How to Fill a Collective Number with an Automatically Generated Number or Purchase Request Number for an RFQ

  • by Faisal Altaf, SAP Technical Division Head, Al Yamamah Steel Industries Co.
  • August 19, 2011
While creating a request for quotation (RFQ) using transaction ME41, you have to enter the collective number manually in the Coll. No. field of the Header Data screen. There is no standard way to generate this number automatically for this field, or to assign a purchase requisition (PR) number to this field if you are creating an RFQ with reference to a PR. Discover a technique you can use to fill this field with an automatically generated number or PR number.
Key Concept
An implicit enhancement allows you to add custom code to SAP’s standard code without doing any modification. In many business requirements, you can avoid modification by using this enhancement technique. The implicit enhancement is the method I will use to insert my custom code inside standard SAP code to fill the collective number field with an automatically generated number or purchase request number.

A collective number is required in transaction ME41 for almost every business. While creating a request for quotation (RFQ), you have to add the collective number manually. You can get multiple quotations against one purchase request (PR) from different vendors. You can use this collective number to collect all quotations against one PR or against one material.

For one example, say a company wants to purchase a laptop. First, it creates a PR for this laptop using transaction ME51N. Then it creates an RFQ for vendors with reference to the created PR using transaction ME41. If the company sends the RFQ to 10 vendors, then it has to create 10 RFQ documents. When it gets a quotation from all vendors, it needs a common ID for the quotations so it can compare them and determine the lowest price. In this case, it can use the collective number (stored in the Coll. No. field) to retrieve and then compare these prices. By default, the user has to enter this collective number manually, which is time consuming and allows for error if the user enters a number incorrectly. As a second example, imagine the company wants to send an RFQ without creating a PR. In this case, it needs to put an automatically generated number into the Coll. No. field.

You can solve either of these example scenarios by filling the Coll. No. field with an automatically generated number or a PR number using a technique called implicit enhancement. I explained how to use an implicit enhancement in my SAPexperts article “Avoid Modifications by Using Implicit Enhancements in Standard SAP Code.” You can add your custom code in SAP’s standard code using this technique without doing any modification. Modification is not recommended in any case because it can create many issues during a system upgrade.

By default, the collective number field is obligatory. The reason you need to make it optional is that when submitting an RFQ, the system takes you to the screen where you have to enter this value before the point where you can add the implicit enhancement. As a result of that, before you can do anything else that I show you in this article, you need to configure the system so that the field is optional. That way, the system lets you move forward with the RFQ and you can put in the enhancement. Then with the field being optional, the system doesn’t override the enhancement. I’ll start by showing you how to set this up in the system, and then take you through the process of using the implicit enhancement.

Faisal Altaf

Faisal Altaf is a certified development consultant. He has more than seven years of experience and currently is working with Al Yamamah Steel Industries Co., Saudi Arabia, as the SAP technical division head. He completed his MS in software engineering and intends to complete his Ph.D. in the field of SAP.



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