SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer is the main component of mySAP application which is integrated to SAP Event Management and SAP Inventory Collaboration Hub which together forms the SCM 4.0 solution. It is planning component and it is considered to be a major competent of the New Dimension products launched by SAP. APO has a suite which supports supply chain planning applications and it helps to increase the knowledge related to forecasting, optimization and planning.
There are total 8 applications in SAP APO which include the network design, demand planning, supply network planning, production planning, scheduling, transportation planning, supply chain collaboration, global availability and vehicle scheduling.
The main benefits of SAP APO are
1. It provides an end to end solution where all the key processes are linked together such as the supply chain management and the production planning.
2. Each and every minute application is linked together and it starts from order generation to making the production plan and the transportation.
3. It is not a standalone application and therefore it requires an ERP system as the backend and SAP R/3 for execution.
4. The R/3 environments communicate with SAP APO through the Core interface and the data is transferred between backend and frontend. The real time data and the data of production, sales and supply management is transferred from one system to other and it does not require a batch processing for processing the requests.
5. The APO functionalities are offered for demand planning, production planning, detailed scheduling and supply network planning.
The modules in SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO) are Supply Chain Cockpit, Demand planning, Supply Network Planning, Global Available to Promise, Transportation Planning and Vehicle Scheduling, Service Parts Planning, Production Plan and Details scheduling.
The processes in SAP Advanced Planner and Optimizer (APO) are
Supply Chain planning
APO tools help an organization to provide a better customer service because it provides visibility across various departments. The features can be used to design a feasible plan for warehousing, production and transportation. The plan provides a balanced approach to manage material, labor, equipments and to meet the customer demand.
The capabilities of the system helps the supply network planning and demand planning modules to turn the plans to reality as all components of the processes are handled efficiently by SAP APO and the job can be done appropriately on time.
Supply Chain Execution
In the supply chain execution module every process of the production module including delivery of shipments to customers, inventory management, customer orders, production schedules, product specifications and various other details are managed. The module combines the functionalities of Core Interface Functionality and liveCache Planning Model to get the planning updates in the transactional and master data in a day.
Supply chain coordination
The information such as the status of a purchase order in a manufacturing process and the expected delivery of raw material for the process of manufacturing is stored in the supply chain coordination. The tools such as the Event management can be used for updating the plans triggered by the key events.
Supply chain collaboration
It uses the web collaboration techniques to promote new products of the organization, to make forecasts and to design replenishment process.