Introducing Logistical Master Data


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Create organizational units and business partners.
  • Manage locations and determine geographical information.
  • Configure transportation master data.

Organizational Units and Business Partners

Organizational Management

Organizational management is a means for creating and managing the organizational and staffing structures in your company. Organizational management uses an organizational model as its basis.

In Transportation Management (TM) in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, the organizational structure consists of the following organizational units:

  • Company organization

    This organizational unit corresponds to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) company code containing the local currency. The company organization unit is used for invoicing and charging.

  • Purchasing organization

    The purchasing organization is the organizational unit that is responsible for purchasing. It negotiates and creates freight agreements. Subsequently the purchasing organization is assigned in the freight order for charge calculation and settlement.

  • Purchasing group

    The purchasing group is a sub-ordinate organization to a purchasing organization.

The TM organizational units are different from those used in other processes or modules like materials management (MM). Therefore, the TM organizational units have to be created in an early stage from the enterprise structure. For this purpose, you can use the Create and Update TM Organizations - From Enterprise Structure app. Within this app, you select the purchasing organization and purchasing group, for which you want to create or update TM organizations. The report creates or updates the TM organizational units for the company code, purchasing organization, and purchasing group according to your selection.

Business Partner

In SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, the Business Partner is the leading object and single point of entry to maintain business partner, customer, and supplier master data.

This is to ensure the ease of master data maintenance and to achieve harmonization between them. Compared to classical enterprise resource planning (ERP) transactions, maintenance of customer and supplier master data through the business partner has many advantages. These advantages are as follows:

  • A legal entity is represented with one business partner.
  • The Business Partner allows maintenance of multiple addresses with corresponding address usages.
  • Multiple roles can be associated to the same business partner.
  • Maximal data sharing and reuse of data that leads to an easier data consolidation.
  • General data available for all different business partner roles, specific data is stored for each role.
  • Maintenance of multiple relationships to the same business partner.
  • Maintenance of time dependency at different sub-entities roles, address, relationship, bank data, and so on.

Using the Maintain Business Partner app, you can create, display, and edit business partner master data. This app serves as a single point of entry to business partner master data.

You can create, change, search, display, and copy business partner master data with the role SAP_BR_BUPA_MASTER_SPECIALIST.

Business partners represent a person, organization, group of persons, or group of organizations in which a company has a business interest. You create and manage your business partners (BPs) and the roles they assume for your company centrally and use it for a variety of business transactions. You define the general business partner data and assign business partner roles (BP roles) to the business partner. Specific data is stored for each business partner role. In this way, you do not store redundant data, since the general data is independent of a business partner’s function or application-specific extensions. When you first create a business partner in the system, the BP role General Business Partner is automatically assigned to the business partner.

Assigning Partner Functions

Assigning partner functions determines the functions of particular partners in the process. One partner can have several functions. For example, when all the partner functions within the customer partner type are assigned to one business partner, the same customer is the sold-to party, ship-to party, payer and bill-to party.

A carrier to whom you subcontract your freight orders, and with whom you have negotiated freight agreements, is the business partner most relevant to the transportation process. A carrier is created as a business partner with the following roles:

  • Business Partner (Gen.)
  • Carrier
  • Supplier
  • Supplier (Fin.Accounting)

The Business Partner (Gen.) role holds some general information like the name, search term, legal form, address, and payment details of the carrier. The Carrier role is required to use the business partner as a carrier in freight orders or freight agreements. The Supplier and Supplier (Fin.Accounting) roles represent the link to the organizational structure (purchasing organization and company code) to run financial processes (payment of the carrier for his services).

Watch the simulation Maintain Carrier Business Partner to learn more about the system-related activities.

Business Partners can be assigned to TM organizations. To assign business partners to a TM organization or to change existing assignments you can use the Assign Business Partner to TM Organization app.

Locations, Geocoding, Distance and Duration Determination

Create Locations

Locations are the logistical/technical master data object that represents the address data for the pick-up and delivery location of any transport. Each freight unit must have a source location and a destination location. The source location is typically the shipping point from where the transport should start, whereas the destination location is typically the delivery address of the customer.

The following are a number of the purposes of locations:

  • Freight is moved between locations
  • A freight unit always has both a source location and a destination location
  • A freight unit can travel through a number of locations

There are different ways for how locations are created or updated.

  • Creating locations using a report

    Use the Create Locations app to create locations through a background report. You can use this report to create new locations for plants, shipping and receiving points, and business partners.

  • Updating locations using a report

    The Update Location app allows you to update locations using a background report. You can use this report to update locations for plants and shipping and receiving points.

