Okay, you implemented SAP. Awesome. But how do you get a simple list of active products from SAP?

In SAP or any other packaged ERP solutions a “Plant” can be a manufacturing location or a distribution center(DC). So output for each plant or DC will generally be a separate record. Guess what that is like multiple records for each product, right?. Well, okay. That is good from a SAP perspective but not good enough for catering data to supply chain network or partner network and in a certain interval.

Lets start with how do you eliminate these duplicate records?

So, essentially to eliminate duplicate records, we will need to write some logic to pull the data records in a certain order so there is only one unique record per product in the output.
DC 1 (Location 1)
DC 2 (Location 2) for items not stocked in DC 1
DC 3 (Location 3) for items not stocked in DC 1 or DC 2
Country specific Primary Manufacturing Plant if not stocked in any of these DCs.
On top, you may exclude certain other location etc. etc.

The first step is to review the list of products that are in scope or rather SHOULD BE in scope and whether they are for retail or channel. Then go the route of Plant or DC specific in SAP.

Ya Ya Ya… but remember we need other information as well. How about extended or enriched descriptions, marketing features and benefits. Those are not in SAP. Should they be? We don’t know… it depends on your business and how it is setup. More importantly how much money you dropped to implement SAP as vanilla or with a lot of customization.

This is where you need an expert who has to BUILD the above logic for you based on the gazillion business rules that are available in SAP or otherwise.

Got it. Well, your trading partners still needs the data in a certain frequency. What’s that?

SAP or other ERP systems generally has a way to automate the logic, the layout AND the frequency of delivery including the format associated. Text, CSV, XML (ooohh!) and certainly NOT MS Excel. If you want MS Excel then just hire a temp perhaps to keep an eye for the generated file above in a specific area of SAP, grab it, use their amazing MS Excel skills. I am sure they would wow you with Pivot table concepts.

Anyways, that someone would have to get the file and save to their local PC (hopefully not a MAC!) in the format needed and then manually push it…hmm…FTP out to a certain server! Really??? Don’t we have bots these days?

Well, just email dataZen Engineering… we will do this for you by applying some technology we learned over the years. I wish we could say free. Its some work but not a whole lot. We do need to work with your ERP technical consultants though. Functional consultants will beat around the bush so to speak!

Once setup though, you can forget about it until a new business rule or process is created. Yes, you get to launch your NEW products for Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, etc.

(Check out our blog on GDSN soon. Whatever the heck that means!)

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