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Structured free text for procurement

Former Member
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Good day, I am rather new to SAP, having been involved mostly with MIMS/Ellipse. I would like to know if it is possible to implement "structured free text" in SAP MM for procuring general items which are not codified as such and therefore lack a proper description.

What I have in mind is having a structure built in the back ground which leads buyers to describe items in consistent detail. For example when the item is not "called off" against a contract, the questions start with material/service, then a drop-down of high level materials, like "cleaning, mining consumables, mobile equipment, plant equipment" etc.  When one chooses say "mobile equipment" it leads you to further options for on-road and off-road. Say you select "front end loaders" it presents a choice of options and say you choose "engine components", further options lead to to say "v-belts". This the leads one to specific questions to describe precisely what v-belt is required.

The issue here is that although many of these items are codified, they are not all on contract and the buyers find it laborious to search for the items in the material master. High level material groups and codes have been allocated, but the discipline to use this correctly is lacking. The quick solution is to use simple free text and then the same item or service is described in 500+ different ways.

Can anyone please shed light on a possible solution, either via this route or some other way of ensuring more consistent descriptions?


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Active Contributor
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Hi, Normally , in SAP for the coded materials with numbers , you can have the concept of the variant configuration for such variants . For text / non numbered materials , system will allow to write any text in the short text field of the PO creation screen , and hence users need not to refer to any thing and they have the facility to enter the material freely what ever they want . However it requires a material group assigned . also you can create a contract for the material group and can enter . However for text materials system will ask for an account assignment in the PO . If you wanted to have such kind like to system to give a pop up during the PO to propose , you need to go for an enhancement to mention the material and material group in a Z Table and when entered the material group in the PO screeen to get a pop up to get selected . Other wise if the materials which do not have number , instead going for the enhancenebt create a number for Non stock / non valuated and use the master data with an account assignment category in the PO . Regards,