Nadine Schackmann's picture

Nowadays for some manufacturers it is still usual to determine their plan budget on sales forecasts instead of realistic utilized capacity forecasts. The result is often an unrealistic plan budget. So how do you get realistic utilized capacity forecasts and therefore a realistic plan budget? With the use of a well structured planning process it is possible to determine a realistic budget step-by-step and from the bottom up for the following year(s). A planning process is nothing else but a logical sequence of partial planning processes, like sales planning, procurement planning, capacity planning, human resources planning and so on, which have to be identified, analyzed and standardized.

Example for a planning process with its partial plannings:

The first step is to find out, which partial plannings exist and which are relevant for the company. The planner must determine how the planning steps correlate. After that, the planning steps can now be put in the correct order (see above). For establishing the several planning steps, it is essential to analyze the as-is situation. The information needed for this can be extracted out of SAP (for example: the annual output of a defined product, the existing production capacities and their production volume and so on). On the basis of the as-is data the properly planning takes place. The won information and accordingly the results (in fact the several plans like sales plan, production material plan and so on) will then be put into SAP.

Now, the several partial plannings are identified and developed as well as the planning is accomplished. But because there are a lot of processes, transparency and clarity are missing. The processes have to be structured anyway. ARIS enables describing the processes of these partial plannings in a business process model in an easy way. SAP provides proven reference process models indeed, but they are static and do not always comply with the requirements of the company or in this case of the planning respectively. But nevertheless this reference models can of course be used. ARIS Business Architect for SAP for example enables to add additional business-relevant aspects to these reference processes and makes them more transparent. By using the interface between ARIS and SAP Solution Manager, the SAP reference processes can be transferred to ARIS. Within ARIS the reference processes models will be adapted to the company’s business process architecture. After adapting and describing the process with its several steps and their coherences in ARIS, the new process structure can now be easily transferred back to SAP Solution Manager. Only the configuration-relevant information and documentation will be transferred back.

So, now the planning process is established and described in a process model – wonderful! But the best planning process is useless, if it is not used and “lived”. Therefore the modeled processes can now be published over ARIS Business Publisher, so that all relevant people, who are affected by the planning process, can take a look on it and see how the several processes work. ARIS Business Publisher enables communication between the IT-side (process modeler) and the people from the business side (in this case the planner as well as the responsible departments). From the published process models, you can directly start the corresponding SAP transactions and documents from SAP Solution Manager and achieve transparency and acceptance.

The whole planning process and its sequenced partial planning processes help to make realistic utilized capacity forecasts and therefore finally determine a realistic planning budget.

Because of the complexity of the planning process, using the SAP reference process models and just adjusting them to the company-specific characteristics is to the best advantage. It provides an enormous saving of cost and time, because the processes don’t have to be modeled completely new. The process models established with the help of ARIS and SAP help to standardize and optimize the partial planning processes and make them more transparent and hence easier to understand. Furthermore they are an important basis for the company to make decisions in the planning projects.

What is your opinion? Do you agree that process models established by ARIS and SAP are suitable for describing planning processes? Do you have other experiences?

See attached a capacity planning process in detail!

preview of Describing planning processes in the production by using ARIS and SAP (Professional ARIS)
Tags: BPM ARIS for SAP ARIS Business Publisher