  • Manual creation using an app

    You can use the Manage Locations app to manually create locations (e.g. to represent ports, airports, or railway stations). Furthermore, you can display, edit and delete locations using this app.

    Geocoordinates can be entered manually into locations or calculated automatically. For automatic calculation Transportation Management must be integrated with SAP HANA spatial services (scope item 46P).

  • Creating locations out of business documents

    If you create or update a business document (e.g. sales order or purchase order) that is relevant for Transportation Management (TM), the system checks that all necessary locations needed to represent plants, shipping points, and business partners in TM are present in the system. If a location has not already been created, the system creates it. This automated process is primarily used to create locations.

Geocoding and Distance and Duration Determination

For transportation processes the geograhical coordinates (geocoordinates) of a location and the distance and duration between pairs of loactions are important.

To determine geocoordinates for locations, as well as distances, and durations for pairs of locations within Transportation Management, the consumption of SAP HANA spatial services as part of the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) is required. For this, an SAP BTP account is needed that is enabled for consumption-based commercial models, such as the Cloud Platform Enterprise Agreement (CPEA).Scope item 46P delivers the necessary settings and information to activate the integration between SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition and SAP HANA spatial services running on SAP BTP.

You will find set-up instructions for scope item 46P in the SAP Signavio Process Navigator: Determination of Geocoordinates, Distances and Durations (46P)

Distance and duration determination is especially important for road transportation, as it allows you to determine the road distance, which you may need to calculate distance-dependent freight charges as well as to determine the transport duration in order to schedule your freight orders properly. To have visibility about distances and duration enables better planning decisions in the transportation cockpit.

Configuration of Transportation Master Data

In the area of transportation master data, there are various configuration activities available.

  1. Define equipment groups and equipment types

    Equipment groups and equipment types are used to represent transportation capacity. They are defined in configuration activities. The information maintained for the different equipment groups and types are used later in the process in the freight order to determine tare weight, gross weight, or utilization of freight orders.

    One type of equipment groups are vehicle groups. The vehicle group defines the class of transport. Available vehicle groups include STR for road/truck transport or SA / ST to represent railcars. For each vehicle group, you can define several vehicle types to represent vehicles of different size (e.g. large trucks or small trucks). For each vehicle type, you can maintain the following parameters:

    • Description
    • Capacity
      • Payload weight
      • Cubic capacity
      • Interior length / width / height
      • Alternative quantities like pallet count or loading meters
    • Physical properties
      • Tare weight
      • Max gross weight
    • Greenhouse gas emissions
      • CO2 emissions (empty)
      • CO2 emissions (full)

    The second equipment group are container groups. Container group SCN includes the standard container types like 22G0, 42G0, 42G1 and others. Each container type defines the physical properties and capacity.

  2. Define material freight groups

    You can use material freight groups in the process of freight unit building to differentiate per material freight group how freight units shall be created.

  3. Define standard carrier alpha codes

    This configuration activity allows you to define standard carrier alpha codes (SCAC).

  4. Define UN/LOCODE

    This configuration activity allows you to define United Nations Codes for Trade and Transport Locations (UN/LOCODES)

  5. Define Airport Codes

    This configuration activity allows you to define airport codes used in air freight bookings.

  6. Define Commodity Codes

    The remaining configuration activities deal with the definition of commodity code lists for different countries and transportation modes. Commodity codes are a set of classification codes used in the global marketplace to identify goods and services.

    You can define numbering schemes for commodity codes and define the mode of transport for which the numbering scheme is relevant. Numbering scheme content can be assigned a validity in order to adapt the numbering scheme, if it changes its length, for example from 6 to 7 characters from a specific date. If the freight unit is not created for a specific transportation mode it will show the commodity codes for all modes, whereas the transportation orders (road freight order or ocean freight booking) will only show the mode specific code.

    With SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition the Standard Transportation Commodity Code (STCC) numbering scheme is delivered as numbering scheme content. An STCC is a numeric code up to seven digits long representing several commodity groupings. It is used in rail transportation in North America and contains product information that is used to determine rates and is used in waybills and other shipping documents. When using rail transportation in Mexico, USA, or Canada, you use the STCC to create entries for commodity codes. If you want to use a numbering scheme other than STCC, you can define the numbering scheme as part of the configuration.

    Subsequently you define commodity codes in the Manage Commodity Codes for Transportation app. The Classify Products - Commodity Codes for Transportation app allows you to assign these commodity codes to products, which will then allow you to show the commodity codes in freight units, freight order, and freight bookings whenever you transport a classified product.

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes