Suggested Improvement : Determination of SAP material number in sales order processing
When processing sales orders for customers, a variety of material numbers can be used. You may be using a customer – material number, a GTIN number, a UPC code or an SAP material number. The challenge is that SAP’s solution to use the Customer – Material Info record on a sales order requires the user to enter the material in the “Ordering Party” view under the field for customer material number. The other challenge is that the UPC and GTIN codes are generally maintained in the material master additional data fields since these are also used in other process areas.
Traditionally, the approach has been to use material determination instead so that the GTIN and UPC code can be converted into a SAP material number when a customer order is received, especially when using manual sales orders. This adds another layer of data maintenance in the sales operations.
Use of Customer – Material Info record needs the customer service teams to use the Ordering Party tab instead. This means that the customer service associate needs to “remember” what customers would potentially use their own material numbers as against other customers that may be wanting to use a UPC or GTIN code.
This has been a gap in SAP for quite some time.
A solution to this issue is a small exit in the sales order entry when a material is entered and have a sequence in which the system would search for the material number instead. This sequence would cycle through to determine if there is a CMIR record with the material entered, then cycle to check if this is a UPC code or a GTIN code ( there could be different lengths of the GTIN codes in use ) or if this is a SAP material number.
If the material determined is a CMIR, then the exit will need to emulate what SAP would have done with the ordering party screen under customer – material number and read the details as per the CMIR record maintained.
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