Parties to a sales transaction (the buyer and the seller) sometimes use different material numbers and descriptions for the same material. A seller may call the material XYZ, whereas the buyer calls it ABC in his books. In SAP, you bridge this gap using a customer–material info record. The purpose of a customer–material info record is to maintain the customer-specific number and description of the seller’s material in the seller’s books so as to avoid any confusion that may arise because of different naming conventions used by the buyer and seller for the same material. Once the record is maintained, you can make an order entry using any of the two material identifiers, that is, the seller’s or the buyer’s. You can even print the customer-specific material number on the various outputs such as order confirmations and invoices.
Creating the Customer–Material Info Record
You create a customer–material info record using transaction code VD51 or via menu Logistics ➢ Sales And Distribution ➢ Master Data ➢ Agreements ➢ Customer Material Information. the initial screen for setting up a customer–material info record.
Customer–material info record, initial screen
To maintain your record, provide the customer, sales organization, and distribution channel information on this screen, and click.
Customer–material info record, overview screen
On this screen, enter your material number in the field Material No., and enter the corresponding customer-specific material number in the field Cust. Material to maintain the cross-reference. On this screen you can also maintain the value for the rounding profile (RdPr) and for the unit of measure group (UMGr) to be used with the rounding profile. (A rounding profile allows you to round the order proposal quantity to deliverable units.)
NOTE You can maintain text for the customer–material info record by following the menu path Goto ➢ Text. Text for a customer–material info record is customizable. You can perform your own text determination setup for a customer–material info record using transaction code VOTXN. For more details on how to use VOTXN, please refer to the discussion of text determination in Chapter 4, “Partner, Text, and Output Determination.”
Apart from facilitating a cross-reference between the two materials, a customer– material info record allows you to maintain default proposals for delivery tolerance and shipping-related data specific to the customer–material info record. As usual, these defaults can be overwritten manually in the sales order. Always remember that the defaults you maintain in customer–material info records (VD51) are applicable only to the particular customer and material combination, whereas the defaults maintained in the customer master record (XD01) are applicable to all the materials ordered by that customer. In scenarios where you have maintained both these defaults, the ones maintained in the customer–material info record takes precedence over any defaults maintained in the customer master record during the order entry.
For example, imagine that you maintain a default delivery plant 9002 in the customer master record and 9001 in the customer–material info for material X and customer Y. Now, when you create a sales order for material X, SAP will pick the default delivery plant as 9001 (using the customer–material info record). For any other material, SAP will pick the default plant as 9002 from the customer master record.Determination of the Delivering Plant in the Sales Order
The system searches for the delivering plant for a material in the sales order in the following sequence:
To maintain the defaults, double-click the cross-referenced entry you maintained on the overview screen (it is the row with material 1619) to reach the item screen.
Creating a customer–material info record, item screen (for setting defaults)
As you can see, this screen allows you to maintain a variety of additional data for your customer–material info record and make the data searchable. Here are the main properties of the four tabs on this screen:
Customer Material This is where you can set up the customer description for the material. The Search Term field helps you in searching this material in various order-processing screens and work lists.
Shipping This is where you can set a default shipping plant and delivery priority for this customer–material info record. You can also maintain defaults for a minimum delivery quantity that a customer should purchase for this material.
Partial Delivery This is where you can set whether the customer allows partial deliveries for this material and if yes, then how many partial deliveries can be made. You can also set the range for the delivery tolerance agreed upon with the customer.
Control Data There is only one item, Item Usage, on the Control Data tab. This is where you define the item usage for this material, which in turn will help in determining the item category for this material in sales and delivery documents.
Now, maintain the required data on this screen, and save your newly created customer–material information record.
Creating Orders Using the Customer Material Number
The order entry screen in the SAP system contains fields to accept and display customer and material-specific information, that is, a customer-specific material number and a customer-specific description. Once you have maintained the cross reference between the identifier you used and the one that is used by the customer for the same material using the customer–material info record, you can perform the order entry for that customer using the customer material identifier.
To do order entry using a customer’s identifier, call up the create order screen, and fill in the required information such as the customer, order quantity, and purchase order number. Now enter the customer material number identifier in the Customer Material Numb field. You will see that SAP will automatically populate the Material and Description fields with the values from the customer– material info record. In our example, when we entered 1400 in the customer material number field, SAP automatically populated the Material and Description fields with the values 1619 and Bass Guitar BG Series, respectively.
Customer–material info record in action
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