Trending February 2024 # Sap Crm Business Partner: Grouping, Roles, Relationships # Suggested March 2024 # Top 2 Popular

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Overview

Almost all business transactions in an organization involve certain stakeholders like employee, contact person, organizational unit, etc.

Within SAP CRM these participants involved in a business transaction are maintained as CRM Business Partner. Following can be involved in a business transaction as Business Partner:

Examples of Business Partner

In SAP CRM, business partners are created centrally. Also the roles that a business partner play, such as sold-to party and ship-to party are also maintained centrally

Thus a business partner created in SAP CRM can be involved in any of the business transaction in different modules like sales, marketing and service. This involvement of the business partner in a business transaction depends upon the role assigned to the business partner and the partner functions involved in the business transaction

Creating and maintenance of the business partner in the SAP CRM is included in the Account Management application within CRM Web UI. In order to work on the business partner, the user need to have access to the Account management in the Web UI:

Account Management with option to maintain Business Partner

Account Management with option to maintain Business Partner

Business Partners Involved in a Business Transaction

Business Partners Involved in a Business Transaction

For a particular business transaction, involved business partners can be found within the Parties Involved assignment block:

Within SAP GUI, business partner maintenance is available with transaction code BP. SAP has now stopped supporting GUI for CRM transactions and thus Web UI is used for the business partner creation and maintenance

Account management in CRM Web UI provides 3600 view of the business partner data which means it represents complete data of the business partner including:

the header details of the business partner

relationships to other business partners in the business processes

account life cycle of the business partner

business transactions in which the business partner is involved

change history of the business partner data

Using CRM Middleware it’s possible to populate business partners in SAP CRM using data maintained in SAP ERP. Also updates in the business partner data in any of these systems (ERP or CRM) can be synchronized through the CRM Middleware

Below is the SPRO path for Business partner customizing. The Partner Processing implemented for a particular business transaction also depends upon the customizing settings implemented for the business partners. Thus the customizing settings for the business partners in CRM are implemented in the SPRO and once done, CRM Web UI is used to create and maintain the business partners

SPRO to maintain Business Partner related customizing

Business Partner Category

SAP CRM supports three possible categories:

Person or Individual

Group

Organization

A business partner can belong to any one of these categories. An account can be further sub-divided as follows-

Account: An account is a company, group, or individual, with which your organization have a business relationship.

Accounts are further divided into:

Corporate Account (organizations or companies)

Individual Account (individuals)

Groups (Groups like households)

Contact

person with whom you have a business relationship

mostly assigned to a corporate account

Employee

member of your organization

involved in interaction between your organization and vendor, prospect, customer, and other parties

Business Partner categories

It is not possible to modify these categories or to create new categories.

When a business partner is created in SAP CRM, category is assigned to it. The business partner category can only assign once while the creation of the business partner and cannot be modified at later stages of the business partner life cycle. Thus while creating a business partner you need to select the category as the first step. Also, the account search can be filter based upon the account category for faster results:

Search page for accounts in Web UI

This business partner category is also used in the header of the account display, create and modify page:

Page title for an Account mentions the Account Type “Individual Account”

Business Partner Grouping

When a business partner is created, a number termed as “business partner number” is assigned to chúng tôi number can be configured in the SPRO customizing such that it is generated automatically when a business partner is created

For this, Business Partner Grouping and Number Ranges are used

We define range of numbers using start and end value (within SAP CRM this is termed as “Number Range” and has an identifier):

Number Range in SPRO settings

For example, from the above screen shot, business partner with number range 01 will be assigned a number ‘4907620’ , while business partner with number range 02 will be assigned number ‘A’

Number range can be Internal or External

Internal Number Range

Based up on the customizing settings this is generated within the CRM system

This is a sequential number from the relevant number range

External Number Range

In this case, number can be assigned by the user while creating the record

Or the number can be derived from an external system

In both cases the number used must lie within the corresponding number range interval

This number range is then assigned to a grouping

SPRO path to assign Number Range to Group:

Business Partner Grouping is basically different number ranges that could be assigned to a business chúng tôi Grouping can be considered as a container which holds the Number Range settings

While creating a BP, user selects the Grouping

Selected grouping identifies the number to be generated

If the grouping is using an Internal number range, the business partner number will be auto assigned while saving the Business Partner

For the Grouping corresponding to external number ranges

ID field can be enabled for user to give a Business Partner number or

BP number can be fetched from external system (e.g. connected ERP)

Create page for an Individual Account

Business Partner Roles

The BP (Business Partner) roles assigned to a business partner reflect the partner’s functions and the business transactions in which the partner may be involved.

