Report Design from Start to Finish with the SAP APO Demand Planning Add-In for Microsoft Excel

  • by Alistair Thornton, Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting
  • October 26, 2015
Learn how to create reports in the new SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) demand planning add-in for Microsoft Excel from scratch. Follow a use case to help you understand the prerequisites for using this functionality.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will learn how to:

  • Connect the SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) demand planning add-in for Microsoft Excel to your SAP APO system
  • Build a simple report
  • Apply formatting to the report
  • Add additional calculated fields to the report
Key Concept

The SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO) demand planning add-in for Microsoft Excel provides a method for casual users to view and adjust SAP APO demand planning data. This software is delivered through a Service Pack (see the Administrator’s Guide at http://service.sap.com/~sapidb/012002523100005812682015E for details).

No matter how advanced your statistical forecasting is, inherent market and customer volatility means that it’s still necessary to improve your forecast by incorporating key intelligence on customer demand and market behavior. Leading demand-planning processes start with a statistical baseline forecast and enrich it with input from the sales, marketing, and supply chain functions before reaching a consensus on future demand.

The most common method for capturing input from sales and marketing relies on an exchange of spreadsheets. Although it is possible for users in sales and marketing to enter forecasts into SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO), casual sales and marketing users often don’t perform this task regularly enough to become familiar with SAP APO planning books. They prefer a method enabling them to capture forecast changes offline while they are on sales calls.

SAP released the SAP APO demand planning add-in for Microsoft Excel in mid-2014. I walk you through the steps needed to enable this functionality in your SAP APO system and provide advice on report design. You then can create the Excel reports that casual users in sales or marketing can use to enter forecast adjustments.

Setting Up Connections

Assume that your Basis team has installed the add-in software by applying the Service Pack in your SAP APO system and that you have installed the add-in software on your computer. Refer to the Administrator’s guide above for details on these steps if needed.

The first step is to create a connection. Connections define the parameters needed to connect to an SAP APO system. They are conceptually equivalent to the entries in the SAP Logon Pad and contain the following information:

  • Network information about the SAP APO server (host name and port)
  • The planning book and data view to be used
  • The planning version to be used

The planning book, data view, and planning version are based on the configuration design implemented, so they are already known. You can determine the host name and port by performing the following steps. You may need your Basis team to help if you don’t have access to the Service Internet Communication Framework (transaction code SICF).

Execute transaction code SICF in the SAP APO system to which you want to connect. In the main menu at the top of the screen select Goto > Port Information. The Port Information screen appears (Figure 1). You need the information under the Service and Host Name headers. Depending on your security approach, you should use either the HTTP (not secure) or HTTPS (secure) protocol.


Figure 1
View the port information

 

Alistair Thornton

Alistair Thornton is a specialist leader at Deloitte Consulting. Alistair specializes in Demand Planning, Supply Planning, and Sales and Operations Planning. He’s been working in this area for more than 15 years, helping some of the world’s largest companies to improve their supply chain planning capability. Alistair’s experience spans the consumer products, food and beverage, life sciences, high-tech, and chemicals industries.

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