Partner Determination - SAP SD

The terms partners and business partners in the SAP SD application refer to the parties that are involved in a sales transaction. Each business partner has a specified role and can be ident ified based on the role or function they play in the processing of a sales cycle. Examples of business partners include a sold-to party ordering the goods, a forwarding agent delivering the goods, an employee responsible for processing the sales transaction, a customer contact person seeking regular updates about the delivery progress, a ship-to party location where the goods are to be shipped, a bill-to party who will receive the invoices, and a payer who will pay the bills. You set up these partners and their corresponding functions in SAP SD using a search technique called partner determination. The technique controls what partners are allowed, what roles they will play, and how they can be determined at the required stages (such as during sales document processing, delivery processing, transportation processing, and so on) in the processing of a sales cycle. The customization of a partner determination procedure is a three-step process that we will discuss in more detail in the following sections:

  1. Define partner functions.
  2. Group partner functions into a partner determination procedure.
  3. Assign the partner determination procedure to respective partner objects.

Define partner functions

In this step, you define a new partner function or modify an existing one to meet your specific business needs. A partner function in SAP is a two-character identification key that controls the partner’s role and behavior. SP (sold-to party), SH (ship-to party), BP (bill-to party), PY (payer), and CP (contact person) are a few commonly used partner functions provided by standard SA P. Always remember that once defined, a partner function is valid across all the part- ner objects. This means that once you’ve created a partner function, you can use it in the partner determination procedure for a customer master, sales document header, sales document item, delivery document–related partner procedure, and so on, without having to re-create the partner function for each partner object.

Group partner functions into a partner determination procedure

In this step, you group the newly created or modified partner functions from step 1 into a two-character identifier key called the partner determination procedure . The customization settings in this step hold the determination logics for what, how, and when a partner function is determined.

Assign the partner determination procedure to respective partner objects

In this step, you assign the partner determination procedures to the respective partner objects. This assignment completes the process of setting up the partner determination procedure. A customer partner determination procedure is assigned to a customer account group; a sales document header–related partner determination procedure is assigned to a sales document type; a sales document item–related partner determination procedure is assigned to an item category type; and so on.

Partner Object s: Assignment Logic

Partner Object s: Assignment Logic
Deciding the Scope of Customization

Before you set up a partner determination in SAP, it is always advisable to identify the scope of customization required. Specifically, you need to know how many partner functions are required and how to configure the determination logic. Answering the following questions may help to a great extent:

  • How many partner functions are required per partner object? This means figuring out how many partner functions are required for the customer master, how many are required for the sales document header, how many are required for the sales document items, how many are required for the delivery document header, and so on.
  • Can the existing partner functions be used as is or with some modification, or do you really need the new ones? For instance, if you can use the existing partner functions but need a new procedure, then your customization will only entail combining the partner functions into a new partner procedure and assigning the newly defined partner procedure to the respective partner object.
  • Can existing partner functions can be reutilized by other partner objects? Reusing a partner function across objects helps reduce the unnecessary customization duplication in your SAP instance.
  • Does the partner function require some sort of hierarchical setup? For instance, imagine a corporate head office signing a rate contract (the parent customer), after which various branch offices use the rates in the contract to place orders (the child customers). In such a case, you may need to set up determination logic involving a customer hierarchy.
  • What are the specific details of the partner determination logic? Answering this question will involve asking other questions:
  • Do you want to copy the partner f unction value from the customer master to the sales order and further down to delivery, and so on, in the sales cycle?
  • Do you want the partner function to be determined from an alternate master record, such as the ship-to party master, when it is missing from the sold-to party master record?

For this chapter’s purposes, we will show the customization step by creating a new partner function and assigning it to a new partner determination procedure Z AG.

CaSe StUdy—Galax Musical InsTrumEntS ConfigurAtion analYSiS : Partner Determination And ScopeFinalization

The sales structure for Galaxy Musicals Instruments is divided into multiple sales regions, and each sales region is further divided into sales territories. Each sales territory is owned exclusively by a sales representative. Since sales commissions are a major part of a sales representative’s remuneration, the SAP system must properly record the sales or ders persales represent ative. To achieve this, Galaxy decided to cr eate a new partner function, Z9–Sales Representative, and assign the function’s determination to asold-to party master record. This way, Galaxy wasable to assign a customer record exclusively to one sales representative.

Customizing partner Determination

To call the customization screen for partner determination use transaction code VOPAN or follow menu path IMG Sales And DistributionBasic FunctionsPartner Determination. As you can see, the customization screen has eight radio buttons. These radio buttons represent various stages in a sales cycle, called partner objects . You can define a partner determination for all the partner objects shown on this screen.

