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First Steps in the SAP Purchasing Processes (MM) - 2nd edition

Do you know how to execute procurement processes in standard SAP without any errors? Find out how in this practical guide to the SAP Materials Management (MM) module and the purchasing process in SAP ERP. The author expertly introduces readers to the most...



  • Foreword
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1 Introduction to the SAP Materials Management (MM) module
  • 2 The main process in SAP MM
  • 3 Process optimizations
  • 4 Instruments that make work easier
  • or “From a simple user to a power user”
  • Material requirements planning view 1
  • Material requirements planning view 2
  • 5 Summary
  • A   The author
  • B   Disclaimer

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Claudia Jost






2.2 Creating a vendor master record

In the SAP system, you need a vendor master record in order to assign business transactions to an account. The vendor master record can be temporary; this is useful if you expect only one business transaction for the vendor, for example. In this case, you create a one-time vendor. This enables you to reduce the number of vendor master records in the system. If you expect multiple business transactions for a vendor, you can set up a permanent vendor master record.

The vendor master record consists of the following parts:

  • A purchasing part (created with transaction MK01): contains all of the data required to set up a purchase order
  • An accounting part (created with transaction FK01): contains all of the data required to process the payment

The purchasing view is generally created by the procurement department in order to place the purchase order with a new vendor. The accounting view is usually created by the accounting department as soon as the vendor invoice with the required data is available. One of the reasons for this is segregation of duties (SoD); it is also required to satisfy audit requirements.

Using templates

You can create vendors for similar or identical product groups by using an existing vendor as a template. In addition to making the task easier, this also ensures that agreed standards are maintained for each product group.

2.2.1 Creating the purchasing view

In the purchasing view, you assign an SAP account to the vendor. Business transactions are then posted to this account. The data from the vendor master is also transferred to the purchase requisition or purchase order as default values (e.g., payment targets, Incoterms).

You access this view via the following menu path: SAP Menu • Logistics • Materials Management • Purchasing • Master Data • Vendor • Purchasing • Create (see Figure 2.2. Alternatively, you can enter transaction code MK01 (see Figure 2.3).


Figure 2.2: Creating a vendor: purchasing


Figure 2.3: Creating a vendor: entering the transaction code

Once you have called up transaction MK01, the view shown in Figure 2.4 appears.

The access for creating a vendor master record depends on the system settings. In this example, I will show you how to create a vendor. The vendor number is assigned externally, which means that you have to enter the number when you create the vendor master record.


Figure 2.4: Creating a vendor: initial screen

You have to enter the first details: the assignment of a vendor number (field: Vendor) and the entry of the Purchasing Organization are mandatory fields — no further processing is possible if these entries are missing.

Alternatively, you can use the account group instead of the purchasing organization — for the vendor in our example, this is KRED. The account group is a group of vendors in which the same criteria apply to all vendors within the group. For example, these vendors all supply to a defined purchasing organization or plant.

You start the creation of the vendor master record (see Figure 2.5) by pressing Enter.


Figure 2.5: Creating a vendor: address

The example above shows the fields that require entries for problem-free process management. In particular, here you should select a useful Search Term that enables other users to find this vendor in the system. This avoids the situation where your colleagues create a duplicate entry for this vendor in the system because they could not find it in the master data.

Standardizing the vendor names used

I recommend that you define conventions for assigning vendor names in order to simplify the search. For example:

  • No abbreviations
  • Upper case only
  • No first names

On the next screen (see Figure 2.6), you have to enter the tax data:


Figure 2.6: Creating a vendor: tax

In the Tax view, you can assign the vendor to an Industry CalloutCaption and define the Tax Number CalloutCaption and the Sales Tax Number (also known as the VAT registration number) CalloutCaption. If the vendor is also a customer in your company, you can enter the number of the customer master record in the Customer CalloutCaption field.

In the window that opens (see Figure 2.7), you assign the parameters that are filled as default values whenever the vendor is accessed in the future.


Figure 2.7: Creating a vendor: purchasing data (1)

In addition to the contact data, the purchasing conditions such as Order Currency CalloutCaption, Terms of Payment CalloutCaption, and Incoterms CalloutCaption are particularly important here.

