Month: September 2012

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Creating the Sales Contract

when you finally  get the pleasure of doing a sale, you need to make sure you have the right paperwork in place.  One of the key things is the sales contract.  Luckily, I had the agreement that I signed for the SAP partnership, so I was able to use that a guide for structuring my own sales Contract.  What I learned is that there are some pretty standard pieces of it…  then from there, you just need to add your own spin.

For example, here’s the main pieces of mine that I just put together.

1.  The general section.  From the ones I’ve seen, this is the easy part.  It has the name of what you’re selling with a short description, the customer’s information (name, address, etc..)  My contact info and any annexes (additional documents)

2.  Scope of the agreement.  this pretty much specifies what you are selling and what’s included/not included.  It also defines who “you” are.

3.  Next is the Renumeration…  pretty much, what’s the agreed upon price.  Any discounts, etc.  the short story behind this, what are you getting for the sale.  In my case, I gave a list price, then stated the discount the customer gets in exchange for a reference and signing the agreement by a certain date.

4.  Invoicing and Payment.  Pretty simple…  payment terms.  when will they pay by, do you offer a cash discount, do you provide the product or service before or after receiving payment.

5.  the next one was something I added in because it was a customer concern.  that was support.  Because I’m a small company, the customer is obviously concerned about how I will support the product after the sale.  The funny thing is, actually he’s likely to get much better support out of me than he is a bigger company, but regardless, it still needs to be spelled out in the agreement.  Some important things to include are also what isn’t covered in your support.  If you don’t clearly state this, you could end up providing support for things you didn’t intend.  Do your best to think like a lawyer here =)

Finally, the signature page.  Make sure to collect the customer’s PO number.  the name and title of whomever will be signing this agreement, and once again the date.  Finally, you will countersign this agreement to make it all legal like.

All and all, it was pretty painless, but I”m sure glad I had an example to start with.  If you’d like to see mine, just make me an offer on my software and I’ll be happy to send one right over to you =).

As always, thanks for reading,


Mail Chimp – Newsletters made easy

I just had my first experience with Mail Chimp, and what I can, I’m hooked. I signed up for the free version, uploaded a list of contacts from an excel sheet, put together a slick post card, and have been tracking my results. Previously, I’ve been using a hokey macro that I found online (and of course tweaked) to send emails to my contact list. Using Outlook, there was no tracking, I could only send txt or html (both of which I had to completely design).
I can’t begin to express how much easier Mail Chimp made my life. It handles the subscriptions, I can upload a list, or build a list using a form I added on the website. this was another really cool piece. Mail Chimp lets you design a subscribe form, and then gives you the HTML to put onto your website, or gives you a link to use their form. I haven’t scratched the surface yet, but now I can do newsletters/emails to my list. i didn’t even mention the many templates they have out there to make professional looking emails, newsletters, or whatever you need to send to a group.
I’ll be posting again in the new future when I start to figure out how to do the auto-responder piece. This part you have to pay for, but I do like the idea that you can do a pay as you go format, and then switch over to a monthly fee. When I figure out how it works, I’ll share it with you.
Thanks for reading… I’ll keep learning the hard way, so you don’t have to…

Trello – A new way for managing team activities

On my latest project, I got introduced to a new piece of software. It’s called Trello. It’s a rather simple simple, but it lets you quickly setup tasks into columns. Then you can quickly drag and drop the tasks for column to column. The beauty of it is that multiple can all move the task around. It keeps a record of everything that anyone did to the task. The way we are using it on this project is to track tasks that are open, in progress, on-hold or completed. This particular project has a large amount of master data that needs to be loaded. Since I’m the team lead, I needed an easy way to monitor what was being done and by whom. I highly recommend Trello.
Anyway, this one is just a quick post, but hopefully still useful.
Thanks for reading,

