will focus on ‘SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration.’

Let’s start with the context. Now more than ever, companies across all industry segments need full visibility into the availability of supply across the planning horizon. What we are seeing is that best-in-class companies have the power to transform their supply chains from a disconnected set of processes and business partners into a digitally connected, synchronized network.

Based on research by Oxford Economics, 74% of companies have challenges remediating potential supply and demand mismatches with their suppliers.

In fact, streamlining collaboration between companies and their trading partners on demand plans and forecasts to assure supply of critical raw materials and components is now a business imperative.

The good news is that at SAP we have a solution to solve this problem: SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration.

SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration enables companies to gain full visibility into the availability of supply across a given planning horizon through the digital sharing of forecasts and demand plans with their trading partners. Companies and their trading partners can identify and address demand shifts and agree upon material requirements. Some of the capabilities include:

  • Digitally sharing forecast and demand plans between buyers and suppliers
  • A common view of inventory levels for buyers and suppliers
  • Full visibility of trading partner commitments to demand plans
  • Customer alert for timely mitigation

Let’s see this graphically:

SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration

Customers run two distinct business scenarios with SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration.

Scenario #1. Forecast Collaboration

SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration delivers real-time collaboration of unconstrained forecasts and supplier forecast commitments and drives an iterative process from planning to execution, via a common view for buyers and suppliers, using an intuitive UI to visualize status and drive decision support analysis.
Planners are alerted immediately for any under- or over-commitment to component demand so mitigating actions can be taken earlier in the planning cycle.

Scenario #2. External Manufacturing Visibility

Customers running this scenario can achieve complete supply chain visibility and equip their organization to work with multiple tiers of contract manufacturers and suppliers across key supply chain planning and execution processes.

Suppliers can report the stock on-hand quantities in their inventory via SAP Business Network so buyers can use this information to better manage strategic components/parts and proactively detect supply disruptions.

Through the External Manufacturing Visibility capability powered by SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration, our customers can get clear reporting of supplier component manufacturing quantities to provide visibility into the manufacturing process and proactively detect supply disruptions including: shipment quantities, firm receipt quantities, planned receipt quantities and projected stock quantities.

Additionally, customers can obtain reporting of stock-on-hand quantities and other key information, such as: blocked quantities, quality inspection quantities, work-in process, in-transit, and scrap quantities digitally through SAP Business Network.

How is the SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration approach different?

To start with, SAP Business Network Planning Collaboration is natively integrated to work with SAP IBP and SAP S/4HANA planning applications and the rest of the SAP Business Network for Supply Chain and offers open APIs to connect to other third-party planning solutions.​

Secondly, we know that Supplier Onboarding and Enablement can be cumbersome for these business processes. Services delivered by SAP Experts are included in the subscription to support the onboarding and enablement of supplier partners in a matter of weeks.

And lastly, the solution leverages over 30 demand and supply signals exchanged in near real-time at any tier in the supply chain from finished product to the origin of raw materials​.

I want to wrap up this post by sharing some tangible benefits that our customers achieve. For example, a world-wide High-Tech company yielded the following benefits in less than 2 years:

  • 87% reduction in planning/execution cycle time
  • $200 million in annual inventory savings
  • 65% reduction of obsolete and excess Inventory
  • 75% improvement in supplier onboarding time

Do you want to learn more ? Check the SAP’s Product Page here.

Stay tuned for my next blog. In the meantime, leave me a comment on which topic in particular related to SAP Business Network for Supply Chain interests you the most. Let me know how you are currently collaborating with your suppliers on forecasts and demand plans.


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      Author's profile photo Wei Ming Cheng
      Wei Ming Cheng

      Just in case you like to know SCC