SAP has increased the automation capabilities of its cloud-based solution for sales and operations, Integrated Business Planning, by adding machine learning and predictive analytics.
The product, which includes features such as demand sensing and forecasting, inventory and supply optimisation and exception-driven response management, has had these features added in order to help customers shorten planning cycles and so that it provides more accurate responses to changes in supply and demand.
The SaaS solution enables companies to gather previously disconnected data sources and processes, eliminate reliance on ad hoc collaboration over email and Microsoft Excel and also deliver cross-functional decision making with the benefit of “what-if” scenario analysis.
Hans Thalbauer, SVP, Digital Supply Chain and IoT, SAP said: “Our integrated planning solution allows our customers to align business objectives with operations to achieve top-line growth and higher profits, while significantly improving customer service, order fulfilment and end-user management.”
In order to meet customer expectations and the constant changing market conditions, SAP introduces a series of enhancements- one of which is machine learning intelligence.
It is embedded into the suite through SAP Clea, the company’s portfolio of machine learning technology, software applications and all related services.
Further updates include new analytics and dashboard apps which offer improved monitoring and decision support for fast response and insights such as cost drivers in inventory, along with the addition of supply chain network virtualisation to enable planners to view real-world supply chain network in digital representation.
SAP also says that it offers an enhanced product lifecycle management, which includes capabilities such as phase-in and phase-out modelling for efficient product launches. This is supported with a new process orchestration app to ensure automation and monitoring of planning processes is circulated across short, midterm and long-term horizons.
Thalbauer said: “With customer expectations and market conditions changing constantly, companies increasingly require collaborative planning with powerful analytical capabilities to ensure accurate and agile execution.”
An improved ABC/XYZ segmentation is also offered to enable companies make planning, cost and service decisions to demand sensing or statistical forecasting with additional enhancements to planning algorithms.
Overall, SAP’s Integrated Business Planning solution is designed to allow customers to achieve greater visibility, shorter planning cycles and a faster and more accurate response to changes in supply and demand.