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S/4 HANA for central procurement – Central purchasing

Introduction:

Central procurement hub is relatively new in SAP world and thus there is a kind of curiousness among many SAP customers, vendors and consultants on how it works and how everything looks like in the system. So, with explanation of central purchasing, this blog aims to show in detail how everything comes together in Central Procurement Hub in S/4HANA.

Create central PO:

To start with, central purchase orders are created in hub system in multiple ways.

Firstly, we can create it with the app “Manage purchase requisitions centrally”:

When we go in the app, select the PR for which we must create the PO and then on the right-hand side click on “Create Document” – > “Create Purchase Order”.

Secondly, we can create it with the app “Manage purchase orders centrally”:

When we go in the app, on the right-hand side click on “+” and then select the respective backend system where PO needs to be created.

In both the cases, system will open transaction ME21N in backend system (GUI for HTML). Now the PO can be created in its usual way.

The new screen will look like this:

Lastly, we can create PO directly in the connected system in our usual way. Once created, this will be replicated and available in the hub system for further processing.

PO replication:

Even though, central PO can be created in multiple ways i.e. in hub system or in connected system. Technically its always created in the connected system. So, its important to make these PO available in hub system. In central purchasing scenario, this can be done via app “Schedule import of purchasing documents”.

Basically, with this app, we can schedule background jobs which imports all the purchasing documents (as per template selected) to make it available in the hub system. Once imported, then the PO can be further processed from hub system.

Workflows for central purchasing:

In central purchasing scenario we also have option to setup central workflows for purchase orders. Well this depends on case to case basis, but in most of the scenarios it makes sense. To achieve this some configuration settings needs to be done in the connected system. Please follow the path:

SPRO -> Materials Management -> Purchasing -> Central Procurement-Settings in connected system -> Central Purchase Orders ->Activate central settings for purchase order.

Once done, corresponding purchase orders will be blocked from release in the connected system and could be only released in hub system.

Troubleshooting:

For troubleshooting, you can use app “Central procurement operations monitor”:

Alternatively, you can use below transactions to find the issues:

  • /AIF/ERR – AIF Error Handling
  • /IWFND/ERROR_LOG – SAP Gateway error log
  • SXMB_MONI – Monitor for Processed XML Messages

Make sure to check these transactions in both hub and connected system.

Things to know:

There are few things to keep in mind while working with central purchasing:

  1. Central PO’s are not created in hub system at table level, they are only created in backend system. Central PR/PO app in hub system just acts as an interface to create PO in backend system. This is the reason they need to be imported in hub system for further processing. Once imported they are stored in cache/staging tables in hub system.
  2. No master data synchronization between the system is required in central purchasing.
  3. Editing possible in both the systems, but they need to be imported again so that changes are reflected in hub system.
  4. Central PO cannot be created via GUI transactions in hub system.
  5. GR cannot be done in hub system as of now, it’s only possible in the connected system.

Sources:

Configuration documents can be found below:

  • SAP help: https://help.sap.com
  • SAP best practices explorer: https://rapid.sap.com
  • SAP Community: https://solutionportfolio.net.sap/industry/HANAOP/object/42F2E964FAAF1ED89ED9C6791D6200CE?version=1

Conclusion:

I hope this blog helps in basic understanding of working of central purchase orders in the system, prerequisites and troubleshooting.

 

Disclaimer:

Everything mentioned in this blog is from my personal experiences and is subject to change.

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