The SAP Business Partner (BP) concept is used for maintaining the customer and supplier master in the SAP S/4HANA system. In general, there are three SAP BP categories:
- (Natural) Person: a private individual, like a consumer
- Group: a group of individuals, like a family, or a couple
- Organization: a legal entity, or a part of a legal entity, like a company, or a department of a company
The business partner category determines which specific, additional fields are available for data entry. For example for individuals, there are fields for name components (for example, academic titles), marital statuses, occupations. For organizations, you can define various industry systems and industries, legal forms and entities, and so on.
The commercial business partners (customers and suppliers) in a retailer's system are of category Organization.
The transaction BP - Edit Business Partner is the central transaction to create, edit, and display master data for any kind of business partner including suppliers, and customers.
The data in the customer master record is subdivided into three areas:
- General Business Partner (BP Role 000000): This is the default, standard entry role in the BP transaction. It allows you to maintain data, which is valid client-wide. Examples of this include the address, additional addresses, and bank details of the customer.
- CVI: FI Customer (BP Role FLCU00) covers the Accounting data: For example, this includes the number of the reconciliation account and the payment methods for the automatic payment transactions. Financial accounting data is entered at the company code level.
- CVI: Customer (BP Role FLCU01) covers the Sales and Distribution data: For example, this includes the customer data for orders, shipping, and billing. This data is maintained for the relevant sales area(s).
A customer is not only a business partner in sales, but also a debit-side business partner, for financial accounting purposes. For this reason, the customer master record is used by both the sales and the financial accounting department. Customers are classified as debtors in Financial Accounting.
Every site has an internal customer master record.
The data in the supplier master record is also subdivided into three areas:
General Business Partner (BP Role 000000): As for the customer, this includes the address, additional addresses and bank details of the creditor. The data is valid client-wide.
CVI: FI Vendor (BP Role FLVN00) covers the Accounting data: This includes, for example, the number of the reconciliation account and the payment methods for the automatic payment transactions. Financial accounting data is entered at the company code level.
CVI: Vendor (BP Role FLVN01) covers the Purchasing Data: This includes the purchase order currency, incoterms, and various control data of the supplier. This data is maintained for the relevant purchasing organization(s). You can also enter alternative data that is only valid for specific sites or for supplier sub-ranges.
A supplier master record may be blocked, if, for example, the quality of the products delivered by the supplier does not meet quality standards. You can also block a supplier from providing a particular product in the relevant source list.
A site is an organizational unit that is used to prove evidence of merchandise stored in distribution centers or stores for inventory management and to execute the related business processes, such as goods receipt, physical inventory, and goods issue.
Each site belongs to a company code and represents an organizational unit that performs requirements planning and inventory management. A site is also a customer as, from a central point of view, sales functions, such as deliveries, including returns processes, are carried out for it. For this reason, a site is always also created including a customer master record, that is, a business partner (BP) in SAP Retail. Therefore, the business partner maintenance is integrated in the site master. It is possible to assign an already existing business partner when creating a new site, but it is not possible to change the BP assignment subsequently. The site address is maintained in the business partner.
Two categories of sites are used in SAP Retail:
Stores (site category: A) present merchandise on the sales floor and sell it to consumers
Distribution centers (site category: B) carry stocks to provide merchandise for other sites or customers
The distribution chain category describes the logistical function of a distribution chain. In SAP Retail, a distinction is made between consumer/retail distribution chains (for stores), and distribution chains that are used by distribution centers or in wholesale.
A distribution center (DC) also functions as a supplier (internally), as it provides other sites with merchandise. A distribution center delivers merchandise to stores belonging to one or more distribution chains.
Each store is organizationally assigned to a main store distribution chain, but it can receive merchandise from distribution centers using different DC distribution chains.
There is also the concept of department stores and shops. The department store logically groups the shops defined for the department store. With the department store/shop concept you can map shop-in-shop, or shopping mall scenarios.
Like regular stores, also the department stores and shops are created as sites of site category A - Store. The additional identifier store category distinguishes a department store (store category 1) from a shop (store category 2).
Additional info can be found on http://help.sap.com.
A distribution center (DC) can be supplied with merchandise by a higher-level DC. For example, a local warehouse receives goods from the regional warehouse. A DC can also receive merchandise from stores or customers in returns processes. This means that the distribution center is, in effect, an internal customer, and a customer master record for the DC must exist in the system. It is an integral part of the site master for the distribution center.
A distribution center is also an internal supplier as it supplies other sites with merchandise. For this reason, a supplier master record is created in the system, especially for cross company code scenarios. When, for example, details such as payment terms and condition control are picked up by the system from the DC's supplier view when creating the resp. purchase order documents. The supplier master record is an integral part of the site master for the distribution center.
Customers who are supplied with merchandise from a DC can be internal (for example, your stores or other distribution centers), or can be external (for example wholesale customers). In any case, customer master records must be created in the system: these are individual customer master records for external customers, and internal customer master records for sites.
The internal customer number of a site is also used for generating the local assortment of the site.