It is possible to assign more than one business partner role to a business partner

This means a business partner can be involved in different business transactions with different roles

But the general information of the business partner like name, address, etc. are entered only once

It is possible to create custom BP roles as per the business requirement

Create page for an Individual Account

Business Role settings in SPRO – I

A business partner role is assigned to a business partner role category

Business Role settings in SPRO – II

BP Role Category controls properties of the BP role:

Business Role settings in SPRO – III

There is a separate assignment block in the Accounts Overview for the BP Roles. The drop down list shows the available roles that can be assigned to the account. Using the Insert button it is possible to assign new role to a business partner:

Business Role Assignment Block in Web UI

BP Relationships

A business partner can have relation with another business partner.

A connection between two business partners is formed using the “business partner relationships”.

Within SAP CRM, relationship between business partners is described with business partner relationship category:

Business Partner Relationship settings in SPRO – I

These BP Relationship Category defines the properties of the business partner relationship:

Business Partner Relationship settings in SPRO – II

A BP Relationship can be unidirectional or bidirectional

BP Relationships can be assigned to a business partner in Web UI in the Relationship assignment block:

This updates all the Business Partners involved in the relations

Existing relationship can be modified using the ‘Actions’ buttons

Business Partner Relationship Assignment Block in Web UI

It is possible to have a relationship time dependent. Thus the relationship will be valid for the time frame specified while the creation of this relationship

Using the New button in above screenshot it is possible to create new relation:

Account Classification

SAP CRM provides functionality of account classification using which you can classify your accounts according to any criteria. This is particularly useful when a large enterprise needs to classify different business areas according to different criteria

It is possible to perform search for accounts based upon these classification criterion

Account classification is also available as an individual assignment block on the Account page:

Account Classification Assignment Block in Web UI

The role in this assignment block is different from the Business Partner Role. You can define any number of Criteria and Attributes

As per the requirement account criteria can be combined to create Classification Category. Each classification category can consist of up to 5 criteria and any number of attributes as per the requirement

Constituents of account classification are defined in the SPRO customizing

There is a helper class associated with each criteria and attribute for the value help as drop down list in the Web UI

Criteria definition:

Account Classification settings in SPRO – II

Attribute definition:

Account Classification settings in SPRO – III

Assignment of attributes:

Account Classification settings in SPRO – IV

Assigning Criteria:

Account Classification settings in SPRO – V

3600 View of Business Partner

Linked Documents within individual Assignment Blocks in Web UI

Linked Documents within individual Assignment Blocks in Web UI

SAP CRM provides 3600 view of the business partner. This means that all the data related to the business partner can be checked in one place. In the header data it is possible to maintain and display the data which is applicable in all scenarios like the first name, last name, BP number, etc. There are separate assignment blocks for data like BP Role, BP Relationship, etc. Also we can find all the business transactions within which the business partner is involved. For example, there is an assignment block “Opportunities” which displays all the opportunity business transactions in which the business partner is involved

It is possible to navigate to the corresponding business transaction document from these assignment block data. Also, we can create new business transactions through these assignment block. That is, using the new button on Opportunity block it is possible to navigate to the Opportunity page and create an opportunity with respect to the business partner

Thus, the SAP CRM supports the maintenance of the complete business partner life cycle in single place which makes it convenient for the end user to use and helps in the reporting purpose

You're reading Sap Crm Business Partner: Grouping, Roles, Relationships

How Samsung’s Knox Partner Program Can Build Your Business

One of the best parts of attending events like the recent Samsung Developer Conference (SDC) is the opportunity for those creating mobile apps and other business solutions to connect directly with key members of our team.

Fortunately, those conversations are by no means limited to SDC. In fact, the announcement of our new and improved Knox Partner Program will allow those engagements to go deeper and more global, providing more value than ever before.

This is a major evolution from our Samsung Enterprise Alliance Program (SEAP), which had been in place for many years and did a good job of addressing core developer needs. The Knox Partner Program, however, represents a revitalized effort to make sure our partners have all the resources necessary to not only create innovate business apps and other technology integrations, but to cultivate the strongest possible relationship with Samsung experts who can help them succeed.

While not everything has changed — the program is still free to join, and there will still be Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers in the program, for example — the Knox Partner Program is fully redesigned around the common journey businesses take from ideation to lasting impact and in-market success.

