A number of master data files in MM require a significant amount of understanding, not only on the part of the SAP consultant but also on the part of the SAP customer. When implementing SAP, customers are generally transitioning from one or more legacy systems. A key aspect of any implementation is the conversion of data to the master data files in SAP.
A fundamental indicator of a successful implementation is the level to which the data has been correctly converted into the SAP master data files. In this chapter, we will examine the master data files that are integral to the practice of MM. The following sections examine each of the master data files in the MM module, and the necessary configuration steps for the creation of master data are described.
When customers implement SAP, they are often overwhelmed by the information contained in the Material Master file. When customers examine their existing systems, such as BPICS, JDEdwards, or Lawson, they find that their product or material files contain a fraction of the data contained in the SAP Material Master.
The Material Master transaction allows the users to enter all the information relevant to a particular item of material into the correct tables. The Material Master is not just one file, but a number of tables that contain information that combined reflect all the information for that material.
Many tables are updated when information is entered into the Material Master transaction. The Material Master transaction is structured so that there are entry screens for different functional information items such as Purchasing, Sales, or Accounting, but there is also an organizational dimension to data entry. The material information can be entered at each level of the organization, for example, at the levels of plant, storage location, or sales organization.
An issue that SAP customers can face when converting their item files over to the Material Master is whether to keep their legacy numbering scheme by continuing to enter their own material numbers. Customers have the option of allowing SAP to automatically assign material numbers.
Often, legacy systems have meaningful material numbering. This numbering has usually been in place for some time, and employees are familiar with the numbering. For the simplicity of maintenance, automatic assignment of material numbers is the best choice. When working with your client, be aware that there are arguments to use and not to use a meaningful numbering scheme in SAP.
The material number field is defined in configuration. Using the Transaction OMSL or the navigation path IMG Logistics - General Material Master Basic Settings Define Output Format for Material Numbers.