Basis – Changing the Instance Number of an Installed SAP system

I’m back in basis land yet again. What I discovered is that in order to connect to multiple systems existing on the same server, they must have a unique instance number. After all these years, I finally understand what the instance number does =) Since several of my SAP systems exist in the same server name, I had to make a change. I installed everything in 00, not know any better.
Well after some internet research, I discovered how to do this (at least for the ERP systems).
1. Go to the profiles directory. For me it was: C:\usr\sap\<SID>\sys\profile\
2. There are 3 files in this directory that you need to visit. (keep in mind, depending on the parameters, you may or may not have things to update).
a.<SID>_DVEBMGS<NR>_<Server name>
b. START_DVEBMGS<NR>_<server name>
For the 3 files, replace every instance of DVEBMGS<old NR> with DVEBMGS<new NR>, sapgw with sapgw, and SAPSYSTEM = <Old NR> with <new NR>.
3. Next rename the directory DVEBMGS<old NR> with DVEBMGS<new NR>
4. open up the command prompt cmd.exe
5. Execute the following command: C:\usr\sap\<SID>\sys\exe\uc\ntamd64\sapstartsrv.exe -r -s <system> -n <NR> -p C:\usr\sap\<SID>\SYS\profile\START_DVEBMGS<NR>_<server> -U .\SAPService<SID> -P <password> -q
6. Execute: C:\usr\sap\<SID>\sys\exe\uc\ntamd64\ntenv2reg Select the new service.
7. Now restart the server, and you should be able to start the system with the new instance number.
8. Don’t forget to update your logon pad to the new instance for the system.

Now, I tried these same steps on my 4.7 system, and I couldn’t get it to work. I’ll try it again later, and if I get it working, I’ll let you know.
Good luck,

Being a Team Lead – Remembering the Basics

I’ve been spoiled for the past several years.  I’ve been listed as the team lead, but I’ve been a team of 1.  that means I haven’t had to worry about delegating work, consolidating status reports, managing work loads etc…

I just started a new contract position, and this time around, I’m managing a team of 3 consultants, and trying to keep the client on track with their information gathering. The biggest issue I encountered, and quite honestly forgot about, is when you have to lead personalities that aren’t happy you’re there.  Since I just experienced this again, I thought I’d pass on the quick lessons I had to learn the hard way…

1.  Take many conversations away from the group.  Often when you come into a new project, you have ideas, want to make changes, or just want to prove yourself.  Well, personally, I have this tendency.  What forgot, when you challenge someone that has been there for a while, they feel pretty invested/protective of their design.  the last thing they want to hear is that you disagree with it, or want to make changes.  It doesn’t matter if it’s as simple as changing the naming convention, the people that have been there believe in their design.

2.  Be open to the old design.   Start every conversation with a “gentle” question.  “Can you help me understand this better?”  “the design seems solid, but can you tell me why you did this instead of that?”  anything like that.  It’s the whole idea of making friends with the person, let them know you value their opinions.  then explain…  “I’ve seen it done differently in past projects, can you explain why you’re doing it this way?”…  always act like you’re a little behind the times.  This makes the person a lot more open to hearing your suggestions.

3.  Remember, not everyone is going to be your best friend, but you still need to make sure they at least respect you.  Remember, this doesn’t mean they fear you…  it means they understand everyone wants the best for the client.  So make sure you can show that you know what you’re talking about without sounding arrogant.  You are in charge afterall.  But don’t ram this point down anyone’s throat.  Remember to lead by example.  Do…  Don’t just Talk…

I can say the transition has been much easier because I’ve had great upper management support.  So as a side note, make a good impression with your leadership.  Be direct, be authoritative, and be confident.  But don’t BS anyone.  If you don’t know, say as much, and say that you will find out…  THEN go find out.

I’m sure I’ll have more hints coming up… as I relearn them again…

OMWD – The key to material cost estimates

After lots of digging and some help from google, I finally found what I was missing to make material cost estimates.  The following transaction all needed some tweaking in order to make my materials finally cost properly.

KA01 – needed to create a bunch of cost elements.
FS00 – needed to create some G/L accounts

the list of things to create, came from:  OBYC & OKTZ.  I had to dig through and use the error message to get to the right area, but for me, it was GBB, and my valuation area was empty, this finally led me to OMWD.  the missing piece of my puzzle.

It’s a relief to finally have that working…  now, on to posting some service order costs.


