How BRP Fueled Its Digital Planning Engine in the Cloud

BrandPost By Michael Kure, SAP Contributor
Sep 12, 20224 mins
Data Management

Read how BRP (Bombardier Recreational Products), an 80-year-old powersports company moved its sales and operations planning process to the cloud for efficiency, accuracy, and a single source of truth.

It’s an impressive achievement to manufacture seven product lines in six plants spanning four regions with around 20,000 employees serving 120 countries and approximately 3,250 dealers.

It’s also impressive to remain at the top of an ever-changing and competitive powersports industry for more than 80 years — a Canadian company born during the turbulent times of the Second World War — with current annual sales of CA$7.6 billion.

BRP has enjoyed much success for eight decades now as a manufacturer of powersports products, propulsion systems, and land/sea vehicles with familiar brands such as Ski-Doo snowmobiles, Sea-Doo personal watercraft, and my personal favorite, Can-Am ATVs and SSVs.

But with this string of successes came the formidable dilemma of managing and forecasting production of its products across a global manufacturing empire.

Efficiency, accuracy, and support of growth

There were many manual processes, many spreadsheets, and many versions of the truth — making sales and operations planning (S&OP) difficult and labor-intensive. Planning was further complicated by the supply chain disruptions caused by the global pandemic. Another issue, although a good one, was the company’s rapid growth.

To sustain and accelerate growth in an era of unprecedented supply chain snafus, BRP needed to improve its supply chain resiliency to react to market fluctuations in an efficient way. The company also wanted to integrate various applications to improve operational efficiencies.

The whole truth from a single source

Here is one truth: there is no better way to manage production, streamline, improve the accuracy of forecasts, and manage pandemic-related supply-chain surprises than through cloud computing. With it, you can store all production information in a single repository for a single version of the truth, and implement cloud-based solutions for accessing and using the data for its S&OP process. That’s a fact.

BRP embraced cloud-based business transformation with the implementation of SAP Integrated Business Planning, which now helps BRP identify inventory items that require closer attention, such as reordering items to avoid production delays.

The outcome and the good expected

As a result of moving its S&OP process to the cloud, BRP planners will be able to develop feasible and optimized S&OP plans with a shortened planning cycle and a significant reduction in the planning lead time.    

The company also will support new product offerings with optimized production execution across its global plants.

But wait, there’s more – BRP will increase business operations efficiency with the ability to run simulations and scenario planning at any time to assess the impact of opportunities before publishing the plans to downstream teams.

In addition, BRP now has a system that can easily scale with its growth, can be accessed from anywhere, anytime with mobile devices, and can remain in place while adapting to and supporting advancements in cloud computing.

Impressive, yes?

Connecting digitally to perfect reality

IBM Consulting has been a strategic partner to BRP and co-created the vision to guide the digital business transformation journey. Combining industry, supply chain, cloud, and architecture expertise, IBM Consulting is enabling BRP to “connect digitally to perfect reality.”

“Our partnership with IBM Consulting is a critical cornerstone in realizing our target operating model and digital business transformation strategic objectives. They led us through our first-     ever implementation of SAP Integrated Business Planning, a cloud-based SaaS solution, to manage our supply chain planning requirements,” said Stoffel Moreau, Vice President, Business Transformation and Program Office at BRP.

The solution allows BRP to develop a feasible and optimized master production schedule to support the company’s growth as well as the supply chain turmoil since COVID-19 appeared.

This accomplishment earned the company a 2022 SAP Innovation Award. To learn more about what BRP did to win this coveted award, check out their Innovation Awards pitch deck.