Optimizing SAP® master data
Efficient creation, maintenance and administration of material master data
Material master data are an essential component of all SAP® logistics processes in companies. Ideally, they are up to date, correct, and reliable. But if they are flawed, it will affect every operating process in your company.
Employees often have to struggle with errors and duplicates, because creation and maintenance in SAP® MM® is elaborate and complicated. A wide variety of data are maintained by different departments, such as Purchasing, Sales, and Dispatching. The countless plant views and input fields are often an unreasonable demand, especially for occasional SAP® users!
Reduce errors in master data management
Redundant, outdated, and erroneous material master data in the manufacturing industry lead to incorrect deliveries and material shortages, which in turn lead to significant disruptions to business processes in materials management. The result is dissatisfied employees, dissatisfied customers, and superfluous costs.
A solution for your material management: EASY Material Management is integrated 100% in SAP® and thus supports the IT platform strategy in reproducing as many company processes as possible in one system: a homogeneous IT and process landscape should minimize technical and organizational problems in interfaces, thus significantly reducing operating costs.
Improve the quality of your SAP master data with EASY
With our EASY Material Management for SAP Solutions you receive permanently better data quality. You can shorten cycle times in production and the supply chain in next to no time and gain the transparency you need for your individual role.
- Clean, correct database: All necessary fields are filled
- No duplicates: Only material masters that do not yet exist are created
- Clear responsibilities with data governance: Each department has its own view of maintenance
- Automated processes: Notifications are sent, 360° process transparency
- Control and escalation of material master creation processes
- Full integration in SAP: no further programming knowledge required; access via SAP or Web, available on all mobile devices
- Best practice workflows in one product
Fully automated material management in a few steps
An employee – an engineer, for example – requires new material and fills out the basic data 1 & 2. They see only the fields which are important to them in their customized view. If needed, they can attach documents to the request.
The master data center receives a “work item,” checks the request, and can return it to the requester if there are errors.
The system proactively indicates potential duplicates. The material descriptions and drawing numbers are used, among other things, for the check. The check can be individually expanded entirely according to your requirements.
Basic data, classification data, and document links are created completely automatically for all company’s plants, not just one.
Plant-specific: Different plant views can be defined through a control table, independently of the material type. The system creates the relevant views for the defined plants completely automatically. Individual departments, such as Purchasing or Dispatch, can also be custom controlled to maintain plant views manually.
Material change process
In the material change process in SAP (MM02), existing plant views can be adjusted and new ones can be added. If changes are initiated by employees, they are saved and forwarded in the workflow for approval. In the further course of the process, all participants can see what has been changed and by whom a change was initiated. The entire process of material master maintenance is thus documented and can be traced quickly and easily at any time. The new data is only transferred to the SAP system when the material change process is complete.
Standard project phases
EASY Material Management is developed on the EASY Process2Design® platform. The platform enables your company to easily, quickly and flexibly design, maintain and evaluate individual business processes. This technology enables standard projects to be implemented in the shortest possible time. Depending on the size and complexity of your company, the duration of a project may vary.
Kick Off & Concept
Implementation & Testing
Training & Go-Live
Gerneral questions about EASY Material Management for SAP Solutions
Technical interaction with the SAP® standard
Is EASY Material Management for SAP Solutions Cloud-capable?
Yes. EASY Material Management can be operated in portals (intranet/ Internet). Furthermore, individual steps such as the SAP® Cloud Platform can be used.
Does EASY Material Management support web technology?
Yes, the web-capable WebDynpro is used.
Does EASY Material Management support SAP® S/4HANA®?
Yes, the solution can be installed and operated based on SAP® S/4HANA®.
Does EASY support the connection to the SAP® Organization Management (Org.-Management / BC-BMT-OM)?
The processor determination for the individual process steps uses the organizational units from the SAP® Organization Management. Alternatively, the processor determination can be performed using customizing tables.
Can SAP info types be used?
Info types can, for the most part, be integrated using customizing. The integration of custom info types (9000 range) is also possible with customizing.
User groups, data security, and reporting options of the solution
Does EASY Material Management require its own authorization concept?
The authorization system is fully integrated in SAP® and is configured internally in SAP® (roles in transaction PFCG). Of course, your own authorization objects or even an entire concept can be established alongside the existing SAP® authorizations.
Does EASY Material Management use the SAP® authorization system?
Yes. The additional authorizations of EASY Material Management can be integrated into existing roles or bundled into composite roles. Assignments to different levels can be made (project, area, form), so that access can be explicitly controlled.
Workflows and processes
How is the processor determination made in the process?
A responsible organizational unit to which the employees who are to perform the process step are assigned is defined for every process step. EASY Material Management then automatically determines the processor. Alternatively, customizing tables can also be used if the SAP® Organization Management cannot or should not be used. The individual processors are defined in the customizing table, which the process then accesses automatically.
How does notification in the process work?
The process participants receive a work item in the SAP® Business Workplace. In certain cases, notification may also be made by email, for example for users who rarely use SAP® or should only be informed about a specific process status.
Does EASY use the SAP® Business Workflow for the processes?
EASY Process2Design® is used as the base. This uses SAP® Business Workflow in the background. The administration and monitoring of the process takes place internally in SAP®.
Reporting and Logging
Is there an overview of the process status?
