Study Material Contributed by Ulhas Kavle - Senior SAP Consultant.
Define SAP Sales and Operations Planning – SOP
Long ago planners didn’t have intelligent planning systems, they solely relied on Microsoft excel sheets for planning, with formulas and embedded macros. The historical figures were manually pulled in, in the excel sheets (from other system or entered manually) and formulas would work wonders for them. But with the advent of integrated ERP, it was made possible for extraction of the historical sales data automatically from their sales and production information systems and use it for planning the future requirements. Such tools also offered application of macros, events, forecasting on the historical data to arrive at production figures for the next period/s.
SAP SOP or even SAP APO-DP came as one such tool with flexible templates and with added advantages of planning/forecasting with the help of historical data at various organizational levels and disaggregating or aggregating the figures to various levels upwards or downwards.
SAP SOP stands for Sales and Operations Planning, a long term planning tool that can use historical sales data or production data as found from information structures (SAP LIS) and forecast them to arrive at future sales or production quantities; which the planner in a planning table, can change, churn or massage at various organizational levels and disaggregate them to the detail most material level so that they can be eventually converted into planned independent requirements and fed as requirements in SAP MRP.
Other operational related figures like the stocks, day’s supply, capacity requirements can also derived along with the production plan, which can be purely used for analyzing many other planning related factors. In short a sales plan and an operational production plan is a primary outcome.
SOP also offers carrying out rough cut planning on the planned figures to roughly estimate the shop floor capacity required for manufacturing the same. The planning results can also be passed on to profitability analysis (CO-PA) to derive the profits that can be realized from the sales and production plan.
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