— Samsung Secure (@SamsungSecure) December 11, 2023

Discover

Almost any significant app development initiative or integration involves a learning process of some kind, but that process shouldn’t prove so difficult it gets in the way of results.

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That’s why the Samsung Knox Partner Program is based on a foundation of educational materials that provide partners with the latest information on key differentiating solutions and features, success stories that show off best practices, updates on vertical markets, and resources to assist with determining what to build and how to better align it with Samsung.

No matter the tier, all program members will enjoy access to our webinar series and extensive technical documentation, which we’ve completely reorganized online so it’s easier to find.

Build

Besides continuing to offer access to a rich set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and the Knox software development kit (SDK), we’re working harder to help developers and partners tailor the requirements of apps and business solutions for specific use cases that are only available via Samsung Android devices.

This includes more granular unified endpoint management (UEM) features, the ability to screen share and troubleshoot customer problems via remote support, and customization through features like kiosk mode for industry-specific applications.

Of course, program members will also benefit from free technical support direct from the experts at Samsung. Partners can also expect access to a greater pool of test devices to ensure they can make the best use of new Samsung hardware.

Go to Market

Samsung has always offered a portal with details on partner solutions, but in the past it was partner- and developer-facing, published within the program’s pages. With the Knox Partner Program, we’ve launched a customer-facing solution catalog on chúng tôi for Gold and Platinum partners that includes details on each partner, key features in their solutions and ways to learn more.

This site provides a great way to not only highlight our partners’ work, but to offer those partners additional lead generation channels.

As part of our strong focus on security, meanwhile, we will be testing partner solutions to validate how they implement Samsung Knox and our APIs securely and with proper functionality. Starting with UEMs, those partners will receive a “Samsung Knox Validated” logo that will be featured in the solution catalog and their marketing materials, giving customers and prospects extra confidence in the partners with whom they form a relationship.

Grow

Those at the Silver tier and above, for example, will gain access to our dedicated global Samsung partner managers based in our 11 research labs around the world. As a result, they’ll be able to learn about what’s going on in a particular region from a single primary contact and get pulled into more relevant business activities.

We always want to support our partners as they build applications and grow sales, and despite all its benefits, we see the Knox Partner Program as just a starting point. As more of you join us for the first time, we’ll be continuing this conversation and building on each of these areas to make sure we’re being effective at providing the value partners like you need us to deliver.

Learn more about the Knox Partner Program and how it can help your business create innovative apps and services for Samsung mobile devices.

Oracle Netsuite Crm Review 2023

Did You Know?

There is a $500 charge for an accounting cleanup and onboarding for the first month. After that, you’ll be charged monthly based on your average monthly expenses over three consecutive months.

Tip

If you have a large company, consider pushing for certification training for a few key internal users and administrators to ensure your team has the knowledge and skills to maximize your NetSuite investment.

Key Takeaway

NetSuite ensures your sales representatives and customers are able to find the right product quickly and easily.

NetSuite CRM Pricing

Unlike the vast majority of sales CRM software providers, NetSuite does not have publicly listed pricing or a variety of monthly plans separated by available features. NetSuite’s sales CRM software is considered an added module to the core platform that requires an annual license fee. The total cost for NetSuite with the CRM add-on is based on the number of account users. NetSuite also charges a one-time implementation fee to cover the cost of the initial setup. According to our research, small businesses can expect to pay well over $1,000 per month for the licensing fee, add-on modules and additional user fees. Prices will vary greatly based on the sales CRM features and additional tools you include in your Oracle NetSuite platform.

Setup

NetSuite requires a one-time implementation fee for the initial setup process. Because the setup for the CRM also requires NetSuite’s ERP, the full implementation process can take weeks, if not months, of planning, data migration, configuration, testing and training for your team to use the platform efficiently. In most cases, you’ll need to assign a reliable project manager to work with your NetSuite representatives to ensure a smooth implementation and launch. With so much time and effort involved, NetSuite’s CRM is best for companies that plan to commit to NetSuite as their main SaaS provider.

Customer Service

Any user can reach a NetSuite support specialist at any time from within the program via the help button. You can also contact a support specialist by phone or web chat at any time if you have your account information. However, NetSuite recommends customers use the online form or the company’s SuiteAnswers knowledge center for any how-to-related questions or technical issues.

