How to Carry Out Data Extraction from a Planning Area in SAP APO

  • by Alok Jaiswal, Consultant, Infosys Limited
  • September 20, 2016
Learn the process flow of how data can be extracted from a planning area in Demand Planning to an InfoCube in the SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) database. Follow a step-by-step procedure to understand the prerequisites, importance, and configuration steps with the help of an example case study.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn about:

  • Prerequisites in Demand Planning
  • Configuration steps to extract the data from a planning area
  • The process of loading the data into a back-up cube
Key Concept
Demand Planning in SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) helps to generate forecasts based on historical values. A planning area is one of the most important functions in SAP APO. A planning area is where most of the planning activities take place. A planning area groups together both characteristics and key figures under a single domain. Planning area data resides within liveCache, a database that resides in memory and is used to speed up planning and processing capabilities within SAP APO. InfoCubes are central, multidimensional data models that are used for data backup and reporting purposes in an SAP system. By extracting the data, forecast data is saved in a back-up cube and it can be further used for reporting purposes.

Demand Planning (DP) within SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) helps to generate forecasts based on historical values. A planning area as you know is one of the most important functions in both DP and Supply Network Planning (SNP). It defines the area where most of the planning activities take place, grouping together both characteristics and key figures under a single domain. To maintain data consistency and to avoid loss of data, it is generally a good practice to back up the data in the planning area to an InfoCube.

SAP APO does not need a separate SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) instance as it is built on top of SAP BW technology and uses many SAP BW objects, such as InfoObjects and InfoCubes. Although SAP APO is a separate information warehouse that is needed to support the planning process, planning data can be saved in SAP BW objects such as InfoCubes for better reporting. Figure 1 shows the data flow of saving the planning results in a back-up cube.

Figure 1
Data flow

Business Scenario

Consider an example of an automobile manufacturer that manufactures cars with various models. Past historical sales data is used to carry out forecasting with different statistical forecasting models to develop the baseline forecast. The forecast is carried out at different regions, and these regions are then consolidated at the global level. This forecast is then released from DP to SNP to carry out multilevel and downstream planning. As part of a monthly sales and operations planning (S&OP) process, sales regions, field teams, marketing, finance, and operations share knowledge to improve forecasts through collaborative forecast development.

As part of the DP setup, the following objects are used as characteristics to carry out the monthly S&OP process:

  • APO Product
  • APO Location
  • Region
  • Country/Market
  • Territory
  • Brand
  • Model Year
  • Forecast Type
  • Customer

Prerequisites in DP

Before extracting and saving the data in back-up cubes, you need to set up some objects.

I assume that the reader knows how to set up master data in SAP APO and how to configure basic DP objects. For this article, I include images of the major DP objects that are used in later steps.

Master Planning Object Structure (MPOS)

To create an MPOS execute transaction code /SAPAPO/MSDP_ADMIN. This action displays the screen shown in Figure 2. For my example the MPOS contains Brand, APO Location, APO Product, Customer, Country/Market, Forecast Type, Model Year, Region, and Territory.

Figure 2
Data entered for an MPOS

Alok Jaiswal

Alok Jaiswal is a consultant at Infosys Limited.

He has more than six years of experience in IT and ERP consulting and in supply chain management (SCM). He has worked on various SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) modules such as Demand Planning (DP), Production Planning/Detailed Scheduling (PP/DS), Supply Network Planning (SNP), and Core Interface (CIF) at various stages of the project life cycle.

He is also an APICS-certified CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Planner) consultant, with exposure in functional areas of demand planning, lean management, value stream mapping, and inventory management across manufacturing, healthcare, and textile sectors.

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