In this new series of SAP Cloud for Customer blogs we will be highlighting some key aspects of how party roles are defined in customer master data and how party determination is executed for transactions in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer.
Why do we need party determination :- In any business transaction many different parties are involved for example in a sales order there will be a seller and buyer in its very basic form . In addition there could be other parties as well for example , where should the products be shipped termed as Ship to party , who will be paying the invoice termed as Payee .
In more complex B2B transactions there could be many more stakeholders termed as parties who are involved in a business transaction and hence it is imperative that an ideal enterprise application provides a flexible and easily configurable party determination mechanism .
Why is it important to have a easy to configure and transparent party determination mechanism :- As sales rep , when a user is creating a business transaction , he/she should be able to understand how the system determined the various parties which are determined automatically . The more complex party determination mechanism the more in-transparent it is to the end user.
What we offer in SAP Hybris in Cloud for Customer :- We offer an open and flexible party role definition and determination mechanism for most of the sales and service transactions . You can define custom party roles in cloud for customer and also configure the determination steps. Let me break down the whole concept in four areas as follows :-
1) Party role and business partner relationship definition (standard and custom)
2) Party role maintenance in customer master
3) Party role configuration in transactions
4) Party role determination in transactions
Party role definition :- You can browse through and change the properties of standard party roles by navigating through the path business configuration —> Fine tuning –> Party Role Definition .
You can rename the standard party roles delivered out of the box .
Fig 1: BC Fine tuning activity for configuring Party Roles.
Responsibility Role indicator means if a party role can be assigned to an employee , Assigning an employee to a party role in account will be possible only if the responsibility indicator is set for a party role.
In addition you can mark a party role to be sales area dependent by marking the indicator ‘Sales Data’ in the BC tuning activity . Sales area dependency indicator means a party role can be assigned per sales area . Let me explain this with an example
An organization can have many diversified businesses for example a large construction company can have interests in ports , highway construction and government projects each represented by a sales org.
Employee responsible(sales) or owner for an account if marked as sales area dependent means that an account can have owner each for ports / highways and projects in essence one (or more ) sales rep responsible for each line of business .
This sales area based role assignment plays a very important role in the involved party determination in transactions which will be discussed later in this blog.
Unique indicator means if one or more employees can be assigned to a party role . For example if you have marked Employee Responsible (Sales) as unique can only one employee as owner for an account .
if this flag is set along with the sales area flag it means that the uniqueness check will be done in combination with sales areas , in essence you will be allowed to maintain one party role records per sales areas ( you will not be allowed to create two records with the same role for same sales area ) .
Business Partner Relationships :-
All other relationships or party assignment can be done using the business partner relationship concept in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer . These relationships are primarily used to define relationships for example account to partner or account to account ( ship to / bill to / payee) .
You can define custom relationships using the BC fine tuning path
You can browse through and change the properties of standard party roles by navigating through the path business configuration —> Fine tuning –> General business Partners –>Maintain Relationships–> .
Fig 2 – BC fine tuning activity to create new relationships .
As shown above you can also mark relationship to be sales area dependent , this means that you can maintain relationships per sales area . Let me explain this with an example .
A account can be assigned to be sales org 1 (SO1) and sales org 2 (SO2) , ship to party for SO1 is P1 and ship to party for SO2 is P2.
the system during party determination in transaction will consider the sales area information maintained on the transaction to determine the correct ship to party which means that if the transaction belongs to SO1 then P1 will be picked up as ship to party or if transaction belong to SO2 then P2 will be assigned as ship to in party in the transaction.
I will also explain the correlation between roles and relationships later in this blog.
Party role maintenance in account .
You can assign employees and other business partners in account master data . As shown below you can define the account team member in face ‘Account Team’ tab . By default you will observe that all the party roles marked as ‘Responsibility Role’ will be available in the account team create view .
Fig 3 :- Assign party role to account
Business partner relationship maintenance :-
You can maintain relations for an account under the tab ‘Relationships’.
Fin 4 :- Relationship assignment in accounts .
How are party roles and relationships related :-
If you are creating your own party role ( which are not responsibility role ) and would like this party role to be used in a transaction , you can link a party role with a new relationship in the BC as shown in Fig 1 . The system for a new party role automatically offers a default determination step as shown below by reading the relationship record from the account . For example if you define a new role say “Preferred Sales Partner” and link to a new relationship called say “Has Preferred Sales Partner” in the party role definition . In the next step you can assign this relationship in account master by creating a new relationship record for the account using relationship “Has Preferred Sales Partner” .
If you want this new role “Preferred Sales Partner” to used in the opportunity , go to opportunity fine tuning as show in fig 5 below and then assign this party role in the configuration .
The system during opportunity creation will first try to find if there is a relationship ‘Has Preferred Sales Partner‘ for the account and then will assign this Business partner to role “Preferred Sales Partner” in the opportunity.
Party Role Assignment Configuration in Transactions :-
Now that we have defined our master data setup , let us understand how these are used in transactions . As shared earlier one of the most prominent usage of party role and relationship records is in the transactions involved party determination .
Let us take a use case to understand the determination configuration better . Assuming that I am creating a sales opportunity and as a sales rep, I expect the system to automatically determine key sales team members automatically from the account master/territory additionally I also expect that key parties such as Ship to Party , Bill to Party , Payee etc are also determined from account master data.
Well SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer provides for all prominent sales and service transaction a very flexible and robust party determination configuration feature . As shared in the example above , let us see where can we configure the parties which should be automatically added and determined in the sales quote . go to business configuration —> Fine tuning –> lead–> Maintain involved parties.
Fig 5 :- Involved party configuration in transaction
For each of the party roles configured , you can active – deactivate party roles . Additionally you can configure the determination steps using which the system will read business partner assigned to the party role . For example in the determination steps for employee responsible for employee responsible , the system will try to search for employee responsible from account team if there is employee responsible maintained in account team then this employee is assigned as employee responsible in opportunity . Note the system also considers the sales area information while executing this determination .
please refer to the blog post to learn how sales area information is determined in sales transactions
Sales Organisation / distribution channel / division determination : – Combined Sales Area Determination in C4C Sales Transactions
So you can assign individual employee responsible for each sales area and dependent on the sales area determined in the transaction the system will determined the employee responsible and assign that employee in the transaction .
In case multiple records are maintained for the same role and same sales area then the system will assign the one which is marked as main in the account master record.
Fig 6 : Sample relationship setup
So in case the sales area determined in the transaction is SO1/D1/DIV1 and hence E1 will be determined .
For custom party roles the system also the offers the possibility to configure party determination using rules . For example you can define on what conditions should a party role be determined in the transaction as shown below. the rules are considered in the party determination procedure as shown in fig 9.
Fig 7 : Rule definition for Transactions party determinations .
Fig 8: Determination steps using rules.
Follow up from transaction in party determination :- In case you are creating transaction as a follow up or copy , the sytem will copy the relevant party roles from the preceding document . This will by default be the first determination step for all party roles .
Other blog posts on this topic.