During SAP APO times the maintenance of Product Lifecycles, Phase-in or Phase-out profiles including Like modelling has been very cumbersome. In most customer projects we experienced that the available functionality in APO did by far not match with the business requirements, so customer developments had been very likely.

The App in SAP IBP for Product Lifecycle Management means a big step forward in terms of comprehensiveness and usability. This article will describe in detail how it works.

Product/Market Life Cycle Phases

Business Requirements

New product introduction, phase-in or phase-out is a very common topic when it comes to demand and supply planning. Apart from the master data to be provided for executing Lifecycle Management (LCM), it as well needs appropriate time series and distribution functions for the Like Modelling. This often means an extra burden of workload for the planner. In SAP APO you control LCM via the central transaction code /SAPAPO/MSDP_FCST1. Phase-In or Phase-Out profiles are to be maintained manually and assigned to the Lifecycle Profile.

Lifecycle Planning needs further explicitly being activated in the Forecast Profile for later Statistical Forecasting:

In SAP IBP, the configuration for Lifecycle Management is provided in a different and – frankly – more convenient way.

General Solution Approach / How To

The central point for the configuration of LCM within SAP IBP is the LCM app tile in FIORI:

You will need to define the new product and its reference product in the Planning Area you are executing the planning. You can assign several reference products with a different weighting:

On the tab “Forecast Dates” you define the start and end dates for the Phase-In and Phase-Out. Additionally you can define if the phase in is in general linear or sublinear, meaning if the line can have a bend.

Below you have the possibility to simulate the phase-in or phase-out curve with a start and end value:

Especially, when you would expect a growth phase in your product lifecycle you might include a higher grade of your curve in the beginning by choosing an alternative pre-defined function.

Consider to flag “Consider Product Lifecycle Information” in your Forecast Model:

After running Statistical Forecasting with your Forecasting Model, you may see immediately the slow rising of the demand curve of the new product (green curve) and its approximation to the reference product:

And vice versa, the phase-out of the newly introduced product:

Summary

SAP IBP for demand supports the baseline forecast generation of a new product by referring to the demand history of a similar product. It is clear, that the app will not match every detailed customer business requirement. Nevertheless, it is a big step forward with regards to usability and comprehensiveness of planning results.

Author: Christian Schöne