In my travels, one of the things that companies are often looking for is an install base of their products. It seems that the natural solution to this is using the SAP install base transactions. After all, it is the perfect place to group things together. You can group equipment, materials, even documents, functional location or other install bases. So, why not use it?
Here are a couple of the major issues associated with using the Install Base within ECC.
- You can assign partners and partner functions. This is standard in functional locations, but not in the install base. A simple work around is using the external ID to become the partner number. You would have to explicitly define your approach to say that there is an install base for each ship-to party, for example. Not the end of the world, and this work around has been proven to work at multiple clients.
- There are no BAPI’s to install or dismantle components from the install base. For this reason, I built that functionality into my Renovation product.
- There are no BAPI’s to create or change an install base header. For this reason, I built that functionality into my Renovation product.
- There is no standard way to automatically update the install base when you ship out a new product, or receive a return of a product. For this reason, I built that functionality into my Renovation product. It usese a background job to collect all the specific material movements that should be tracked.
- There is no way to know if your end user has moved or got rid of products. There is no fix for this. Short of adding an IoT sensor to everything you sell, you will most likely never know what a customer does with your products. It’s just something that will always be incomplete.
- Poor standard reporting. Like many other areas of service, the reporting just doesn’t meet expectations. This why I’ve built a few additional reports into Renovation to make it easier to search install bases and quickly see all the products, along with warranty dates and other key information.
If you use the ECC install base today, I’d love to hear how you tackled some of these challenges. If you would like to use the install base, but just see too many technical hurdles, let me know. I’d love to show you what Renovation can do to help.
Thanks for reading,As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,