Maintaining master data can be annoying or even not possible manually. On the other hand many automatic functions are relying on it. One example is entering an order (or receiving it from ERP) having just the customer address. This customer may or may not be already stored in the system. All required information like cost, times and stuff are covered by the Transportation Network or TM specific settings being based on master data. So we faced the challenge bringing this together and enabling a smooth process.
I would like to explain a few important things to know about this function.
1. One-Time Location Creation: Depending on the business requirement, there are basically 2 options for creating one-time locations. The question is do I need to know if this customer defined by an address is already in the system and want to reuse this location? Or do I not care? In the first case, the system needs to search all existing locations using a quite performance expensive address query. In case something matching is found, the master data location is re-used and I can link different orders together. If nothing is found, a new One-Time location is created. Which is also the case if I do not care for the check.
– The setting if the address search is required can be done within the TM customizing under TM->Basic Functions->General Settings->Define General Settings for SAP TM. Check the documentation for details.
– The Location ID is defined by a number range, which can be found under Master Data->Transportation Network->Location->Define Number Range Intervals for One-time Locations.
– For the adjustment of the to-be-created One-Time Location a BAdI exists under BAdIs for Transportation Management->Master Data->General Settings->One-Time Locations. There you can pretty much change anything starting from location type to any other data.
– Geo-Coding runs automatically to determine geo coordinates using the address.
2. One-Time Location Usage: Well, after creating the One-Time Location it is used like any other master data Location. You see it in the order with its ID, it can be changed in the location maintenance and is integrated into the Transportation Network to determine for example distances, planning cost and other information. The network integration is done using Transportation Zones defining certain address areas. The only difference is the set OTL indicator on db level in table /SAPAPO/LOC (field OSTA_FLAG).
3. One-Time Location Deletion: To not mess up the system with obsolete objects, One-Time Locations are deleted after no relevant document any longer points to it. For this function the standard location deletion report can be used checking via the Wher-Used Framework all relevant TM documents.
As this is a very central component, I guess it is good to know how it works. Get back to me in case you want more details.