For larger projects and custom integrations, you may want to consider reaching out to a certified NetSuite consultant or agency. NetSuite offers numerous product certifications for administrators, users, consultants and developers. The existence of these certification programs speaks to the complexity of the platform and its seemingly endless potential for customization in any industry. Many of the certification programs recommend at least one year of experience in managing NetSuite, in addition to coursework and a timed exam that consists of multiple choice and matching questions.

Drawbacks

For small businesses in particular, the lack of transparent pricing and estimated high costs are among the biggest drawbacks of NetSuite’s CRM. To accurately compare NetSuite with competing software, you’ll have to speak with an Oracle sales representative about the many features and tools you’ll require, and they’ll give you a custom quote. For many small business owners who may not know exactly what they need from their CRM and related software services during the consideration stage, NetSuite can be a difficult sell.

Businesses that aren’t ready to adopt NetSuite for more than the basic CRM software will likely need to purchase NetSuite Connector as an added module to integrate with selling tools such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, WooCommerce, Amazon, eBay and Walmart. While NetSuite does have a robust set of native cloud-based tools for nearly any business process, accessing them typically comes with an added monthly module fee.

Methodology

We considered all of the major CRM software providers for review in 2023. After performing our initial research into each platform, we selected 13 of the leading CRM solutions available today for small businesses, including Salesforce, chúng tôi Sales CRM, Freshsales, Zoho, Oracle NetSuite, HubSpot, Pipedrive and Zendesk. After spending many hours participating in live product demos and testing each platform, we identified the best use case for each of the 13 providers to help small businesses owners and managers choose the best CRM for their needs. We also took a deeper dive into nine of our top performers, reviewing them in detail to provide greater insight into the features and tools that separate the best CRM software from the competition. At its core, NetSuite is an ERP platform with native integrations for nearly every business process required to support online sales. The e-commerce module lets you easily manage inventory, collect payments and fulfill orders fast for same-day shipping in some cases.

NetSuite CRM FAQ Are SAP and NetSuite the same?

No. SAP and NetSuite are separate business service providers that specialize in ERP solutions. The two companies have similar CRM modules that can be added to the core platform for an additional monthly fee.

Does Oracle own NetSuite?

Yes. Oracle announced its intention to purchase NetSuite for $9.3 billion in July 2024 in an effort to become a cloud software provider. The sale closed in November 2024, and NetSuite began operating as part of a global business unit within Oracle.

What’s the difference between Salesforce and NetSuite?

NetSuite is first and foremost an ERP software service with an optional CRM product that’s considered an added module. Salesforce is primarily a CRM software provider that offers additional tools to support ERP across industries.

Overall Value

We recommend NetSuite CRM for …

Enterprise-level organizations seeking a unified data solution to manage all customer-related activities.

Organizations that already use NetSuite’s ERP software.

Businesses with complex software integrations in niche industries.

We don’t recommend NetSuite CRM for … 

Small businesses that don’t want to adopt NetSuite as resource planning software.

Small businesses looking for a simple CRM platform.

Small businesses that need the most cost-effective CRM solution.

Financial Services Crm Marketing Innovation In 2023

Discover the latest trends and innovations in customer relationship management to truly integrate your financial services CRM marketing

From account opening, saving money, investing, to foreign currency exchange, financial services marketing leaders are looking to create a user-centric digital environment to respond to users’ expectations. Financial services CRM today means providing customers with more innovative and complete financial services with partners from different industries, including telecom companies, FinTech start-ups, and insurance companies.

Financial services companies have often perceived the strength of digital purely as an acquisition channel. As customer relationships have become more complex, the growth of new distribution channels has increased combined with the exponential growth of new technology means financial services CRM marketing is more important than ever, for both customer acquisition and retention and lifetime value.

Larger financial brands also understand as their historic dominance is continually being squeezed by startups such as FinTechs focusing on retention can drive up to 4/5 times more value than new customers and thus a robust financial services CRM plan is vital for these brands in maintaining market positioning and driving sales growth.

Determining where the latest financial services marketing trends and innovations fall within the customer lifecycle is crucial if you want to delight your customers at every step of their purchase and repeat-purchase journey. That’s why our financial services trends 2023 report structures 9 top sector trends across our popular RACE Framework of reach, act, convert, and engage.

As we will explore below, CRM is a key conversion tactic right now. That means you can expect your conversion to grow by implementing the marketing tools and techniques we cover in this blog. But, conversion alone is not enough to build a strong marketing strategy for your financial services business. You will need to also consider your reach, interaction, and engagement strategies to build a successful marketing funnel.

