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Prefixes and suffixes when creating locations in SAP TM

When you use SAP Transportation Management in SAP S/4HANA, you will surely use locations, e.g. for transportation planning. There are various options how locations are created. You can for instance replicate them from another system (which is worth some more blog posts).  Another option is to use report /SAPAPO/CREATE_LOCATIONS for creating locations to a reference object such as plant, shipping point or business partner.

In that case, the basic question is, how the names of the created locations are chosen by system. As you would expect, the default name is the name of the reference object. But sometimes you might have been surprised why the name has been enhanced with a prefix or suffix, as in this example:

Or sometimes you might even have the requirement, to change the name to your one choice. In the following you will see when and how the system adapts the name of a location and what options you have.

  • Locations representing shipping points:

Let’s assume you have a shipping point like this one (transaction EC21):

You then use report /SAPAPO/CREATE_LOCATIONS (in transaction SE38) to create a respective location in the following way:

And as a result, the following location of type 1003 has been created (transaction /SCMTMS/LOC3):

You easily see what happened…the name of the location in that case is always the name of the shipping point with the prefix ‘SP_’, thereby indicating clearly that it’s a location for a shipping point. This surely helps you when you have shipping points named identical to their assigned plants, which is not too unusual.

  • Location name is already existing:

For that case, let’s take the previous shipping point again to make an example. As you can see, it has a transportation zone with the same name ‘ZMHA’ assigned in its address data. When you create the location for the shipping point, the location for the transportation zone is always created as well, in this case with the transportation zone’s name ‘ZMHA’ (transaction /SCMTMS/ZONE):

(In the lower part of the screen shot, the shipping point ‘SP_ZMHA’ is shown as the location to which the transportation zone is assigned to.)

Let’s now furtherly assume, the shipping point is assigned to a plant which has also the same name. This might be silly, providing the same name for plant, shipping point and transportation zone. But maybe this is the requirement for a smaller enterprise and at least the example serves to explain this case.

If you now create the location for the plant, it will look like this (transaction /SCMTMS/LOC3):

You see, a suffix ‘_01’ has been added to the name of the plant, making it the name of the location.

And this is how it happens with duplicate location names…whenever the system recognizes that the name of a location to be created is already existing (in that case the transportation zone’s location has already the default name of the plant’s location ‘ZMHA’), this type of suffix is added. Meaning, the first double occurrence is enhanced by ‘_01’, the second ‘_02’ and so on.

Question for the experts…what is the maximum number of double location names you can create in an SAP S/4HANA system?

  • Adjust location names:

Apart from adjustments to the name which the system executes, you can also change the name by your choice during creation.

For that matter, the following BAdI is in place:

Here, you can i.e. add further prefixes, let’s say ‘PL_’ for plants, or whatever your requirement is.

I kindly ask for your understanding that I will not go further into details regarding the implementation of the BAdI. If you do implement the BADI, you definitely need to have some knowledge and technical background about locations. You need to know exactly which data to change. Otherwise you can do serious harm to your location master data, i.e. producing inconsistencies which lead to severe issues or even make data unusable.

But basically, there is the option for adjusting names to your requirements.

So, this was an overview how the names of the locations are derived during creation per report. You have seen, that the name is not necessarily straight forward the name of the reference object and that you have options to adjust them.

For any comments, please feel free to add them, I appreciate!

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