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SAP Material Master concept for SAP S/4HANA

Service Portfolio

Erwin Braumandl

SAP Material Master concept for SAP S/4HANA

Initial situation

As part of a transition to SAP S/4HANA (greenfield approach), several material masters in the customer’s existing legacy systems were to be consolidated into one material master in SAP S/4HANA. As there was generally a high level of uncertainty about the exact similarities and differences between these material masters, the customer was unclear about the best way to implement the consolidation. It was therefore decided to create a material master concept for this consolidation in advance. The main objective was to achieve a globally standardized and harmonized material master.

Concept project

At the start of the project, the existing material masters (SAP and non-SAP) were analyzed in more detail and their importance was assessed. It was decided to focus on and prioritize the SAP-ECC-based material masters.

Based on this, a detailed as-is analysis was then carried out for these material masters.

The following areas, among others, were analyzed:

  • Basic data and classification as core elements for consolidation
  • Evaluation of the other views regarding their significance for consolidation
  • Analysis of the definition of prioritized attributes including the evaluation of existing differences between the systems
  • Analysis of the existing data maintenance processes and their differences
  • Analysis of the existing set of rules for data maintenance
  • Analysis of existing integration with other source (e.g. PLM) and target systems

In the subsequent target concept, the future target picture for the material master was then designed with the functional departments and in consultation with the stakeholders:

  • Standardized definitions for material types, material number and material status
  • A global definition for the attributes in the material master (e.g. for the material short text) and the return of existing customer-specific fields to the SAP standard
  • A consolidation logic (“Golden Record”) for merging the material masters, including an evaluation of the impact on the number of materials after completion
  • Centralized, standardized role-, workflow- and rule-based maintenance processes with MDM tool support
  • Definition of transition scenarios for the planned changeover to SAP S/4HANA over several years
  • Definition of integration scenarios, primarily with the PLM system, but also – for a transitional period – with the SAP ECC systems


At the end of the project, all of the customer’s departments and stakeholders involved had a clear picture of how the material masters could be merged and a good understanding of what the future standardized and harmonized material master would offer. During the SAP S/4HANA project, there were therefore good prerequisites for introducing, evaluating, adapting, and expanding this concept in the business process definitions right from the start.

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