Download our free report to discover my full 9 recommendations for your financial services business across all the key touch points in your customers’ journeys. Integrated across the RACE Framework, our marketing solutions empower marketers across the globe to apply a data-driven, customer-centric approach to their marketing structure

Financial Services marketing trends 2023

Accelerate your growth in 2023 with trends, examples, and practical strategy integrated with our RACE Framework

Get Started Today

How has CRM evolved in the financial services sector? Creating a single view of the customer

CRM for financial services firms is about creating a data-driven single view of the customer. This means having access to a single view of all customer interactions, communications, and experiences, across every channel and touchpoint. This can be a very costly and time-consuming process, and many businesses are still in the early stages of maturity when it comes to having a CRM program that is fully integrated with all business channels and datasets.

CRM retargeting helps to build online audiences with only an email address or postal address, it works in partnership with publisher networks who securely match anonymous email or mailing addresses. It’s also available through Google Customer Match and customer lists in Facebook Custom Audiences.

Reducing information isolation through Open Banking

In the past, customers needed to repeatedly fill out application forms when they applied for different financial services. To save time for customers, using an open API to transfer customers’ information between different partners and help customers fill out forms automatically will improve the experience. Once customers have successfully completed this process they will no longer need to fill out forms when they apply for other financial services.

The growth of Open Banking applications is shown by nearly 50 consumer-facing applications from aggregators to investment tools listed here.

For example, Taishin Bank’s Richart App was developed as an open banking platform, which integrates all the services that customers need in one place. They knew that customers in Taiwan usually have 5 or 6 different accounts to manage different services such as insurance, foreign currency, investment, etc. but with their app Richart, they only needed one account.

This sophisticated financial services CRM process means customers no longer need to memorize several different accounts and passwords. In addition, they are able to manage and keep track of different financial products in one App and one account.

Financial Services marketing trends 2023

Accelerate your growth in 2023 with trends, examples, and practical strategy integrated with our RACE Framework

Get Started Today

Financial services CRM integration across all channels to create omnichannel customer contact strategies

Financial services CRM systems that combine digital, mobile, and social data alongside traditional touchpoints are rapidly outstripping those that don’t. A priority for financial services organizations is for all key marketing activities to be integrated across channels. This can create channel conflict so many firms have created their own CRM teams.

The need for integration to give a managed, measured approach across all touchpoints is suggested by this example of a customer onboarding sequence for a bank.

If we return to the Taishin Bank example, it has also extended the Richart App connect to LINE, the most popular instant messaging APP in Taiwan, allowing more than 6 million customers to enjoy its financial services more easily and conveniently. This means that customers can now enjoy financial service to check their transactions and reach out to Richart customer service through a common channel they use every day without logging into the banking App.

It is the combination of offering competitive and integrated products through the Richart App, that has attracted more than 1,400,000 applications for Richart’s saving accounts – more than 70% of them are aged 35 or under, and more than 74% of them are first-time customers for Taishin Bank.

As such, Richart has become the most popular digital bank in its market with over 95 % of its customers showing high satisfaction and strong willingness to continuously use Richart and recommend it to their friends.

Increased use of Big Data systems in the financial services sector

The role of data in facilitating the segmentation and personalization of communications and experiences cannot be understated. It is not enough to simply have a multitude of datasets on customers. There is much research to show that many organizations are overwhelmed by the volume of incoming customer data.

Even if financial services organizations have implemented the most sophisticated CRM infrastructure, the data must be able to pass between the various channels and technology platforms, and across all aspects of the business.

In order to successfully compete for customers, organizations require a holistic view of their customers. This requires data and a focus on shifting behaviors according to customer data.

“Companies need to shift their culture to focus on ‘data hygiene practices and to fix archaic processes of saving and storing customer data in different ways. In our CRM transformation, we realized that its success would ultimately boil down to the ubiquitous availability of accurate and detailed data.”

“This would require a behavioral shift across the company. No longer could offline data be an acceptable practice. Nor could we have individuals in marketing, sales, services, and supply chain storing and tracking data inconsistently. Change is never easy, but it gave us a 360-degree view of customers across Hitachi Vantara and is a significant business opportunity for our sales teams if they are reporting and analyzing accurate data trends.”

– Renée McKaskle, CIO, Hitachi Vantara

Maria Mellegers – Palaiologos, Vice President adoption lead of Barclays, showed Barclay’s SmartBusiness Insights dashboard for SMB customers.

