3 Replies Latest reply on Feb 13, 2013 10:37 AM by Alice Lobato

    Help with Business Partner Codes

    Alice Lobato

      Hello Everyone,

          We will be going live in April or May, and I was wondering if any of you would mind sharing the logic you used to establish your A/R customer codes and A/P vendor codes.  We have had so little room for characters in the codes in our current system, that we didn't have to give it much thought.  We would like our codes to be set up so that we don't outgrow them down the road.  It would be nice if they could incorporate location and enough info to identify the customer or vendor by just looking at the code.

      Thank you in advance for any ideas that may help us.


        • 1. Re: Help with Business Partner Codes

          Hi Alice,


          For vendors and customers, we use an internally-generated number and assigned number ranges based on the account group for customers (sold-to, ship-to, etc.) and vendors.  So, a sold-to customer may be in range 1000000 to 1999999, ship-to: 2000000 to 2999999, and so on.


          In one sense, I like the idea of being able to identify partners based on the code but in my experience, I've found that building that type of logic into a code is not a good idea.  Even though they don't change often, partners merge with other companies, go out of business, etc.  You're stuck with that code once you create it.  There are ways to work around it (customer/vendor hierarchies, etc.), but I haven't had a good experience with it (certainly depends on the size of the company and the number of partners).  You might try using your code in the search term field on the customer/vendor master record.


          Hope this helps.



          • 2. Re: Help with Business Partner Codes
            Matthew Bertino


            I agree with Brian. I've been doing implementations for 17 years. And I've seen "intelligent" external numbers and SAP generated ones.

            There is no such thing as an "intelligent" number.  I even take the seriously unpopular (so unpopular I've considering getting a remote start for my car) suggestion of re-numbering everything including the coveted material master to SAP numbers.  Since users make mistakes or one runs out of "the six digit used to mean region, until X, Y and Z happened. Now if the 6 digit is 9, then we need to look at the 9 digit for region.", it is better to just take the pain of all SAP numbering for all master data objects.


            Like Brian said, I have done things with the ranges. 1: Sold tos, 2: Bill tos, 3: Payers: 4: Ship tos is a common one.  Or 90XX for SD invoices, and 96* for credits etc.  SAP has its own intelligent ranges (45* for POs, 4* for contracts, 2* for quotes etc)

            I find someone is usually not only looking at a part number or customer number etc by itself in a report, or an output etc.  However, engineers and production folks get very married to part numbers.  The variant BOM concept is usually enough to get them not to trust me. Once I get it back, I usually lose the non-intelligent part number argument.

            You can't win them all...


            Good luck with your implementation.  If you would like any more no holds barred opinions on SAP implementations, feel free to shoot me an email.


            Matthew Bertino

            Partner, SAP R/3 SD & VC Consultant

            NB Consulting, LLC

            ASUG Independent Consultant


            email: mbertino@nbconsultingllc.com



            • 3. Re: Help with Business Partner Codes
              Alice Lobato

              Thank you so much.  What consolidation method did you choose and why?  I guess customers can be consolidated by payment or by delivery?  We have every kind of scenario under the sun with where our customers want invoices and statements sent.  Alice Lobato