APO, IBP, Ariba and Supply Chain Management Case studies

We are proud of the impact our work has on our clients’ businesses. Here is a selection of how our expertise has helped a variety of companies in different business sectors.

Improvements were identified to help the company attain a step change in forecast accuracy.

Demand Planning (DP) Improvements Project at a Bathroom Manufacturer

Olivehorse supported this leading European bathroom manufacturer on their drive towards a step change in forecast accuracy.

From an initial short, focused functional and technical assessment of the statistical forecasting operation, a number of key improvements were identified to help the company attain their objective of a step change in forecast accuracy.

Olivehorse were then engaged to deliver a suite of enhancements to help better analyse forecast data, improve statistical forecast performance and address weaknesses in managing the phase out for end-of-life product.

After a defined scope APO Healthcheck, our team proposed a prioritised detailed scheduling improvement package

Detailed Scheduling Improvements for a global ingredients producer

Reduction in time spent detailed scheduling of between 8 and 12 hours through work package focused improvements to plan quality, reducing number of changes to plan and increasing user confidence.

After a defined scope APO Healthcheck, our team proposed a prioritised detailed scheduling improvement package with the aim of reducing both plan preparation time and the number of changes to plan. The planning process review identified activities and practices that were contributing to established pain points and system workarounds.

With strong expertise in APO PP/DS and ECC PP/PP-PI integration, we worked closely with the in-house competency centre to deliver new functionality, quick win settings and proven custom approaches to achieve business benefit. By addressing core scheduling practices such as sort sequence, complex changeover matrices, labour capacity modelling and make-to-order planning as well as improving user interaction with the graphical planning board, the detailed scheduling solution was better aligned with best practice principles.

The aim of this project was to increase both planning efficiency and visibility of network inventory using the APO SNP Optimiser.

Network Optimisation Project for a Global Snacks Manufacturer

The aim of this project was to increase both planning efficiency and visibility of network inventory using the APO SNP Optimiser.

Following a detailed design phase, Olivehorse expanded and enhanced the existing SNP solution to encompass the whole European Gum category network, implementing a number of solutions to address specific requirements such as the balancing of stock across the network and additional functionality to improve the usability of alerts.

In the quarter following go live, the client was able to reduce inventory holding in the category by 10 days, while also seeing a great reduction in the amount of manual planning taking place within the system. Planners were also able to dedicate more time to a number of strategic projects taking place across supply planning due to the reduced amount of manual intervention required in their planning cycle.

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SAP Integrated Business Planning (IBP) for sales and operations at a global coatings company

We supported a leading paints and coatings company develop and rollout their IBP for sales and operations solution to multiple countries across EMEA.

An early adopter, this company is using SAP IBP to generate plans that combine volume, price and cost and overhead forecasts, to show the impact on revenue and EBIT. Olivehorse has helped all aspects of design, configuration and testing of the IBP and associated JAM collaboration solutions. The solution is currently being rolled out to business units around the world.

Supply planning application strategy and roadmap at a global hi-tech business

This global hi-tech brand had growing demand for its highly innovative product range and was struggling to keep up. The company was only partially using the existing APO solution and most supply planning was being performed in Excel. It was an off-system process, neither scalable nor robust enough to support the growth in the global business and supply chain.

We worked with the client’s supply planning and IT teams to define a more complete, robust process using standard APO-SNP capability. And we equipped them with a roadmap to develop both the system and people capability needed to adopt the model.

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Planning diagnostics at a global food company

As the result of a merger of two multinational food businesses the European region’s planning function faced a number of challenges to make standardised processes and tool sets work for both legacy businesses.

Olivehorse performed a short, focused assessment of the planning operation, covering all processes and systems. We applied our established planning healthcheck methodology to benchmark the process, data, system and reporting capabilities against good practice.  We further assessed identified areas of weakness to determine priority actions and how these could be accelerated using our established tools and enablers.

The customer recognised the value our recommendations and is currently working with us, and its SAP Systems Integration Partner, to implement the suggested adjustments and realign its business processes and data.

Global planning solution architecture for one of the world’s largest FMCG supply chains

This client has over 300,000 location products worldwide, running on a single APO instance. Our team architected the global APO supply optimisation solution in its foods, and personal and home care divisions.

