Customize Your Logistics and Finance Processes by Changing Production Master Data with ECM

  • by Subbu Ramakrishnan, SAP Finance Manager, Sandoz, Inc.
  • August 11, 2009
Engineering Change Management (ECM) is a central function in logistics that you can use to change various aspects of production master data (e.g., bills of material, routings, and materials) with history (using effectivity dates) or depending on specific conditions. Understand the purpose of ECM using SAP ERP Central Component 6.0 and how you can use it to support costing, production, and planning processes.
Key Concept

The process of managing master data changes is carried out in SAP systems using Engineering Change Management (ECM) functionality. These practices include creating production master data, making periodic changes to it, tracking these changes, and then releasing the changes to selective functional areas such as production, planning, and costing under specific conditions. You must properly plan and manage complex production master data changes. The timing of the effect of these master data changes based on various business functions.

Engineering Change Management (ECM) maintains production master data with history using effectivity dates. This enables complete tracking of changes as well as release of changes for specific purposes (e.g., only for costing purposes and not for production operation). Changes made to the production master data are saved twice — in its state before and after the change — and the changes are contained in the change master record and can be referenced any time during the system lifetime. The changes take effect under precisely defined conditions (e.g., precise date or specific effectivity parameter value). You can use ECM in various business scenarios, including when changing production master data prior to annual costing or when changing complex production master data during a plant restructuring.

To understand the ECM functionality, I’ll discuss three business scenarios.

Subbu Ramakrishnan

Subbu Ramakrishnan is a chartered accountant and holds a master’s degree in finance. Prior to 1995, Subbu worked in various finance and accounting roles. In 1995, he began working with FI and CO in SAP R/2 and since then has implemented those and other SAP components in more than 60 manufacturing plants and in a variety of industries. He has extensive knowledge of the FI and CO components in SAP ERP Financials and is an expert in integrating the Production Planning (PP), Sales and Distribution (SD), and Plant Maintenance (PM) components of SAP ERP Financials.

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