Partner determination, initial overview screen

Partner determination, initial overview screen

We’ll first show how to set up the partner determination for the partner object Customer Master.

Setting Up Partner Determination for the Customer Master

The chronological order of activities is as follows:

  1. Define a partner function.
  2. Add the partner function to a partner determination procedure.
  3. Assign the partner determination procedure.

Lets proceed with these activities one by one.

Define the Partner Function

To create your own partner function, select the Customer Master button on the VOPAN screen and click the Change button to call up the partner determination customization screen. You will be presented w ith a customization screen divided into two parts, with a Dialog Structure pane on the left and the customization details of the partner functions on the right. Double- click the Partner Functions node in the Dialog Structure pane shown on the left to display the detailed list of available partner functions on the right,a large variety of partner functions are provided in SAP out of the box. You can either use these or create new ones if required. Before you define a new partner procedure, it’s good practice to check whether you can use the existing partner functions to meet the needs of your business scenario. Now click the New Entries button to call up the customization screen for defining new partner functions. To define a new partner function, provide a two-character identif ying key, provide a meaningful description, and select the proper values for the rest of the fields (as described next). To bring more clarity, an example of partner function Z9 set up for Galaxy. Save your entry, and click the Back button to return to the screen. You will find your custom partner function successf ully created in the list of partner functions on the right.

Partner determination customization screen for partner object, customer master

Partner determination customization screen for partner object, customer master

Partner function customization screen

Partner function customization screen

These are the fields on the partner function customization screen:

Partner Function

The first column on the screen, Partn.F., presents the partner function. Here you provide a two-character unique identifier (starting with a Y or a Z ) for each partner function.

Name

In the column Name, maintain a meaningful description for this partner function. For Galaxy, we defined partner function Z9 as Sales Representative.

Partner Type

The column Partner T. presents the partner type. A partner type helps distinguish one part ner function from another. It tells whether the partner function is for a customer (KU), a vendor (LI), a contact person (AP), and so on. SAP pro-vides these partner types, and you cannot create your own partner type. You can use these partner types to define your own partner functions. For example, all four partner functions for a customer—in other words, SP, SH, PY, and BP—are of partner type KU, a forwarding agent (FA) is of part ner t ype LI, and a customer contact person (CP) is of part ner type AP. For Galaxy, we created partner function Z9 of type KU (customer).

Error Group

The column Error Group is where you provide the two-character code for the partner incompletion procedure that you want to assign to your partner function. The incompletion procedure plays a vital role in controlling the further processing of the sales cycle when a required entry is missing. So if your partner function is missing in the sales document, whether the sales document can be delivered or not depends entirely upon the customization for the incompletion procedure that you assigned to your partner function in this Error Group field. In standard SAP, incompletion procedure 07 is available forpartner type Customers, 08 is available for partner type Vendors, and 06 is available for partner type Contact Persons.

Superior Partner Function

The next column is Sup.Part. This is used to present a higher-level partner function for this partner function. The higher-level part ner function is used in relation to customer hierarchies. For more information on customer hierarchies.

Unique

Select the check box in the column Unique if you want your partner function to appear only once on the partners function screen of the customer master record. For Z9, we wanted only one sale representative per sold-to party account and therefore selected the Unique check box. This way, you will be able to assign only one sales representative on the Partner Function tab of the sold-to party account of the customer.

Customer Hierarchy Type

The column CHType specifies the type of customer hierarchy to be used for this partner function. If you are maintaining a hierarchy, enter the hierarchy type in this column.

Case Study—Galaxy: Partner Function

Galaxy created partner func tion Z9 with partner type KU. The partner is set up as unique in the customer master because one customer can have only one sales representative assigned to it.There is no customer hierarchy involved, and therefore the hierarchy fields are blank.

Add the Partner Function to a Partner Determination Procedure

Once you define a partner function, the next step is to add this partner function to its respective partner determination procedure. While you are still on the screen, double-click the Partner Determination Procedures node to reach the customization screen for partner determination procedures .

Partner determination procedure customization, overview screen

Partner determination procedure customization, overview screen

In SAP, the partner procedure AG is provided for the sold-to party, RE is provided for the bill-to party, RG is for the payer, and WE is for the ship-to party business partners. You can create your own Z partner procedure by clicking the New Entries button and providing a two-character identification key with a meaningful description for your custom partner procedure. For Galaxy, we created partner determination procedure ZAG as a copy of AG.