The solution Olivehorse delivered includes Demand Planning, Supply Network Optimiser, Deployment, Transport Load Builder and Production Planning and Scheduling.  Olivehorse then supported this client over many years in the global deployment of the solution, and its subsequent process and system improvements.

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Solution leadership at a leading global beverages business

This greenfield project for a global beverages business with more than 120,000 location products and over 30 factories worldwide saw Olivehorse team members, responsible for the overall APO solution design and build.

We implemented DP, SNP and Deployment Optimisation, Customer and Supplier Collaboration as well as Business Warehouse capabilities. Olivehorse then led the deployment to the largest global market and enhanced the solution deploying SAP Enterprise Inventory and  Service to drive improved inventory performance.

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Improved supply chain responsiveness and availability at a global electronics business

We helped this organisation cut planning cycles from 30 days to just seven days, reducing inventory and increasing agility. How? Through the adoption of a structured demand planning cycle with clear roles and responsibilities and the rigorous adoption of exception-based processes.

Part of the solution was to directly engage the commercial team in a weekly consensus-based demand planning process, enabled by an exception-based process.


Semi-finished goods scheduling at a top FMCG company

This client saw an increase of ‘on-time schedule adherence’ from 20% to 99% for its semi-finished goods mixing process, following our development of a new APO Production Scheduling solution.

The solution modelled complex resource network relationships and optimised an integrated scheduling solution for the mix and package orders, improving order alignment and control. The improved schedule adherence resulted in improved asset utilisation and control of raw materials inventory.

This SFG scheduling solution has now evolved to include optimisation of storage tank capacity constraints and bulk material purchase order scheduling directly in APO-PPDS.

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Empowering the planning team at a global food giant

The planning team at this large multinational was struggling to make the most of the advanced, supply planning solution the organisation had implemented. They were beginning to revert to offline, Excel planning tools, creating isolated islands of information and inconsistent processes.

We used our Olivehorse Planner Care methodology, firstly working one-on-one and in small groups to identify and resolve data issues. Then we worked with planners to model their particular supply chain problems. Finally we equipped them with the knowledge to use the system to model new problems and constraints as they arise in the future.

We believe this intensive, on-the-job training is the best approach for empowering planners with the skills needed to make the best use of APO planning tools. It’s the only way to address planners’ specific issues and to therefore begin to fulfil the enormous potential that advanced planning solutions offer.

In the words of the customer: “Plants where the system was not working for years, started to have the optimiser working. We discovered lots of issues – from master-data to optimiser profile settings – and fixed it”

Distribution, production and procurement planning at a large FMCG site

This large scale facility contained more than 30 production lines, producing over 600 finished goods products, distributed to 10 distribution centres.

As a result of the scale and complexity increased time was spent engaging the management and staff, and ensuring both the DDMRP methodology and the Replenishment+ software was well understood and embraced.  This investment led to a recent successful go-live.

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Production and procurement planning at a large FMCG site

The client wanted to implement DDMRP at one of its key European sites to reduce frozen periods and inventory. From initial engagement to go-live, we implemented in just 10 weeks.

First we spent eight weeks engaging with management and working with IT teams to define data requirements and develop extraction methods. This was followed by two weeks training and cutover activity. The results? The frozen period shortened from 28 to nine days and inventory reduced by 30% across finished goods and raw and packaging. All with zero impact on service level, which remained at 99%.

Distribution, production and procurement planning at a large FMCG site

This client implemented DDMRP at a key site in the supply chain to reduce extended frozen planning periods, and gain control over poor service performance.

This was achieved by firstly buffering the raw and packaging materials, ensuring 100% availability, allowing the site to move from 56 days to nine days’ frozen period for production planning with zero impact of site efficiency or capacity. The distribution network was also buffered using DDMRP, this led to a 30% reduction in total inventory (across raw, pack and finished goods) and an increase in customer service from low to mid 80s to mid 90s.

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Supply optimisation at a global FMCG

A rapidly growing client needed to see if its planning solution was able to adapt to changing business objectives. We were tasked to benchmark its existing planning capability against other FMCG companies using APO. Our team used our healthcheck methodology, based on the five dimensions of process, organisation, system, reporting and data.

Following the benchmarking exercise, we assessed ways of working by means of questionnaires, interviews and supply chain metrics across multiple regions. We provided a set of recommendations to address immediate needs and a roadmap to guide the longer term development of process. End product? The groundwork for a solution fit for purpose for the evolving business.