  • Order currency = the currency in which you place orders with the vendor. If the order currency is not the same as the local currency, an exchange rate defined in the SAP system is used to determine the release limits (see also Section 2.4.1 for more information about the release procedure).
  • Terms of payment = definition of the period within which the vendor invoice is paid. You can also define cash discount agreements here, for example.
  • Incoterms = definition of the type and means of delivery and the transfer of risks, as well as the definition of which business partner bears the transport and insurance costs. The Incoterms rules were first issued by the International Chamber of Commerce in 1936, with the latest revision in January 2011 (Incoterms 2010).

This information is used to set up purchase requisitions and purchase orders automatically.

Entering Incoterms

It is extremely important for the person ordering materials or creating a purchase order to know how to handle Incoterms. The law of obligations applies here, and issues regarding insurance, transport costs, and payment of customs duty are defined. In the event of a claim, the company can incur significant (financial) expense.

Further purchasing data is required to standardize the process between your company and the vendor (see Figure 2.8).


Figure 2.8: Creating a vendor: purchasing data (2)

The goods receipt-based invoice verification is particularly worthy of mention here CalloutCaption (field: GR-Based Inv. Verif.). If this option is selected, an incoming invoice is checked against a goods receipt; an invoice is only released for payment if the delivery or service corresponds to what the vendor has invoiced. The entry of a duty of acknowledgment CalloutCaption can also contribute to process security. If there is no order acknowledgment within the periods defined by the Confirmation Control CalloutCaption, the system issues a reminder.

Further entries simplify the setting up of purchase requisitions or purchase orders.

This completes the creation of the vendor master record and you can save it by clicking FirstStepsMM. The following message appears in the footer:


Process security through the use of control data

If you use the control data consistently (e.g., the GR-Based Inv. Verif. or Acknowledgment Reqd checkboxes), this defines the default settings in the purchase orders and has a positive effect on the procurement process: invoices can be posted against the goods receipt and do not have to be released separately. You can configure warning messages for situations where order acknowledgments are outstanding; the messages indicate a possible problem in the transmission of the purchase order. This allows you to speed up the invoice process and supports security of supplies.

2.2.2 Creating the accounting view

When you create the accounting view, the SAP system automatically assigns line item display and open item management to the vendor. The accounting view also contains all relevant information for processing the payment automatically.

The creation of the accounting view is a transaction in the FI area. This segregation of duties ensures a clear separation between the individual areas of responsibility. I will not address the creation of the FI master data in this tutorial.

2.2.3 Useful entries and settings

On the initial screen of the vendor master, you define the communication data for the vendor (see Figure 2.9).


Figure 2.9: Vendor master: communication data

Click FirstStepsMM to open a second window where you can define additionalcontact information (see Figure 2.10).


Figure 2.10: Vendor master record: adding communication data

Click FirstStepsMM to activate a further line in which, as shown in this example, you can add a telephone number. Note the following:

CalloutCaption   The international area code is defined by the country code. You do not have to enter any numbers here.

CalloutCaption   Under Telephone, enter the telephone number without the leading zero for the area code.

CalloutCaption   Under Extension, enter the extension number.

CalloutCaption   Using this field, you can define whether the contact is a standard contact. This is then the default entry in all fields in which the telephone number of the vendor is displayed.

CalloutCaption   This field defines whether the telephone number can be used for SMS messages.

CalloutCaption   Here you can note that this number is not used for automatic communication from the SAP system. This is particularly important for fax numbers and e-mail addresses.

CalloutCaption   Under Comments, you can enter additional information — for example, for colleagues who also work with the vendor. Your colleagues can then see, for instance, which area the respective contact works in (see Figure 2.11).


Figure 2.11: Vendor master: example of communication data

You can also create further communication data for the fax number and e-mail addresses in the same way.

Vendor master data

There will always be some colleagues who delete information in the vendor master or change the parameters you have configured. To prevent this, it can be helpful to enter your own telephone number in the comments (e.g., your extension). If you are lucky, colleagues will take the opportunity to ask questions before making any changes.

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