Now select the newly created partner procedure (in our case it is ZAG), and double-click the Partner Functions In Procedure node on the left screen to call up the next customization screen , which shows the partner functions allowed for partner procedure ZAG. Since ZAG was copied over from AG, you will find a long list of partner functions appearing in ZAG. Delete the unwanted ones, and keep only the ones you need as per your business requirement. For Galaxy, we required only four basic partner functions: SP, BP, PY, and SH. Now click the New Entries button to maintain the entry for the partner functions that you want to include in partner procedure ZAG (in our case it is Z9), and click the Save button to save your entry.

Partner functions on the procedure customization screen

Partner functions on the procedure customization screen

The following are the fields on the partner functions in procedure customization screen:

Partner Determination

The Part.D field denotes the partner determination procedure name. In this example, ZAG represents the partner procedure for partner object Customer Master, subobject Sold-To Party.

Partner Function

In the column Partn. Func., enter the two-character partner function that you want to include in the partner determination procedure. For Galaxy, we maintained the partner functions Z9, SP, BP, PY, and SH in this field.

Name

SAP automatically fills in the Name field with the description of the partner function once you enter the partner f unction.

Not Modifiable

If the check box Not Modifiable is selected, the partner function cannot be changed on the customer master maintenance screen.

Mandatory Function

Select the check box under the column Mandat. Funct. if you want to ensure that this partner function is mandatory for this partner procedure.Notice that both the check boxes are selected for partner function SP, whereas only the Mandat. Funct. check box is selected for partner functions BP, PY, and SH. It is because of the settings of these two checkboxes in the partner determination customization for ZAG that when you are in the Sales Area Data Partner Function screen in a sold-to customer master record, you see all four partner f unctions—SP, SH, PY, and BP—appearing as mandatory, and that partner function SP is not modifiable.

Case Study—Galaxy ConfigurationAnalysis: Partner Determination Procedure

Partnerfunction Z9 for Galaxy Musical Instruments was addedtopartner procedure ZAG. The Not Modifiable check box was not selected because Galaxy wanted the flexibility to modify the sales repr esentative number assigned to the sold-to party master record in the event of a change in sales represent ative for a particular territory or for a particular customer in the sales ter ritory. The Mandatory Funct ion check box was not selected either, because Galaxy wanted the flexibility to maintain the sales representative name only when t he customer account is active. For customers who are no longer dealing with Galaxyor newcustomerswhose creditapplications are stillpending, Galaxy does not maintain sales representative information.

Assign the Partne r Determination Procedure

Once the partner function is grouped under a partner determination procedure, the next step is to assign the determination procedure. For the customer master, partner function, and partner determination procedure, both are required to be assigned to a customer account group. (Yes, this is the same account group that you use for creating the customer master record in an XD01 or VD01 transaction.)While you are still on the screen double-click the Partner Determination Procedure Assignment node on the left to call up the assignment screen.

Customization screen for partner determination procedure assignment

Customization screen for partner determination procedure assignment

For Galaxy, we created partner determination procedure ZAG and will assign the same partner determination procedure to its respective account group, in other words, 0001. Since ZAG is assigned to 0001, you can only maintain those partner functions for a sold-to customer created under account group 0001 that are allowed under the partner procedure ZAG. Any partner function that is not available in the partner procedure will not even appear on the partner function screen for the sold-to party master record.

Now double-click the Account Groups – Function Assignment node to call up the customization screen for assigning the partner function to its respective account groups. Once you are on the customization screen and can see the entries showing the assignments between account groups and partner functions, click the New Entries button to call up the New Entries: Overview Of Added Entries screen. Now create the entry for your custom partner function, and click the Save button. the entry for partner function Z9 for Galaxy.

Customization screen for partner function assignment to account groups

Customization screen for partner function assignment to account groups

You have now configured your first customized partner function Z9. To use this partner, you need to set up the master record for this newly created partner, i.e. a sales representative, and then assign this sales representative to all the customer accounts for which this sales representative is responsible. Since we created Z9 with partner type KU and assigned it to account group 0001, we use customer master maintenance transactions (XD*, V D*) to set up the master data account for the sales representative. For Galaxy, we created sales representative 10050 (Sam) and then assigned it to customer account 10014 w ith partner function Z9

Example showing partner function Z9 assignment to customer master

Example showing partner function Z9 assignment to customer master

Until now we have been discussing partner determination for customer master records. Partner determination is a bit different for sales headers and other partner objects such as sales item, delivery, shipment, and so on. The difference exists in the partner determination procedure setup. We’ll now explore these differences by covering the partner determination customization settings for partner object Sales Document Header. For this chapter’s purposes, we’ll use standard SAP-provided partner procedure TA.

