Product Master Data – The Journey from ERP to the world of S/4HANA
Core data that is critical to the operations in a specific business or business unit is defined as master data. Material master database is the central repository of information on materials (such as inventory levels) for the enterprise. In the classic ERP world, the management (create, update, delete) of material master data could be performed through different transactions. This meant that various sources existed for the maintenance of master data which resulted in data redundancy.
Simplification is the crux of SAP S/4HANA. Using this very crux as pivotal point, the erstwhile Material Master was redefined as Product Master, where in the term product refers to any object that includes products, materials, articles, and services. This was just the start of an eventful journey for the Product Master team in Central Master Data for S/4HANA. From having various sources for the maintenance of master data, the team has successfully developed and delivered over various releases since 1511 (both Cloud and On Premise), the Manage Product Master fiori app which is a single point of access using which you can create, update, read, and delete (archive) product master data. This marks a paradigm shift for the users who, in the ERP world, had to use over 1000 fields to maintain master data.
In S/4HANA, we have simplified the methods of product master data maintenance by delivering the simplified MM* transactions in On premise (OP), the Visually Harmonized transactions for CE, and the advanced fiori app – Manage Product Master -which is a single point of access to maintain product master data which ensures that the master data is always consistent and also effectively reduces data redundancy.
Here’s a sneak peak at a few of the key features of the Manage Product Master app in the S/4HANA.
Few features that are available in the latest Cloud Edition (1705):
- Stateless Paradigm – The app is basically based on the paradigm of the stateless Fiori UI (user interface) where the changes on the UI are cached to emulate the session over several round trips and only at the final save (action Save) the changes are written back to the core product master where the complete application logic is executed.
- Draft Persistency – This app automatically saves your changes as draft, no matter if the record is fully consistent or not. If you close the browser session intentionally or accidentally, the draft version is kept on database. Later, if you want to continue to edit the product, you can retrieve it into a draft stage, where you can make the changes. If the data is finalized, you can save it directly into the master tables. When you save the data into the master tables, the system deletes the draft version.
- Creation of Multiple Sub-entities for a Product – For certain nodes, you are allowed to create several sub-entities for a single product. For example, you can create a product with multiple plants.
- Automatic Calculation of Sales Tax for Master Data Records – When creating a product (active and draft version), the system automatically calculates sales tax once you have specified the values in mandatory fields for Distribution Chains.
- Open In – This feature allows user to easily navigate to the related apps for the specified products from within the Manage Product Master app.
- Classification– You can use the classification feature to assign classes to a master data record and evaluate its characteristics.
- Engineering Change Number – When making changes to a product, you can assign a change number to indicate that there has been a change in master records.
- Variant Matrix – You can use this feature in the Product Master to create variants for a product. The product variant is linked to the configurable product master record and configured using the characteristics of the configurable product. This variant of the configurable product can then be manufactured and kept in stock. If specific configurations of a configurable product occurs frequently, it is useful to create individual stock products for these configurations, so that these products can be manufactured in advance.
To know more about the features that the Manage Product Master app offers you in the latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud edition, please navigate to the SAP Help Portal and search for the relevant S/4HANA Cloud edition-> Product Assistance -> Master Data -> Product Master
Apart from the features mentioned above, the On Premise version (1610 FPS2) of the Product Master app contains the following additional features:
- SCM Integration – This features enables the user to create the product master data from the app and extend it using /SAPAPO/MAT1 and /SCWM/MAT1 transactions to maintain complete APO and EWM relevant data.
- Reference Handling -This feature enables you to specify a template whose data is copied, when a new article is created. You can specify such templates for both Distribution Center and Stores.
When you create a Distribution Center or Store for the first time, the app uses this as a template for global record, and this data is copied whenever a new site (distribution center and/or store) is created. Note that, for stores, you can also create distribution chain specific reference stores.
- Extended Warehouse Management– You can use the features of extended warehouse management in this app to manage the warehouse related data for your products. You can access or maintain the extended warehouse management related data for products on the Warehouse Management section for Execution and Packaging.
To know more about the features that the Manage Product Master app offers you in the latest SAP S/4HANA edition, please navigate to the SAP Help Portal and search for the relevant S/4HANA edition-> Product Assistance -> SAP S/4HANA -> Cross Components -> Central Master Data -> Manage Product Master.