Bob, the CFO, opened the meeting with the statement, "Our SAP implementation was expensive. I know we need it, but I am trying to get a return on the investment. I think that I can improve the ROI by using retail point-of-sale data to improve forecasting and replenishment. How are others using POS data?"
I swallowed hard. This question does not have an easy answer. Most companies are struggling to answer the same question. The company had built a repository for demand data and wanted to plug it into SAP APO, but I knew that it was not as easy as that. I replied, "You cannot get there from here. The data in the repository used by the account teams cannot just be plugged into APO for three reasons: scalability, granularity, and usability." And, I started to tell him a story.
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