Yes, the process statistics serve as a monitoring and reporting tool. It is possible to view the status of individual, several, or all processes with them. Search results are displayed in a list (ALV grid in WebDynpro), from which it is possible to navigate to individual process details.
Are there graphical reports?
By default, there are no graphical visualizations in SAP®. Reporting results can, for example, be exported to Excel and be further evaluated there (graphically as well).
How does EASY handle data protection?
All process contents are held in the SAP® environments, and only users who have the necessary authorizations receive access to the contents. Accordingly, there is high data protection.
What data/accesses are logged?
The users and times of the most recent changes in process steps are logged, without the information regarding which or how much content was changed.
General questions about material management
Can a material be created for several plants?
A material can be created for multiple plants (“plant copies”). Plant copies can be created automatically or through the process, depending on the customer.
Is there a duplicate check?
Certain users (must be defined in the project) are able to perform a duplicate check, which by default takes into account the material description and the documents linked to the material in the EASY Material Management. It is possible to include further indicators which identify a duplicate. The expansion is available as an add-on.
Can certain views be skipped?
Depending on customer need, certain views can be skipped or several views can be merged into one view. These changes can be posted as an add-on.
Can the process be adapted to our procedures?
The process can be adapted to the customer’s procedures. However, this results in additional work, which will be invoiced.
Can documents which are attached in the course of the process automatically be recorded as document info records?
Yes. At the end of the process, the documents will be recorded in SAP® as document info records and linked to the respective material. Add-on: Adjustments to the standard functions. Expense always depends on the customer requirements and can only be estimated on an individual basis.
Other practical issues
Does the access time depend on the process volume?
When creating new processes or accessing existing process steps – for example, via SAP® Business Workplace – the access time remains the same and is barely perceptible to the end user. In monitoring and reporting, the access time depends on the number of processes; the more processes there are, the longer the access time.
Can the customer further expand the solution with their own resources or must the service always be purchased from EASY?
Customers are welcome to expand or develop the solution through configuration in customizing or custom additions – it is not necessary to order these services from EASY. A variety of customers have operated this way. In order to develop appropriate expertise on the customer’s part, EASY also offers special administrator training for Process2Design.
Is EASY Material Management for SAP Solutions SAP® certified?
Yes, the underlying component EASY Process2Design® is certified.
What documentation does the solution have?
There is an Installation Guide and Release Notes as part of the sales kit standard. There is a Customizing Guide for the setup and configuration of the product. Furthermore, EASY generally provides project-specific technical documentation which precisely describes the status in the customizing on the customer system. On request, EASY will also provide custom training documents, which can then be used for training key users and end users, and which can be developed into an individual manual by the training participants.
Technical questions about EASY Material Management for SAP Solutions
Which version of SAP® does the customer need?
The current system requirements are described in the EASY Process2Design® installation guide (because they may vary from patch to patch, no general statement can be made here). Status as of June 2017: SAP® ECC 6.0 with 7.01, with Support Package SAP® KB70019 at a minimum
Which modules are required?
Along with basic SAP®, Materials Management (MM) and the Workflow module are required for EASY Material Management. Additional modules such as Organization Management are not mandatory prerequisites for use.
Is additional hardware required?
No additional hardware is required. EASY Material Management uses the resources of the existing SAP® system.
Provision and implementation of the solution
How does EASY Material Management get into the SAP® system?
For EASY Material Management, there are SAP® transport orders with which the technical requirements for Process2Design are created. The customer’s SAP/IT base department imports the transport orders. Implementation, configurations (i.e. customizing) and adjustments (e.g. purchased add-ons) are then performed by EASY consultants.
Does EASY support the SAP transport system?
Yes. Both the SalesKit transport orders and the customizing and, if necessary, custom additional implementations are managed via the SAP® transport system.
Upgrades, patches, EHPs
How often does EASY deliver updates?
Updates to Process2Design issued as needed, while patches are generally issued only when it is urgent.
Does the customer need to install every update?
No, applying every patch or implementing every release change is not required. If the system is stable and no further functionalities are desired by the department, the solution can also be operated for a significantly longer period of time without updating. The maximum number of older versions which will be supported is defined in the maintenance contract.
Will an SAP® update impair the implemented solution?
No, because EASY Material Management is stored in its own namespace of EASY SOFTWARE AG and is delivered without modification in regard to SAP®, an SAP® update is independent of the solution and will generally not affect it. It has happened in isolated cases that SAP® has carried out a very deep adjustment to the architecture, which also made an adjustment of EASY Material Management necessary.
Discover useful whitepapers, webinar recordings, guides and checklists on master data management.
Master data is basic information about all operationally relevant objects such as customers, suppliers, employees and products. All other data in the company can only be used in a meaningful manner if it is linked to the correct master data. We have learned from experience that unclean master data is one of the primary reasons why digitalization initiatives fail.
You have recognized that clean material master data leads to success in your company? Now it’ s time to move on to the next steps: The selection of a suitable service provider for the digitalization of your material master creation process.
SSI Schäfer Shop GmbH, one of the leading mail order companies for office equipment in Europe, receives 800 invoices per day. The quantity is a challenge from an accounting point of view. Regardless of whether invoices arrive by mail or e-mail, they must be transferred directly to the SAP ERP system.