How to Handle Multiple Addresses in SD Documents Using SAP Business PartnerPublish Date: August 8, 2022
Sales is essential to the survival and growth of an organization; hence, businesses are increasingly investing in well-defined sales processes that can offer them strategic and financial benefits. In today’s market, customers are empowered with a plethora of options available and easy access to information. Therefore, the client relationship is to be nurtured so that businesses can establish strong connections and improve their performance.
SAP S/4HANA is a complete solution platform, which is designed to improve the overall productivity of your business and make it more competitive.
This comprehensive and flexible business management software allows businesses to access their entire customer data and plan, monitor, optimize and improve the sales process for immediate results. SAP S/4HANA’s Business partner model, maintains customer and supplier/partner master data in the system, helping counter redundancies, optimize performance, and take interaction to the next level. Let’s see how, and it begins with your business partner’s address!
Multiple Business Partners Addresses and the Resulting
In the sales process, business partners (BP) play a key role. Across Sales and Distribution (SD), efficient handling of business partner addresses is essential. It makes the system more flexible and efficient. But, the conventional data model has a lacuna. For a certain customer master record, it can store a single address. So, if there are different addresses associated with a single customer, a new customer master record with another address needs to be created.
So, what does this mean?
If you have multiple addresses related to the same business partner, a standard data model in SD will not allow you to create a single record for the same. Rather, X parallel customer master records will be assigned to X business partner records. Thus, there will be a 1:1 relationship. The same entity having multiple physical addresses gets represented multiple times. Keeping track of these in the standard master data model is difficult. This results in additional size, the workload for the system administrator, and data redundancies.
SAP Business Partner to the Rescue
With the Business Partner data model, multiple address handling can be enabled. Besides, multiple time-dependent addresses can be maintained for a single BP. These addresses can also be assigned based on their usage.
The SAP applications can then model the relationships between different Business Partners. As a result, the Sales and Distribution applications and documents can assign and process different addresses associated with a single BP.
A single customer number is assigned to a customer. It is a single BP master record. Different addresses associated with this customer or BP, be it address-dependent or independent, are also related to that customer number.
Prerequisites for the process
SAP Business Partner supports multiple addresses. But, it is important to activate the following business functions:
- Multiple Business Handling for Customer Master Data in Business Partner
- Multiple Business Handling for Business Partners in Sales and Distribution
There are several features related to Multiple address handling.
Enhanced data model
In the SAP data model, address-dependent data can be stored for the BP master and customer master. For the respective addresses of a business partner, different values can be maintained for certain fields in customer master data.
Automatic validity checks
For BP addresses, validity periods can be defined. There is also a feature for automatic checks to ensure that valid addresses are used for creating and saving SD documents.
Automatic address selection prompt
For creating and changing sales documents, and address selection, a button is provided. As different addresses are maintained in the BP master data, this button can be used to select a particular address or change an address, based on the requirements.
It must be considered that the process of enabling multiple address handling is irreversible. Also, after enabling the feature, it is not possible to disable it. There are no disruptive effects due to the activation. The business processes also remain unaffected. The existing master data records and business data also remain unchanged. Besides, the SD documents created before business function activation can be still processed by the system.
Other System Enhancements
To support multiple address handling for Business Partners, there are also additional system enhancements. The core sales applications get improved in the process. Other Business Application Programming Interfaces (BAPIs) and functional areas can also be improved.
As SAP S/4HANA Business Partner offers relevant applications and technologies required, maintenance and allocation of multiple addresses related to a single customer become easier. Thus, it offers flexibility to the entire Sales and Distribution model, allowing multiple addresses to be maintained without having to worry about data redundancy. Additionally, a validity period can also be added to these addresses. This further, maximizes the value of legacy data.