Fluvius as organization

Fluvius is the network operator created on 1 July 2018 by the merger of Eandis and Infrax. Fluvius is responsible for the construction, management, and maintenance of electricity and natural gas distribution grids, sewerage, cable distribution, and heat. The company also manages the municipal public lighting system. In total, Fluvius manages 230,000 kilometers of utility networks and 7 million connections. Fluvius is active in all 300 Flemish cities and municipalities.

Situation before SAP MDG

In the situation before implementing SAP MDG, the master data was requested via an excel-sheet. This file was forwarded to various persons for further completion and the data was entered in SAP via a very complex custom transaction.

In this customer case, we want to highlight the process improvements that Fluvius achieved in their master data maintenance, focusing mainly on Suppliers and Materials.

MDG Supplier: Process flow for creation with MDG

SAP MDG was a solution to provide a more automated and streamlined way of working. One of the needs for Fluvius was the governance for business partners - suppliers in particular.

The main focus of this project was the user experience and the automation to create suppliers. Therefore we had to use APIs to fetch data and derive this data into the supplier. There are two ways to initiate a creation flow: the users can start with a valid company/VAT number or a social security number. The data of both services is loaded from external data providers to ensure the data quality of the created supplier.

Thanks to the installation of the Alluvion MDG Productivity Pack, we can easily derive data from the APIs into MDG. The Alluvion MPP contains frequently requested functionalities by customers which are not available in the standard MDG delivery. Some core functionalities of the MPP which we have used within this project: 

  • The checklist: can be used for background steps executed by the system (For example, fetching data from external data sources). But it can also be used for manual activities (For example, BOM creation for Materials) which require an action of the user: the list will indicate if the task is performed or not.
  • Sensitive fields: gives the possibility to steer the process to the right path for approval, this is based on the fields that are changed within the change request. Processes will be approved faster and they will not be sent to unnecessary departments.
  • Derivation framework: With the Productivity Pack we can default field values without writing code. This not only saves a lot of development time but also saves time when a user initiates a change request. The user just has to check whether the derived data is correct in this instance.

If you want more information about the Alluvion MDG Productivity Pack features, please visit this link.

The simplified Supplier maintenance process implemented at Fluvius

MDG is accessible via the SAP Fiori launchpad. The flow to request a new supplier contains only a few steps:

Blogplusfluviuspluscustomerpluscaseplus1
  • The first step to create a supplier is to provide a valid company/VAT number or social security number. We oblige the users to perform a search before creation to ensure that the supplier with these identification numbers does not yet exist. If no supplier is found with this number, then the creation of a new supplier can be initiated. 
Blogplusfluviuspluscustomerpluscaseplus2
  • If the Company number is valid, a pop-up will open with all the choices you have for the provided number. The pop-up shows the headquarter on the first line (indicated by the checkmark)  and possible settlements of the company. In this pop-up you can select the business partner for the company address you want to create in the change request.
Blogplusfluviuspluscustomerpluscaseplus3
  • After the selection, the change request screen will open with all the data of the company already filled into the corresponding fields for the request. Also, other specific derivations of Fluvius are executed with the Alluvion MDG Productivity Pack such as company codes data, purchasing organizations data, etc…

Users can easily see that the data was correctly loaded with the MPP checklist, in this checklist we provide a status “KBO/FSB check completed”:

Blogplusfluviuspluscustomerpluscaseplus4

Also thanks to the Alluvion MPP, we can customize the sensitivity of certain fields (fields with a red background color in this instance). If sensitive fields are changed, an extra validation is needed of the master data team to check if all information is correct. If no sensitive fields are changed, the supplier will immediately be available in the system without extra validation. 

To ensure the data quality, all the fields we get from the address API are set to read-only so nobody can change the fetched data.

Blogplusfluviuspluscustomerpluscaseplus5
  • The additional check for the master data approval, when sensitive fields are changed, is built with the ‘follow-up change request’ of the latest MDG release. This scenario addresses the customer requirement for activation before the complete process for supplier creation is completed. 

In other words: the supplier can already be used within transactional processes but still needs a quality check of the master data team before you can book any invoices with the created supplier, therefore the follow-up change request is the most convenient way to achieve this.

Additional requirements

TAILOR-MADE UI

The get a better look and feel, Fluvius chose to implement the ‘tabbed’ user interface. This UI has a similar look to the traditional BP transaction with which the users were familiar because the data is shown in tabs. The tabs allow the users to navigate faster. Also, all the data was accessible within the same screen without navigation to other windows.

Blogplusfluviuspluscustomerpluscaseplus6

INTEGRATION WITH XECM

The SAP Extended Enterprise Content Management (SAP Extended ECM) application by OpenText covers document and records management needs including information retrieval and collaboration by connecting e-mails, documents, and other content to core business processes.

Fluvius requires attachments if sensitive fields are changed. MDG has a standard feature to attach documents to a change request, but we integrated this with xECM to store the documents within a DMS (Document management system). The documents are not only accessible within MDG but also across other applications.

Blogplusfluviuspluscustomerpluscaseplus7

EXTENDING THE BUSINESS PARTNER DATA MODEL

In the standard BP transaction you can fill in different statuses for a business partner, this is mostly used within CRM processes. Fluvius made use of the status for indicating “victim of bank account fraud”, this was standard not available in MDG. Therefore, we have foreseen a custom entity with this functionality and warning when a business partner has this status.

Blogplusfluviuspluscustomerpluscaseplus9

Thanks to Dylan Van Paemel and Nicholas Vermeersch for writing this article, Niels De Greef for proofreading and finally a big thank you to the Fluvius team for validating the content!

Fluvius Signalisatie 9694

For questions on this topic, please fill in the form below, and one of our experts will get in touch soon!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Avelon C Karen Van Der Biest 93
Written by

Nicholas Vermeersch

SAP Master Data Project Manager & Master Data Streamlead

Project Manager and Senior SAP Master data consultant specialized in SAP Master Data
Governance (MDG) and good overall knowledge of the SAP NetWeaver concept.

Let's Make Your Story Next!

Your own success story awaits. Click below to begin your personalized experience.
Let's embark on this journey together!