You may have not noticed that this week, SAP announced an acquisition related to supply chain planning.  SAP announced an intent to acquire SAF Simulation, Analysis and Forecasting AG for a $90 million bid, and a small premium over SAF’s closing stock price.. Although this acquisition is small in terms of enterprise software standards, it does represent a strategic move to augment industry-specific functionality and capability.

SAF provides a specialized focus in retail and wholesale industry inventory planning, forecasting  replenishment and store optimization. Its associations with SAP date back to 2002 when SAP began to partner with SAF to augment high SKU planning needs specifically required for supporting retail supply chain planning and forecasting needs.  At the time, there was some customer confusion related to the capabilities of SAP APO Demand Planning vs. the functionality being offered by SAF.  SAP eventually branded the SAF capabilities as SAP Forecasting and Replenishment.

No doubt SAP has future intentions related to exploiting this acquisition.  My own speculation is that SAF functionality will be further leveraged within SAP’s Retail planning and forecasting offering.  I also speculate that other complex, high SKU planning and replenishment needs such as service parts planning and aerospace and defense, or government related needs may benefit from certain functionality within SAF. 

For the time being, SAP is in a legal quiet period until the proposed tender is accepted, and is no providing any specifics.

This will be an interesting area for SAP supply chain planning users to monitor.  Supply Chain Matters will plan to provide future commentary when more strategic information becomes available.

Bob Ferrari