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Former Member
May 19, 2016 at 10:24 AM

Structured free text for procurement


Good day, I am rather new to SAP, having been involved mostly with MIMS/Ellipse. I would like to know if it is possible to implement "structured free text" in SAP MM for procuring general items which are not codified as such and therefore lack a proper description.

What I have in mind is having a structure built in the back ground which leads buyers to describe items in consistent detail. For example when the item is not "called off" against a contract, the questions start with material/service, then a drop-down of high level materials, like "cleaning, mining consumables, mobile equipment, plant equipment" etc. When one chooses say "mobile equipment" it leads you to further options for on-road and off-road. Say you select "front end loaders" it presents a choice of options and say you choose "engine components", further options lead to to say "v-belts". This the leads one to specific questions to describe precisely what v-belt is required.

The issue here is that although many of these items are codified, they are not all on contract and the buyers find it laborious to search for the items in the material master. High level material groups and codes have been allocated, but the discipline to use this correctly is lacking. The quick solution is to use simple free text and then the same item or service is described in 500+ different ways.

Can anyone please shed light on a possible solution, either via this route or some other way of ensuring more consistent descriptions?