SAP IBP Interview Questions and Answers
by Nithyanandham, on Jan 9, 2023 12:04:16 PM
Q1. What is SAP IBP?
SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) is a cloud-based solution that helps companies forecast sales and revenues, plan their inventories in order to maximize profits and service fill rates, anticipate and address any supply chain bottlenecks, identify potential alternatives, all with the use of a simple and efficient user interface.
Q2. Why is SAP IBP Important?
SAP IBP results in more productivity, better responsiveness, and lets businesses run more strategically. SAP IBP makes processes in supply chain management faster, smarter, and easier, with world-class recognition. It provides real-time data for quick analysis and execution.
Q3. What are the key features of SAP IBP?
- End-to-end supply chain visibility
- Unified, integrated, and cross-departmental planning approach
- Advanced demand sensing, analysis, and predictive forecasting
- Embedded social collaboration and MS Excel-based planning
- An exceptional, user-friendly interface.
- Real-time simulations for various business scenarios in order to meet the growing business demand, supply, and financial models of an organization.
Q4. Can you explain the main components of IBP?
The main components of IBP are the demand planning, inventory planning, supply planning, and response and supply optimization modules. IBP also includes a number of supporting tools and applications, such as the IBP configuration tool and the IBP Excel add-in.
Q5. What is Best Practices for IBP?
SAP Best Practices for SAP Integrated Business Planning (Best Practices for IBP) gives you everything you need to run planning processes in the IBP applications: IBP for demand, IBP for inventory, IBP for response & supply (time-series based optimizer and order-based planning), IBP for sales & operations, IBP for demand-driven replenishment and Supply Chain Control Tower. All scope items are based on one comprehensive data model which enables you to execute an integrated, end-to-end business process.
The extensive documentation of solution configuration and process execution is a good resource for self-study, evaluation, as well as for project team and end-user training.
Best Practices for IBP was formerly known as Rapid Deployment Solutions for SAP Integrated Business Planning (RDS for IBP).
Q6. What is included in the Best Practices for IBP content?
Best Practices for IBP content includes: an activated planning area for a quick start, planning view templates for interactive simulations and what-if analysis, predefined dashboards for embedded analytics, SAP JAM integration for context-aware social collaboration, alert definitions for exception-based planning and sample data to showcase the end-to-end process.
Accelerators and documentation include: a customer scope presentation, sales supplement with business value, demo script, detailed scope presentation, master data overview, planning view templates, et al.
Q7. Once I log in, where can I find the Best Practices for IBP content?
The pre-installed content can be found in the dedicated Fiori apps:
- Charts in Advanced Analytics (starting with IBP release 1705);
- Dashboards in Advanced Dashboards;
- Forecast models in Manage Forecast Models;
- Segmentation rules in Manage ABC/XYZ Segmentation Rules;
- Customer alerts in Define and Subscribe to Custom Alerts;
- Planning view templates in Excel IBP ribbon under Template Admin → Templates; etc.
Q8. How can I verify whether the Best Practices content is installed, and whether it is up-to-date?
The best way is to use the Configuration app under Planning Area and Details and search for an active planning area starting with “UNIPA”.
If there is no “UNIPA” planning area, then the Best Practices for IBP have most likely not been pre-installed when the tenant was provisioned.
If you do find a “UNIPA” planning area, the Best Practices for IBP have most likely been pre-installed when the tenant was provisioned. The description of the planning area will tell you the version (see above). For example, planning area “UNIPA07” means that Best Practices for IBP were pre-installed with IBP release 1705 and the associated Best Practices content.
Q9. Who can use Best Practices for IBP? What does it cost?
Anyone with a subscription to SAP Integrated Business Planning can take advantage of Best Practices for IBP. There is no cost to use the Best Practices for IBP content.
Q10. What are SAP IBP Modules?
SAP IBP features several modules that include:
- Supply Chain Control Tower
- SAP IBP for Sales and Operations
- SAP IBP for Demand
- SAP IBP for Inventory
- SAP IBP for Response and Supply
- SAP IBP for Demand Driven Material Requirements Planning (DDMRP).
Each module caters to a specific supply chain business planning process. Based on each customer’s requirements and needs, the modules can be applied independently, one at a time, or in combination.
Q11. Why should I implement IBP?
One of the interesting revelations from Sapphire is that IBP is just a good platform for unmet business needs – not necessarily supply chain functionality that SAP is developing. One company is using it strictly as a financial budgeting tool, while another suggested using it for deployment calculations. With the Excel frontend, a speedy HANA database, and standard data extraction tools, there is really no limit to what we’ll see companies using this tool for in a few years. So the sooner you get into the tool and start using it, the more ideas you are going to get to use it. Also the S&OP functionality is ready to go and leverages the same data that will be needed for demand and supply.
Q12. How do you create a planning area in IBP?
