Use Real-Time Hierarchies to Map Transactions to the Proper Groups

  • by Mark Reimer Caroli, IT Consultant, BASF IT Services
  • March 1, 2004
Create BW hierarchies to track products sourced from merging suppliers, and avoid the inaccuracies that can result when your supply partners buy (or are bought by) other firms. With an example based on a fictitious international company, the author demonstrates how to assign purchase orders correctly via a real-time hierarchy with user exits or BAdIs.


Global companies often purchase raw materials and services independently at different sites. The suppliers often belong to international companies as well. For pricing negotiations, it is essential to know how much of a certain product has been purchased from each supplier. To get this figure, the individual suppliers are merged into one group using BW hierarchies. The problem is that the suppliers are a dynamic group. They acquire or are acquired by other suppliers. Information on such acquisitions or sales might reach the customer at a later stage. Thus, purchase orders (POs) that were processed between the time when the supplier got a new owner and when the customer receives this piece of information are assigned to the old owner.

I will show you how to assign all purchase orders correctly. The result will be a real-time hierarchy mapping all transactions to the supplier group they belong to, no matter when information about merger and acquisitions are maintained. At the same time, you will learn how to apply real-time hierarchies to other types of situations.

My example uses an international company, Dragon Computers, which sells computers. It operates from three countries: the United States, Germany, and Singapore. Dragon has production facilities at one or more plants in each country. The raw materials they all must purchase include CPUs, graphics adapters, DVD drives, and CD drives. Dragon Computers uses one global purchasing system.

Mark Reimer Caroli

Mark R. Caroli is a BW consultant for BASF IT Services, located in Ludwigshafen, Germany. He has over five years of experience in the field of Data Warehousing with a focus in SAP BW since 2000. In prior positions, he implemented global Data Warehouses and built up knowledge in the R/3 modules SD and CO-PA. Mark is a graduate of the University of Bonn with a major in Informatics.

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