SAP’s support of GLNs and GTINs may be one of SAP’s best-kept secrets (at least, outside Retail and Consumer Products). The fact is, SAP has supported GLNs and GTINs since 2006, and the functionality has been in core ECC since ECC 6.0 EhP2. In addition, SAP supports Traceability in the SAP Auto-ID Enterprise application.
As a follow-on to Stefan Weigand’s two BLOGs on GS1 standards on the SAP Business Process Expert Community at http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/bpx/gs1-standards (Secure Tracking and Tracing using GS1 and SAP OER – Leverage GS1 EPCIS in Healthcare – Episode I of 12/3/09 and Episode II of 5/13/10) in which Stefan writes about GS1, its standards and value to the Healthcare Ecosystem, and SAP‘s Secure Tracking and Tracing capabilities using GS1 and SAP Object Event Repository, OER), here is an update on how SAP currently supports GLN and GTIN functionality, and the Guides (cookbooks) that we’ve written for enhancing SAP’s core GLN functionality.
2010 is the year of the “GLN Sunrise,“ whereby healthcare trading partners voluntarily will begin transacting business using the Global Location Number (GLN) in lieu of individual location codes and account numbers. The first step is the use of Ship-to GLNs on Purchase Order (850), Order Acknowledgement (855), Advanced Shipment Notification (856), and Invoice (810) EDI transactions.
GLNs on EDI transactions for Rebates and Chargebacks (844, 845, and 867) are being addressed in the SAP Solution for Rebates and Chargebacks by Vistex.
While core GLN functionality already exceeded recommended GS1 minimum requirements (which are only for Ship-to locations) in most ways, many of our customers across healthcare-related industries told us that they require GLN support for additional business objects (notably, for Ship-to locations) in order to be able to accurately conduct business. They also told us that they need GLN Search Help for vendors and customers.
After validating many of our customers’ requests and researching potential approaches, we initiated a project to create guides (“cookbooks”) for enhanced GLN functionality that will assist them in building needed GLN enhancements:
- An enhanced GLN Table with additional business objects for GLNs – notably, for Ship-to Locations (e.g., Storage Locations, Warehouses, Cost Centers, Assets, Internal Orders, and others)
- Determination logic on IDocs to use GLNs for all the business objects in the enhanced GLN Table
- Search Help by GLN for customers and vendors.
These five Guides, available to SAP customers, partners, and employees, provide a flexible approach to build enhanced GLN functionality according to our customers’ individual needs, have been written to assist them in creating enhanced GLN functionality. The Guides for the enhanced GLN Table, GLN search helps and IDocs include sample code and/or build instructions that can be used to create individualized enhancements, and were tested in a prototype. These Guides are:
- Introduction to Enhanced GLN Functionality Project
- Enhanced GLN Table Technical Guide
- Enhanced GLN Table Users Guide
- Enhanced IDocs for GLN Functionality – Technical Guide (enables new business objects, with determination logic)
- GLN Vendor and Customer Search Helps
and have been posted on the SAP Service Marketplace for Healthcare at http://service.sap.com/healthcare-guides
Regarding GTINs, SAP also supports GTINs in the Material Master maintenance, and they appear on various transactions (Vendor Quotations, Purchase Orders, receipts, and invoices). For serialized and batch GTINs, SAP offers the AutoID Enterprise application, which supports traceability via the Object Event Repository, which keeps a record and query of the entire chain of custody – from manufacture to packing, shipping, receiving, stocking, picking and issuing, and dispensing to the patient.
SAP values the input that we’ve received from our customers, partners, and GS1 on the GLN Sunrise requirements. For further engagement on this subject or any other topic that relates to joint efforts between SAP and GS1 to enable efficient business networks for our customers, please see SAP and GS1 Standards at http://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/bpx/gs1-standards.