SAP Data Loading… Still going

Wow… what can I say? I didn’t expect to still be loading data into my EHP4 system.  I’m working really hard to get a good baseline of data to cover the major areas.  last night, I spent my time trying to get materials to cost, so the cost will show properly on the service/production orders.  let me tell you, I’m not cut out to be a FICO consultant.  I’ve been digging for what feels like hours, and still can’t over come my error.  Tonight, I’ll take another pass.  I have to say, couldn’t have accomplished this much without GUI script, but I’ll be very glad to get the last of the data loaded into the system tonight (provided the material costing errors finally get resolved).
otherwise, getting geared up to start Web Dynpro is pretty excited.

Configuring the new SAP system – Enterprise Structure

Since I’ve spent so much time working getting my new EHP4 system up and running, I thought I’d talk a little about the configuration you need.  Now if you read my last post, Transports in SAP – reusing dev and config between non-connected systems, you’ll see you can do this once and then move it around.  But, you still have to do it once.
One of the biggest pieces is the enterprise structure.  SAP provides you with one, but in general, you want a more robust structure, so you typically copy the existing one and then make changes.  SAP has an entire menu in the SPRO configuration dedicated to this.  they also have a group of transaction codes:  EC01 – EC16 (I think).  This is the shortcut.
Now to make the bare minimum, here’s what you should consider copying:
Company Code
Plant(usually do at least 2)
Sales Org
Distribution Channel
Division (usually do several of these)
Purchasing Org
Warehouse (if you use WM)
Shipping point (typically 1 or 2 per plant)
Storage Locations

Now keep in mind, even when you copy this stuff, you’ll still need to go into the assignments and make some changes.  For example, when you create a new plant (I encourage you to copy), you’ll still need to go to the enterprise structure Assignment area, and connect the plant to the new company code (same goes for the sales org, purchasing org, etc.)  Pretty much everything you need to worry about is in the enterprise structure configuration folder, but there are some exceptions.

1.  If your company code is in a different country/currency than DE, you might need to maintain the tax classifications for the material and the customer.  (this is in the Sales and Distribution–>basic functions–>tax area).  You’ll also need to turn the company code on for materials management (otherwise you can’t extend a material to the plant if it’s in a new company code).  It’s lots of effort, but when you’re done, it’s worth the work.

happy configuring..


SAP Transports – reusing dev and config between non-connected systems

For small shops, like me, it’s a lot of infrastructure to to have a bunch of systems mapped to each other.  In addition, I have multiple active versions of SAP in order to allow me to test for different customers.  In that case, it’s even more complicated.  So, if you’ve read any of my earlier posts, you know that I use virtual-box to maintain my different systems.  Infrastructure – Setting up SAP on a budget  Now, that leaves me to either add all of my configuration over and over every time I create a new system.  I don’t like that idea 🙂  So I found out that you can grab two files and place them in a new system and import them, and magically you’re configuration has moved.   Here’s what you need to do to use SAP transports to handle this for you:

In the source system, as long as you properly configured STMS and do not use local objects, simple release the transport you want to move.  You will find the files you need in 2 directories:


the files are the transport #.  So grab those 2 files.  I use dropbox to move these files from virtual systems.  But you can use any method you choose to get the files where you need them.
next is to put the files back into the same directories in the target system.

Now, go to STMS, drill into the main system (not the virtual system)
go to the Import Overview, and double click into the main system
Use the menu:  extras–>other requests–>add

now type in the transport name from the source system.  <SID>k<num>.

if everything is configured properly, if will import it just like any other transport.

Hope you find this useful,


Configuring Web Dynpro in SAP ERP

Well, since creating my new EHP4 system, I’ve had to do a lot of activities.  For me, the most important was getting Web Dynpro working.  I created this whole system with the intent of using it for webdynpro development.  Anyway, again, no straightforward documentation that talks about what needs to happen.  So, here’s my notes on configuring web dynpro in SAP.
First, you need to implement an OSS note:
After applying the note, go to transaction SICF and activate the following services.
Now, you can use the layout designer for Web Dynpro.  It’s that easy.
Hope this helps,