58% of SMEs base more than half of their regular business decisions on gut feel or experience rather than being driven by data and information. On average, businesses only use 50% of all information available to make decisions.

The life span of a product has shrunk by 400% in the last few years – it’s not about what you offer but how you offer it. Barclays SmartBussiness is aimed at providing data-driven information to help SMEs make the right decisions. It has been curated with over 1 million sources of data from businesses that bank with them and is easy to use.

With the new Barclays SmartBusiness Insights easy-to-use dashboard, customers are able to identify patterns through clean data filters to see what is necessary without being overloaded with data they don’t need.

SmartBusiness provides local insights based on average transaction value, the average wage in your area, industry turn over, etc. This helps contextualize data for SMEs, providing spend and performance data and customer dynamics.

Although this doesn’t directly impact marketing financial services, this shows innovation in FS is vital in keeping customers and integrating solutions based on customers’ pain points. From a business point of view, Barclays is able to help its SME account holders and drive engagement with content.

According to a Gartner report, customer experience (CX) projects are 50% about technology, with the remaining 50% about customer emotion, perception, and related qualitative factors. In order to achieve CX success, organizations need to adopt a broad view of their stakeholders.

This is where our RACE Framework can transform your approach to digital marketing, with the ability to break down each of your customer’s touchpoints to plan, manage, and optimize your channels and platforms to achieve your goals of reach, act, convert, and engage, accordingly.

Maintaining CRM applications and capabilities is a must for financial services organizations, but taking a broader view of how technology can influence customer perceptions through customer experience is the key to sustaining a long-term customer. Keep up to date with the latest trends and innovations for 2023 with our financial services report.

Financial Services marketing trends 2023

Accelerate your growth in 2023 with trends, examples, and practical strategy integrated with our RACE Framework

Get Started Today

Quantum computing for the financial services industry

An exciting technology trend that is gathering momentum in the analysis of super datasets is the use of quantum computing. In late 2023, a Bank of America strategist said quantum computing would be “as revolutionary in the 2023s as smartphones were in the 2010s.”

Some in the banking industry believe that quantum computing is more science fiction than fact and that there is more to serving clients than computational speed and agility. Still, quantum computing increasingly appears to be a game-changer in tackling complex or intractable problems, particularly in the optimization area.

Many financial industry participants rely on computing power to improve decision-making and serve customers better. Over the next few years, quantum computing is likely to supercharge these activities. To be sure, this will be a long road, and most banks are taking their first steps.

Effective financial services CRM is vital

While IT plays a vital role in CRM choice and implementation, it should be driven by a strategic management perspective from the Board. Too often, companies seek to build CRM capabilities by designing a powerful IT system without considering wider business issues. But, an effective financial services CRM must also integrate all the business’ channels and platforms from a marketing perspective.

A fully integrated customer relationship management solution is the most powerful tools financial services firms can deploy to enable them to provide better service and grow revenues from customers.

– Rebecca Allsop, Head of Customer Strategy and Planning, Skipton Building Society

Introduction To Master Data In Sap

What is Master Data?

Data stored in SAP R/3 is categorized as

Master Data and

Transactional Data.

If you are producing, transferring stock, selling, purchasing, doing physical inventory, whatever your activity may be, it requires certain master data to be maintained.

Example of Master Data

Material master data

Customer master data

Vendor master data

Pricing/conditions master data

Warehouse management master data (storage bin master data)

The ones we will focus in MM module are material master and purchase info record.

Material Master: What you should know about material master?

Material in SAP is a logical representation of certain goods or service that is an object of production, sales, purchasing, inventory management etc. It can be a car, a car part, gasoline, transportation service or consulting service, for example.

InInIn All the information for all materials on their potential use and characteristics in SAP are called material master. This is considered to be the most important master data in SAP (there are also customer master data, vendor master data, conditions/pricing master data etc), and all the processing of the materials are influenced by material master. That is why it’s crucial to have a precise and well maintained material master.

In order to be confident in your actions you need to understand material master views and its implications on processes in other modules, business transactions and a few more helpful information like tables that store material master data, transactions for mass material maintenance (for changing certain characteristics for a large number of materials at once).

Material types

In SAP ERP, every material has a characteristic called “material type” which is used throughout the system for various purposes.

Why is it essential to differentiate between material types and what does that characteristic represent?

