Track Cross-Company Sales Using BW's Return Tables

  • by Mark R. Caroli, IT Consultant, BASF IT Services
  • September 1, 2003
Reporting on cross-company sales is sometimes confusing in BW because of the way company codes are assigned. It can be difficult to see from which division sales are being received. BW has a feature called "return tables" that can get you around this problem, and the author explains how.

A global company often trades goods among its independent legal entities. Tracking these cross-company sales within a global SAP Business Information Warehouse (BW) system can be challenging, as each entity is typically represented by a different SAP R/3 company code. Tracking these sales at the ordering site is not a problem, but it's a different story for the delivering site, because no Sales and Distribution (SD) documents are in the corresponding company code.

I will show you how to solve this problem with the help of a BW functionality called “return tables.” The example that I present uses only SD sales documents. Result tables are a means to increase the granularity of your reports by returning several data sets derived from one data set passed from BW's communication structure. You will learn how return tables work and a strategy for putting them to use.

In my example, you have an international company called “Dragon Computers” that sells computers. It operates from three countries: the United States, Germany, and Singapore. The headquarters, including production facilities, are located in the U.S. The other two sites are sales offices serving only European and Asian markets, respectively. Neither are capable of manufacturing or putting something in stock. The global ERP system is SAP R/3 using the SD, Materials Management (MM), Production Planning (PP), Financials (FI), and Controlling (CO) modules.

Each site is represented by its own company code, and all company codes are united in one client. When a customer in the U.S. orders a new computer, the order is processed completely in the U.S. If a German customer orders a new computer at the German sales office, however, the customer order is converted into an R/3 sales order in the German company code. As Germany does not have any production facilities, the computer must be fabricated at the U.S. plant. This is determined by the field delivery plant indicated on the SD sales order. As all sites are running in an integrated system, this order is automatically forwarded to the production facilities. Headquarters ships directly to the German customer. The sales office invoices the customer. Finally, the U.S. invoices the sales office, which then invoices the customer. Figure 1 outlines both the normal and cross-company sales processes.

Mark R. 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 on 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 graduated from the University of Bonn with a major in informatics.

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