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Better Configuration

Configuring SAP is an art in itself.  In many cases, multiple options exist in the system that you could be used to satisfy a given business requirement. 

'Better' configuration is going to give you an the edge in using, maintaining and upgrading your system.  In addition, you will get added flexibility and solution options when new business requirements have to be met.

I view 'better' configuration as configuration that:

  • Most closely aligns with SAP's original "intended purpose" for the function
    Configuration whose intended purpose most matches the business requirement  function is usually the best solution in SAP. 

    Extending configuration later on the down the line is facilitated if the original base config is used for an 'intended purpose', rather than for purposes which work as remote approximations!

    Obvious?  Let's hope so.  Here are some examples:

    Example 1:  Using SD Delivery blocks as business credit blocks (seen at a few customer sites, reason unknown) is going to complicate your use of the system.  Instead of having the SAP provided credit reporting and credit blocking functionality available to you, you have to improvise or even develop new code to implement your business process by providing reports and additional userexits.

    Example 2: Using SD transaction types instead of SD item categories to implement your business transactions (when item categories would fit perfectly).

    Configuring a new SD order type (or production order, or purchase order type) has a much greater overall impact on your system (more to set up and test) and your users (more choices to make and more to remember).  In addition, more effort is required to configure and deliver (testing, training) a new "higher-level" type.  (The different  levels in SD - from highest to lowest level - would be: Order type, item category and schedule line category). 

    Trying to solve business transaction requirements by using the lowest level transaction functionality has benefits.  The trick is deciding which is a better fit.

  • Minimizes your effort to upgrade
    Come upgrade time, you're going to be doing much visual comparison between old and new systems to identify changes in configuration between SAP versions.  If all of your configuration has been done using certain rules it is going to be somewhat easier for you to run the table comparisons and other functions  to determine upgrade impacts.

  • Increases your system user friendliness
    Allow your users to complete transactions using the minimum amount of screens and keyed input. 

    Users should be able to enter any given business transaction with a minimum of flipping between multiple sessions or re-keying in data.  How you implement your transactions is going to have a direct impact on this!  SAP has also increased the user friendliness of the system by allowing more choices and the ability to change some transaction-type choices made in transaction screens (examples: SD order type at header level; item category types have always been changeable!)

The Configuration Tips & Tricks I've outlined can help in achieving these aims.