Start-to-Finish Guide to Creating APO DP Alerts Using Macro Builder

  • by David Ducray
  • January 1, 2004
Alerts in the planning and forecast process let you quickly identify exceptions and trends, and SAP APO allows you to create custom alerts through the Macro Builder in Demand Planning. The author expands on the SAP documentation by sharing his experience in creating DP alerts with Macro Builder.

In a previous article on APO Demand Planning (DP) alerts,1 I discussed the structure of the APO DP tool and the importance of alerts in the planning and forecasting process. In short, alerts let you quickly identify trends and errors in the data you use to create your demand forecasts.

Different types of alerts — dynamic, statistical, or database — are activated and controlled through macros. In addition, macros are used in arithmetical, mathematical, and statistical calculations to refine and complete the forecast with greater confidence in its accuracy.

SAP’s APO DP Macro Builder has a library of advanced statistical forecasting and macro techniques for modeling new macros. These APO tools enable you to define macros that can be used to build more accurate forecasts. Whether you use collaborative forecasting techniques, demand projections or demand history, or filter data by any number of causal factors, Macro Builder helps you arrive at a more accurate final demand plan. Macro Builder enables you to create macros to test and validate the accuracy of the forecast model.

Macros are also used to combine multiple forecast projections into a single demand plan, enabling you to adopt a consensus-based approach to reconcile the plans of different departments. Once the forecast has been finalized, you are able to maximize DP’s integration with APO Supply Network Planning (SNP) to support efficient sales and operating procedures and to identify areas of concern in the supply chain.

Using Macro Builder requires knowledge of statistical and mathematical models, and the SAP documentation on these models is limited. What follows is a description of the end-to-end process for creating DP alerts using Macro Builder. I will also identify and explain a few useful and popular macros for illustrative urposes. Experienced users will find valuable insights into macro design.

David Ducray

David Ducray has a bachelor of commerce degree, majoring in economics and business administration. He is also CPIM- and SAPcertified. As the manufacturing information technology director for a high-tech electronics manufacturing organization, David was responsible for re-engineering forecast-to-stock, replenishment-to-procurement, and order-to-cash strategies, as well as implementing these systems. He has spent the past two and a half years consulting for a leading consumer products organization in the fields of order-to-cash and forecast-to-stock and implementing SAP R/3 in these fields in 19 countries. Prior to this engagement, David spent more than three years consulting for a leading electronic components and systems.

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