Manage Business Relationships Effortlessly
with a Partner Determination Procedure

  • by Rajen Iyer, Cofounder and CTO, Krypt, Inc.
  • October 1, 2006
Set up partner functions in your Sales and Distribution module so that the system automatically performs the partner determination process in both the master data and the sales document.
Key Concept

In R/3 and mySAP ERP, you classify business partners by partner type. A few examples of partner type are AP (contact person), KU (customer), LI (vendor), and PE (personnel).

While partner types allow you to distinguish among different business partners, partner functions represent the roles played by business partners within a business transaction. For example, one customer might order a part, another receive it, and a third person pay for it.

Partner determination is a set of rules that governs how the system works with business partners during transaction processing. For example, you can configure a partner determination process that enables the system to automatically assign partner type and partner function for a given business partner.

With any Sales and Distribution (SD) implementation, you must set up the partner determination procedure in the sales document. You use this procedure to determine which partner functions and partner types must appear on sales documents. For instance, when you register a sales order, you can capture the customer who orders the part (the sold-to party), the customer who receives the part (the ship-to party), the customer who pays for the part (payer), and a vendor who takes care of freight (carrier).

By default, the system provides you with a standard set of configuration for partner determination, but you may need to change this configuration as a result of new business requirements. For example, to improve customer care, you could assign a sales representative to your key customers. The sales representative would work closely with these customers and make sure the relationship based on the business transaction runs smoothly.

In this example, you associate your employee (the sales representative) with your customer (an employee-customer relationship), so you must treat the sales representative as a business partner. If the business requirements change and you need to add additional sales representatives, you can configure your system so that you can automatically define partner functions in both the master data and the sales document.

I will show you how to change the existing setup to add a new business partner that meets these requirements. The available information about this process is not well understood, so I will provide some quick definitions and the background of the partner concept. Then I will explain the step-by-step process to create the business partner determination procedure.

Rajen Iyer

Rajen Iyer is the cofounder and CTO at Krypt, Inc. Rajen has written several in-depth, best practice articles, white papers, patents, and best-selling books on SAP Logistics and SAP Global Trade Services, including Effective SAP SD and Implementing SAP BusinessObjects Global Trade Services. He is also an invited speaker at industry conferences.

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