Best Practices for Implementing SAP APO SNP Optimizers

  • by Rajesh Ray, Senior Managing Consultant and SCM Product Lead, IBM Global Business Services
  • Abhishek Kaul, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM GLobal Business Services
  • March 30, 2012
An SAP Advanced Planning & Optimization (SAP APO) Supply Network Planning (SNP) Optimizer implementation requires that you perform specific tasks during each phase of the project. Follow these specific tasks along with a set of tips and tricks for modeling different types of business requirements. Case studies and examples reinforce the learning and are applicable to other SAP SCM optimizers as well.
Key Concept
SAP Advanced Planning & Optimization (SAP APO) optimizers are used to solve complex business problems ranging from supply, distribution, production, and transportation planning. Implementing an SAP APO optimizer requires specific tasks to be performed in each phase of the project life cycle from project preparation to go-live. This set of activities includes modeling, implementing, and understanding SNP optimizer results.

We have devised a set of best practices from our experience implementing SAP Advanced Planning & Optimization (SAP APO) optimizers in numerous projects. In addition to sharing these tips, we also outline typical challenges and key success factors for optimizer implementations. Using ASAP methodology and the example of a Supply Network Planning (SNP) Optimizer we take you though a typical implementation life cycle. The process works for all SAP APO optimizers.

Before starting an implementation of an optimizer, you should have completed a thorough evaluation of the tool and be certain that an SAP APO optimizer can solve your business problem. For more information about best practices for evaluating SAP APO optimizers, see the article “Best Practices for Evaluating SAP APO Optimizers: Learning From Case Studies.”

Phase 1: Project Preparation

Project preparation is the first phase of the implementation project in ASAP methodology. While in most projects, optimizer implementation is part of a bigger project such as an SAP APO implementation, you need to take special care in the following areas as part of project preparation: 

  • Project planning
  • Detailed project scoping
  • Sizing for optimization server

Rajesh Ray

Rajesh Ray currently leads the SAP SCM product area at IBM Global Business Services. He has worked with SAP SE and SAP India prior to joining IBM. He is the author of two books on ERP and retail supply chain published by McGraw-Hill, and has contributed more than 52 articles in 16 international journals. Rajesh is a frequent speaker at different SCM forums and is an honorary member of the CII Logistics Council, APICS India chapter and the SCOR Society. 

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Abhishek Kaul

Abhishek Kaul is part of the global center of competence at IBM Global Business Services. He has led major process and technology innovation projects in leading companies. He has extensive experience in designing and implementing planning solutions for the manufacturing industry.

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