To make the business run simple in the digital economy, SAP is coming up with some changes in master data fields in material master, customer and vendors master to keep it simple, to avoid data redundancy and to take out non-value addition fields in product master.
Some of my observations which really help clients is to manage the data from a single screen with multiple table using one T code. For example, vendor and customer master transactions will be replaced in new release (example T codes such as XK, VK, MK, XD series) with business partner functionality. The clients who implemented Financial supply chain management ( FSCM), the business partner functionality is not something new that used to take care of credit management, collections etc. With this change, both customers and vendors (aka business partner) can be maintained using a single transaction. It is a major shift for the existing clients who are planning to migrate to S/4 HANA and my thinking is that it is going to reduce the data maintenance work in future. Also MASS functionality that used to take care of mass changes of business partner data and item master will be no more and hopefully SAP come up with a new functionality that will make mass change much easier.
From product master point of view, the biggest advantage is that material number field length got increased to 40 from 18. This was a big pain in most of our implementations, where the legacy system material master field length used to be always more than 18. This will be a big relief for the future implementations. SAP could have given thought to keep material description field more than 40 characters. With the new change, both product master and description fields’ lengths are same.
To manage the business needs of business trade functionality, a new set of fields got added in product and this will help to handle GTS functionality in an effective way. Also, some of the MRP fields which are rarely used in business have been taken out. For example, MRP views fields of item master i.e Storage location based MRP run fields have been taken out so that MRP area functionality can be used to take care of storage location MRP run. Since HANA in-memory platform is going to add a clear cut distinction in reporting in a multi-dimensional way and the reports can be pulled dynamically, the LIS functionality will become obsolete one in future which in turn help to take out lot of redundant data, pre-aggregate data and in turn help the performance of the system. These are some of my observations and do share your thoughts to get ready for SAP S/4 HANA. The next generation business suite implementations…