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Tips and Techniques to Optimize Demand Planning System Performance for Pre- and Post-Go-Live

by Steven Mcgaughey

February 28, 2011

The following is an outline of a presentation given at the 2010 SAPInsider SCM conference. Please post your tips and any comments/questions you have on the subject.

As consultants who specialize in APO implementations, and optimization, we have a learned a few things about optimizing system performance  before, during, and after an SCM Advanced Planning and Optimization (APO) Demand Planning (DP) deployment to help prevent run away Characteristic Value Combinations (CVC) growth (while improving your forecast accuracy).

 The following are a few chosen tips and techniques designed to help mitigate sizing and performance obstacles:

Understand how DP impacts hardware

  • Use the Quick Sizer tool to estimate hardware requirements
  • Grasp how estimates of CVCs, key figures, and planning versions impact results
    • There is a direct (linear) relationship between number of CVCs and hardware requirements
    • Key Figures define the demand planning process, the more complex the process, the more Key Figures needed to support it. Identify the number of key figures needed
      • The more complex the process the larger the hardware requirements
    • Adding Planning Versions dramatically increases size as it essentially “copies” the Key Figures

TIP: While it is easy to set up an imp lement, extra planning versions dramatically increase the size: Develop a “what-if” process to avoid the use of more than one version

  • As part of the planning process: Are you forecasting in weeks, months, or a combination, or some other bucket

 What about data analysis during implementation

  • Establish which materials and customer levels you need to plan against: including the identification of priority customers?

What about design techniques during implementation

  • Understand the difference between Characteristics vs. Navigational Attributes
  • Group customers into a planning customer
  • Optimize the realignment process, and background processing
  • Enable the DP Planning Book design to support only the necessary background jobs
  • Utilize parallel processing
  • Set up the job with multiple macros
  • Generate Log Indicator helps with log analysis, but impedes performance

Tip Transaction:/SAPAPO/MC8K: Delete Old Logs

    Post Go-live – Techniques to manage CVC growth

    • Standard SAP SCM Functionality to Identify Obsolete CVCs
    • List Combinations Without Master Data
      • How it works
        • Checks against Product Masters
        • Reviews Planning Area Key figures
        • Returns Only Characteristics with NO Key Figures Values
        • Returns CVC if all Key Figures are Null
        • Any Value including “0” will make the CVC “Active”
        • ?

 Tip: Better approach: Create custom Alert(s)

  • Execute at the desired level, when you need to



  • Understand the impact versions have on sizing and performance
  • Don’t fall into the “what-if” trap
  • Analyze your characteristics
  • Group or exclude if not needed — Customers, Materials
  • Evaluate when to use characteristics or navigational attributes
  • Automate your realignment process
  • Optimize your background processing
  • Utilize parallel processing to speed background jobs
  • Understand the limitations of obsolete CVC identification
    in SAP SCM


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