Background of SAP APO and SAP SCM Terms


SAP SCM and SAP APO can often be used instead of one other but in fact there are difference between these two. When SAP APO had fewer modules, it was simply known as APO but later on SAP released SCM product and while doing this, it kept the name APO for the old modules. Therefore, it can be said that SAP SCM is an umbrella product that contains SAP APO and other recently released modules all together.


The components of both can be summarised as follows;



SAP SCM = APO + SNC + Event Management + EWM


There are some other components included in these products as well but these are the most commonly used and best known basic components.  Although SAP APO is considered as a product that contains old modules, SPP which is a newer module compared to other modules in APO in an exception for this.


More Executive Functions with the New Released Products


Unlike the previous ones, SNC and EWN products that are new in the family are not limited with “planning” function alone, they also offer various executive functions together with the planning. This is a first for SCM and APO. Therefore, while the old meaning of APO was “advanced planning”, the new meaning of SCM can be considered as “advanced supply chain functionality, planning and execution”. And this creates a logical background for the transition of the product name from APO into SCM.


Planning Terminology of SAP


The usage of SCM term instead of APO term would be a more accurate preference since SCM contains all the relevant modules and APO is limited from this point of view. Nevertheless, changing the name from APO to SCM creates a potential for confusion since SPM ERP contains supply chain functionality but not advanced planning functions.

Transition to SAP SCM from SAP APO


As SAP application became more wide-spread, it received some extra requests from the companies, these requests mostly coincided with the APO product but they were not focused on advanced planning. Supplier Network Collaboration (SNC), Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), Event Management (EM) and Forecast & Replenishment (F&R) modules were born in this way and these modules met more and more requirements in newer versions. And this made the name SCM more extensive and accurate than the name APO. Although this name change is sensible, when somebody started to talk about SAP SCM, one has to indicate if they are talking about SAP SCM or about the SCM functions inside SAP ERP.

As a conclusion, although SAP changed its name from APO to SCM to give out a certain message, the fact that the name SCM have not been recognized in the market as much as APO cannot be denied.

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