You can create a planning area in IBP by going to the Administration tab and selecting the Planning Areas option. From there, you can click on the Create Planning Area button and fill out the necessary information.
Q13. How does IBP integrate with other SAP solutions like APO and ECC?
IBP integrates with other SAP solutions in a few different ways. Firstly, IBP can be used as a standalone solution or it can be integrated with other SAP solutions like APO and ECC. Secondly, IBP uses data from other SAP solutions to generate its planning models. Lastly, IBP can be used to generate alerts and notifications based on events that occur in other SAP solutions.
Q14. Does IBP integrate with BPC?
We have no doubt at all that IBP can extract whatever data is necessary from a BPC system. What is unclear at this time is what data can be integrated back into the BPC system; at the IBP roadmap session, nothing was specifically highlighted.
Q15. What’s the difference between HANA Live and IBP?
HANA Live is a real-time data visualization tool that can be used to create reports and dashboards from data stored in a HANA database. IBP is a planning and forecasting tool that can be used to create models and simulations based on data from multiple sources, including HANA databases.
Q16. What is the pre-installed planning area called?
Starting with IBP release 1808, the pre-installed planning area with the Best Practices for IBP content will be named “UNIPA”. The description of the planning area includes the release, e.g. Unified Planning Area for 1808).
For the IBP releases 1708 – 1805, the pre-installed planning area with the Best Practices for IBP content was named “UNIPA” + the IBP release number (e.g., “UNIPA1708”, “UNIPA1711”).
Planning areas for previous IBP releases were named as follows:
- IBP release 1705: UNIPA07
- IBP release 1702: UNIPA06
- IBP release 1611: UNIPA05
Q17. How is SAP pricing IBP?
Some general points of discussion concerning SAP’s IBP pricing strategy:
- Generally speaking, IBP is a cloud application that utilizes a revenue based yearly subscription model (standard disclaimers apply here…I don’t work for SAP, cannot speak for SAP, etc.).
- There is a separate yearly subscription required for each module (S&OP, Control Tower, Demand Management, Inventory, Response and Supply Management).
- There looks to be a revenue “floor” under which the pricing model no longer calculates. That said, I have heard rumors that SAP is looking for a way to address this in the near future but no details have yet been communicated.
Q18. What is your opinion on the cost of using IBP as compared to similar systems like Oracle or JDA?
I believe that IBP is a more cost-effective option than similar systems like Oracle or JDA. IBP offers a lot of the same features and functionality as those other systems, but it is typically priced at a lower cost point. That being said, the cost of IBP will vary depending on the specific needs of your business.
Q19. Can you explain what versioning is in IBP?
Versioning in IBP refers to the ability to create multiple versions of a planning model, each with its own unique identifier. This can be useful when you want to compare different versions of a model side-by-side, or if you want to make changes to a model without affecting the live version that is currently in use.
Q20. What is the purpose of exception reporting in IBP?
Exception reporting is used to identify areas where the planning process is not working as intended, so that corrective action can be taken. This could involve anything from identifying errors in data input to identifying areas where the planning process is not meeting the needs of the business. Exception reporting is an important part of IBP because it helps to ensure that the planning process is as effective as possible.
Q21. Is IBP ready for prime time?
Typical consulting answer: It depends. From an IT perspective, it is a solid application since it uses components from established SAP applications. For example, the HANA database, the MS Excel front end, and the HCI data integration platform, etc. are all proven SAP technologies. The S&OP application in IBP is mature enough to be implemented right now and should provide value quickly. It was evident from the IBP roadmap session here at Sapphire that there was a lot of functionality in release 6.0 (due later this year) that a client may just want to wait for (e.g. statistical models, full optimization, etc.). So the full answer here is that it will depend on your individual requirements as to which parts of IBP would make sense to implement in your organization today.
Q22. Does IBP have any special requirements when it comes to hardware?
No, IBP can be run on any standard hardware.
Q23. What is your opinion on the security features provided by IBP?
IBP provides a great deal of security features that help to keep data safe and secure. IBP is compliant with a number of security standards, and it offers a number of features that help to protect data. IBP is a great choice for businesses that need to ensure that their data is safe and secure.
Q24. What are some ways in which we can extend the functionality of IBP?
There are a few ways in which we can extend the functionality of IBP. One way is to use the IBP add-ons, which are available for purchase from SAP. Another way is to use the IBP customizing options, which allow us to tailor the IBP functionality to better meet our specific needs. Finally, we can also use the IBP integration options, which allow us to integrate IBP with other SAP applications.
Q25. Are there any limitations to using IBP? If yes, then please describe them.
There are a few potential limitations to using IBP that should be considered before implementation. Firstly, IBP requires a high level of data accuracy and completeness in order to generate reliable planning results. Secondly, IBP can be resource intensive, both in terms of the hardware required to run the software and the personnel needed to manage and maintain the system. Finally, IBP can be complex to implement and configure, so a thorough understanding of the system is necessary before attempting to use it.