Have you ever wondered why SAP S/4HANA’s Business Partner (BP) allows to maintain multiple addresses, but Order-to-Cash documents can only use the customer’s standard address? Have you ever wondered why you need to maintain multiple BPs just because your customer has asked you to deliver your goods to different addresses?
The reason for both is that the standard customer master data model in Sales and Distribution can only store one single address per customer master record. Therefore, if you had to deliver your goods to a different address for a certain customer, you had to maintain a new customer master record with a ship-to party address and to assign this ship-to party to the customer master sales data using the corresponding partner function.
In SAP S/4HANA, the Business Partner is the leading object to maintain Customer and Supplier data. The Business Partner data model enables you to maintain multiple, time-dependent addresses for each Business Partner master record and to assign these addresses to address usages.
With SAP S/4HANA 2021 on-premise, the Order-to-Cash applications and sales documents (sales order, delivery, billing document) are now able to consume multiple addresses of a Business Partner that has a customer role. You can use this functionality as an option, meaning that you can also continue to work with the existing partner functions in Sales and Distribution.
This blog post aims to create awareness for the functionality of ‘Multiple Address Handling in Order-to-Cash Documents Using SAP Business Partner’ and to refer to the documentation on this brand-new topic.
A Brief Look into the Functionality
As very detailed documentation is available, I will only provide a very brief look into this new feature in SAP S/4HANA 2021. Please find the links to the detailed information in the next section.
Let us take the example of the customer with an additional or different delivery address. Therefore, we want to maintain one legal entity with two physical locations. With two business functions activated in SAP S/4HANA 2021, you can maintain this legal entity as a single Business Partner with a customer role. Both addresses are entered as part of this Business Partner and the addresses are assigned to dedicated usages. The following screenshot from transaction BP shows the two addresses and both have been assigned to address usage ‘Delivery Address’. The second address has been defined as the default address for use as the delivery address.
The partner function screen in the customer sales area part of the business partner uses only one customer and business partner number. It is not necessary to create and assign an additional business partner with a customer role.
Now, let us enter a Sales Order for this customer. After the customer number was entered in transaction VA01, a new popup screen will appear which allows you to select the address.
On the partner screen in the sales order, we also see that only one customer number was used but the address for the partner function Ship-to party was derived based on the address selection.
There are many more functions than those just shown. For example, it is possible to maintain address dependent general data, shipping data, unloading points, and tax classifications in the business partner. In addition, validity dates of addresses are considered when creating sales documents and you can use the 'Select Address' button in the header and item partner screen in the sales order to select and change an address.
Where Can You Find Documentation?
As mentioned before, ‘Multiple Address Handling in Order-to-Cash Documents Using SAP Business Partner’ is an option in SAP S/4HANA 2021. To use this option, you must activate two business functions. You can find the documentation in the SAP Help Portal:
I hope I could get your attention! It can be very worthwhile for you and your business to consider this new option in SAP S/4HANA 2021. If you are interested in other new SAP S/4HANA 2021 functions, please see Xiaohua Wang’s blog post: SAP S/4HANA 2021 Release Highlights in Sales.
Brought to you by the SAP S/4HANA RIG and Customer Care team.