Make Your Custom Reports for Production Order Costs or WIP Easier to Write and Use by Understanding Where the Material's Short Text Is Hiding

  • by Kurt Goldsmith, Senior Business Consultant, Enowa Consulting
  • March 15, 2003
It becomes a lot easier to evaluate R/3's month-end production cost and WIP calculations as too high or too low when you can see the text description of the material that the production order is requesting. The author explains why the text column is sometimes blank.

I got a panic-type phone call from an R/3 site the other day: "The (standard) WIP (work in process) report has a column for the production order material’s short text, but in our system, we see nothing. The column is always blank!"

Of course, it becomes a lot easier to evaluate R/3’s month-end production cost and WIP calculations as too high or too low when you can see the text description of the material that the production order is requesting.

In this case, figuring out two relationships cleared up the mystery:

1. The short text of the material that you see when viewing a production order is not actually there. In a strange arrangement, data for each new production order is actually recorded in two header tables (unlike a sales order or a purchase order, which have only one), and neither of these stores the text. When you display a production order, R/3 actually has to fetch the text from the material’s material master each and every time.

2. The caller was still using R/3 release 4.0B. The standard WIP calculation report at that time did not include the same little "text fetch" routine that the Production Order Display transaction did (at least not in his 4.0B system). As a result, although the report has a column called "Short text," the value was blank every time.

With most SAP sites now using R/3 release 4.6, the relationships mentioned in numbers 1 and 2 might not be worth much more than a chance to win a free beer at the next company Silly Facts & Trivia contest. On the other hand, in regard to production order accounting (costs, WIP, variances), a lot of sites still feel the need to go beyond R/3’s standard reports and create custom reports. If this is the case, knowledge about where those material texts are hiding—as well as where they can be copied to so that all reports (custom and standard) have easy access to these descriptions—can be useful.

Kurt Goldsmith

Kurt Goldsmith is a senior business consultant for Enowa Consulting, specializing in the diagnosis and resolution of productivity-related integration issues between a company’s division of labor (end users, managers, executives) and SAP software (R/3, BW, APO, CRM). He also has a lifetime performance record of one win and two third-place finishes from five career starts as a thoroughbred racehorse trainer.

See more by this author


Comments

No comments have been submitted on this article. 


Please log in to post a comment.

To learn more about subscription access to premium content, click here.