It can represent a type of origin and usage – like a finished product (produced goods ready for sale), semifinished product (used as a part of a finished product), trading goods (for resale), raw materials (used for production of semifinished and finished products) etc. These are some of the predefined SAP material types among others like food, beverages, service and many others.

We can define our custom material types if any of standard ones doesn’t fulfill our need.

Most used material types in standard SAP installation

What can be configured on material type level (possible differences between types)?

Material master views: It defines the views associated with a Material Type. For example, if we have a material type “FERT” assigned to our material Product 1000 – we don’t want to have Purchasing based views for that material because we don’t need to purchase our own product – it is configured on material type level.

Default price control: we can set this control to standard or moving average price (covered later in detail), but this can be changed in material master to override the default settings.

Default Item category group: used to determine item category in sales documents. It can be changed in material master to override the default settings.

internal/external purchase orders, special material types indicators, and few more.

Offered material types in MM01 transaction

So material type is assigned to materials that have the same basic settings for material master views, price control, item category group and few other. Material Type can be assigned during the creation of the material in t-code MM01 (covered in detail later)

Where can we find a complete list of materials with their respective material type?

There are numerous transactions for this. The raw data itself is stored in MARA table

(you can view table contents with t-code SE16 or SE16N – newest version of the transaction), but in some systems these t-codes aren’t allowed for a standard user. In such cases, we can easily acquire the list with t-code MM60 (Material list). MM60 is used particularly often as it displays a lot of basic material characteristics.

Selection screen – you can enter only the material number:

Selection screen for MM60 transaction

We can see that material 10410446 in plant AR01 is of type FERT (finished product).

MM60 report results with the export button highlighted

Using the toolbar button highlighted on screen, we can export the list of materials we have selected on screen.

Material group

Another characteristic SAP material is assigned during it’s creation is “material group”, which can represent a group or subgroup of materials based on certain criteria.

Which criteria can be used to create material groups?

Any criteria that suit your needs for reporting purposes is right for your system. You may group materials by the type of raw material used to produce it (different kinds of plastics used in the production process), or you can divide all services into consulting services (with different materials for SAP consulting, IT consulting, financial consulting etc), transportation services (internal transport, international transport), you can also group by production technique (materials created by welding, materials created by extrusion, materials created by injection etc). Grouping depends mainly on the approach your management chooses as appropriate, and it’s mainly done during the implementation, rarely changes in a productive environment.

Assigned material group in material master

In addition, there is a material hierarchy (used mostly in sales & distribution) that can also be used for grouping, but it’s defined almost always according to sales needs as it is used for defining sales conditions (standard discounts for customers, additional discounts, special offers).

On the other hand, material group is mainly used in PP and MM module.

If you need to display material groups for multiple materials, you can use already mentioned t-code MM60. You just need to select more materials in selection criteria.

Material group in report MM60

Material group is easily subject to mass maintenance via transaction MM17. More on that in the material master editing section.

Correspondence In Sap – Configuration & Types

There are various standard correspondence types available like invoice print, account statement etc. Custom correspondence types can also be created.

Correspondences can be created at the time of particular business transaction processing or at a later stage for already created transaction postings.

Correspondence can be sent to customer/ vendor in various formats like email, and fax. Correspondence is basically letters etc. which is sent from SAP to vendor/ customer etc.

Correspondence can be created individually or collectively, ad-hoc or via automated batch job.

Types of correspondence

Following is example list of various standard correspondence types, which can be copied to create a specific custom form, program, etc.

Correspondence Type Correspondence Description Print Program Required Data Sample standard SAP Script Form

SAP01 Payment notices RFKORD00 Document number F140_PAY_CONF_01

SAP06 Account statements RFKORD10 Account number and date F140_ACC_STAT_01

SAP07 Bill of exchange charges statements RFKORD20 Document number F140_BILL_CHA_01

SAP09 Internal documents RFKORD30 Document number F140_INT_DOCU_01

SAP10 Individual letters RFKORD40 Account number F140_IND_TEXT_01

SAP11 Document extracts RFKORD50 Document number F140_DOCU_EXC_01

SAP13 Customer statements RFKORD11 Customer number and date F140_CUS_STAT_01

How to do Correspondence configuration

Configuration of Correspondence in SAP can be carried out in the following steps below

Step 1) Define Correspondence Type

Transaction Code:-OB77

Here various SAP standard correspondence types are available. You can also create your custom correspondence types. You can specify that what data is required for generating a correspondence, e.g. for account statement you can specify that customer/ vendor master is necessary for the statement. Also, you can specify the date parameters and the text to appear for date selection.