Setting Up Partner Determination for the Sales Document

To call up the customization screen for setting up the partner determination procedure for the Sales Document Header partner object, follow the same steps that you did for partner object Customer Master, but this time choose the Sales Document Header partner object. To get started, let’s return to a couple of the screens we discussed earlier in the chapter. Call up the Maintain: Partner Determination screen, and select Sales Doc Header from the panel at left. You will be presented with a screen. On that screen, double-click the Partner Determination Procedures node to reach the customization screen for the partner determination procedure setup of the Sales Document – Header partner object. Select partner determination procedure TA, and double-click the Par tner Functions In Procedure subnode to call up the customization screen.This screen with a few additional columns. The columns Part.Det.Proc. to Mandat. Func. have the same meaning The point to remember is that here the reference is to the sales document and not the customer master record.

Source

The Source field acts as an alternative source for determining the sold-to party partner in the sales document. Standard SAP determines the partner functions from the sold-to party record of the customer. When you assign a partner function in this field, for example, SH for partner function Z9, and when you create a sales document, SAP w ill determine the sold-to party using the partner function Z9 assigned to the ship-to party record.

Origin (Table)

The Origin (Table) field defines the table from which the partner function should be determined during order processing. Here is an explanation of the available table origin values and when to select them:

Partner determination procedure customization, sales document header

Partner determination procedure customization, sales document header

Leave the Origin field blank when your partner functions are of partner type KU or you want to determine the partner from the partner functions maintained in the sold-to party customer master (table KNVP). If the system cannot determine all functions, it enters the number of the sold-to party (SP) for the remaining partner functions of the partner type customer (KU).

A Use A for your credit management partner functions (for example, KB and KM), because those functions should be taken directly from the credit representative table (T024P). The credit representative or credit manager is an internal employee of your organization and therefore should not be created as a customer master record. Instead, this has to flow from the HR personnel records. These settings are made in credit management where you link partner functions such as KB and KM to the HR personnel number.

B Use B if your partner functions should be taken from a customer hierarchy.

C Use C when you want the partner function to determine exclusively from the partner screen entries in the customer master. So if you set up C for partner function ER (employee responsible) and the same is not maintained on the partner screen for the SP customer master record, it will not be determined in the concerned sales document. If you have defined an alternative source partner function such as SH along with C, then SAP will look at the Partner tab of the customer master record of the ship-to party for determining the partner number for the ER function and return that value in the sales document.

D Use D when the personnel number of the system user should be used as the function, such as for sales executives.

E Use E when the partner function should be replaced with a contact person from the contact person screen for the corresponding partner (table KNVK).

F Use F when you want to determine the contact partners not only from the contact person screen but also from the partner screen of the partner with the current source partner function. In such a case, if the partner function is not available at the contact person screen, it will be determined from the partner screen.

X, Y, and Z

These refer to user-defined origins. You can define your own origins for partner determination by adding a code to the function exit EXIT_SAPLV09A_003.

Sequence

The column Seq. is used to define the priority in which the partner will be determined during document processing.

Example Setup Showing Use of Partner Determination Procedure Fields

Example Setup Showing Use of Partner Determination Procedure Fields

Here, since Source is blank for SH, SH will be determined first from the sold-to party master records, and then CP is determined from the customer master record of partner function SH. Since the table of origin is E (table KNV K), the contact person will be picked from the contact person screen of the ship-to party record.

A sequence field value is required only if you are using an alternate source partner function for partner determination. When you use an alternative source for partner function determination, SAP needs to know the priority in which the records need to be determined. If you have specified a source partner function, then enter a figure in this field that is higher than the figure for the source partner function. So, value 1 in the sequence field in our example tells SAP to determine the partner for the AP function only after the ship-to party partner record is found. Once the SH partner is found, SAP will go into the contact person screen of that SH partner master data and determine the partner number for partner function AP. That’s the kind of hierarchy you can maintain for the determination process if you use an alternative source partner function for partner determination.

As the final step in the customization of the partner determination procedure for partner object Sales Document Header, you assign the partner determination procedure to the respective sales document types, .

Partner determination procedure assignment, sales document header

Partner determination procedure assignment, sales document header

With this we’ve completed our discussion on partner determination setup. Our next topic of discussion is text determination in SAP SD.


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