Step 2) Assign Program to Correspondence Type

Transaction Code: –OB78

Here you need to link the correspondence generator program to the correspondence type. You can also specify different programs for different company codes. (Also, you can specify the default variant here for the program to execute. You can create such variant from transaction SE38/ SA38 for the program.)

You can also create your own custom program as a copy of the standard program and can make suitable changes to meet any of your client specific need.

Step 3) Determine Call-Up Functions for Correspondence Type

Transaction Code:-OB79

Here you need to specify that at what point of time you can generate the particular correspondence type. You can also specify a different setting for different company codes. The various options available are:-

At the time of posting payments (e.g. F-28, F-26, etc.)

At the time of document display or change (e.g. FB02, FB03, etc.)

At the time of account display (e.g. FBL1N, FBL5N, etc.)

Step 4) Assign Correspondence Form to Correspondence Print Program

Transaction Code: –OB96

Here you need to specify that which forms definition will be used by the correspondence print program. You can also specify a different setting for different company codes. (The SAP Script form is defined using the transaction SE71, where the various data is arranged in the output format to get processed. This SAP Script form defines the layout in the output.)

You can also use two digit form IDs, by which you can call different forms for different form IDs in the same company code.

This form ID can be given in the selection screen of the print program generating correspondence. You can select only one form ID at one time for a correspondence type. You can create multiple correspondence types, triggering different form ids.

Step 5) Define Sender Details for Correspondence

Transaction Code:-OBB1

You can here link the details for header, footer, signature and sender. This text is defined using the transaction SO10 with text ID as linked above (e.g. ADRS). You can also specify a different setting for different company codes.(Also two digit sender variant can be defined, which you can give to the selection parameters of the print program. This will enable different sender details within same company code.)

Step 6) Define Sort Variants for Correspondence

Transaction Code: –O7S4

You can here specify that in which order the correspondence letters will get generated. E.g. if you are generating account statement for multiple vendors, then vendors will get sorted in this order and then the letter will get generated. This Sort Variant can be given in the selection screen of the print program generating correspondence.

Step 7) Define Sort Variants for Line Items in Correspondence

Transaction Code: –O7S6

You can here specify that in which order the various line items will appear in a correspondence letters. E.g. if a vendor account statement has multiple invoices, then invoices will get sorted in this order and then the letter will get generated.

This Sort Variant can be given in the selection screen of the print program generating correspondence.

Correspondence Generation

As shown earlier also while configuring the call-up point, the correspondence can be generated at below point of times:-

At the time of posting payments (e.g. F-28, F-26, etc.)

At the time of document display or change (e.g. FB02, FB03, etc.)

At the time of account display (e.g. FBL1N, FBL5N, etc.)

Correspondence can be generated for a particular document or for vendor(s)/ customer(s) account. Subsequent slides will explain the generation of correspondence via different ways and its printing.

Correspondence Generation (Method A):-

The correspondence can be generated while you create, change or display the document.

Similarly, you can create the correspondence from document display/ change from the transaction, like in FB02/ FB03/ FBl1N/ FLB5N, etc.

Correspondence Generation (Method B)

For existing accounting documents you can use transaction code FB12.

Hereafter entering the company code, it will ask the correspondence type. Select Correspondence Type and it will ask you to enter document number/ account no. etc. based on the correspondence type setting. After this, the correspondence is requested.

Correspondence Generation (Method C)

From transaction F.27, you can generate the correspondence (Account Statement) for vendor(s) / customer(s).

If you select “Individual Request” check box, then if the same vendor/ customer has line items in multiple company codes, then for each company code a separate statement will get generated.

Correspondence Printing

Correspondence Printing (Method A):-

Use transaction code F.61 to print the relevant correspondence type already generated. On execution, it will simply print the correspondence (If Email/ Fax, etc. is configured, then output will be generated in that format)

Correspondence Printing (Method B):-

From transaction F.64, you can see the correspondence letter (Spool) generated and can print it. (The difference from F.61 is that, in F.64 you can also do other operations (like delete, print preview, etc.) for correspondence request already generated.)

Correspondence Via Email

Then the correspondence for this customer/ vendor will get generated in email format instead of print output (Taking into account the user exit setting made to determine method of communication in the user exit given in next slide.)

(Note: Similarly you can make setting for Fax output via selecting the standard communication as FAX and maintaining Fax no.)

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