A site is a store, a distribution center or a production location. In SAP Retail, the site is the organizational level at which merchandise replenishment is planned and stocks are managed.
A store is assigned one purchasing organization and one sales area (sales organization, distribution channel and division) and thereby also a distribution chain, to which the store belongs and which is used primarily for intercompany billing purposes. The store must be authorized to receive goods from the sales area to which the supplying distribution center belongs. If it is to be possible for merchandise to be transferred from one store to another, then the recipient store must also be authorized to receive goods from the sales area to which the supplying store belongs.
Each distribution center is assigned a purchasing organization (and, if required, a sales area) for determining warehouse transfer prices and units of measure.
A distribution center can also be assigned to a site (normally to itself) and a distribution chain (for determining sales prices). These assignments enable merchandise in the distribution center to be valuated at retail prices. This sort of valuation is most common in the apparel industry.
Each site belongs to exactly one company code.
A site group is a number of sites that have been grouped together using the Classification System.
You can use the Classification System to group together sites that have similar characteristics or are located close to each other, for example. This simplifies data maintenance, and can also be of use for reporting purposes.
To create site groups, at least one class type has to be defined in the Classification System.
Application groups are defined in Customizing and are assigned the class type required for creating the relevant site groups. This class type uses the customer number of the site as the key. The application groups Allocation Table, Promotions, Season and Labeling are predefined to allow these applications to work with the intended site groups.
Site groups operate independently of company codes, distribution chains and other fixed organizational structures.
The purpose of a distribution chain is to structure sales within a retail company. A distribution chain is made up of a sales organisation and a distribution channel.
Many retail companies use a variety of different sales channels to sell to their customers. These include store-based retailing, wholesale and Internet selling. In the case of store-based retailing, stores can belong to different chains, which have a common look and feel, a common assortment and common goods presentation but which target different groups of customers. SAP Retail reflects these different sales channels by means of distribution chains.
In addition to the marketing aspect, distribution chains are used in conjunction with sales area data to control logistics processes.
Distribution chains are also important for sales pricing. It is not only possible to determine sales prices for an individual site or customer but also for an entire distribution chain.
Distribution chains also have an important role as structuring characteristics for reporting on sales.
There are three types of distribution chains in SAP Retail:
- Store distribution chains
- Distribution center distribution chains
- Wholesale distribution chains
You assign the distribution chain type in Customizing under Distribution chain control. Among other things, the distribution chain type controls different logistics processes. In sales price calculation, it controls whether the sales price includes taxes or not.
Customer relationships are important for controlling logistics processes. You maintain these according to sales area. A sales area is a combination of a sales organisation, distribution channel and division. Unlike in industrial companies, there is generally no differentiation made in SAP Retail between product-related divisions, therefore the distribution chain is definitive for the customer relationship.
You determine which distribution chains each site is going to use to deliver its merchandise. For a store that sells to consumers, the only available option is generally a store distribution chain, which represents a suitable chain of stores. Sometimes, however, you may need to differentiate between anonymous consumers and your known major customers, to whom you offer special prices. In this case you can set up a major customers distribution chain for your major customers. For distribution centers you can set up different distribution center distribution chains to supply the stores in the different chains, which have different transfer prices. For stores that are supplied by a distribution center, you maintain customer relationships for these distribution chains.
The significance of the distribution chain for logistics and price determination is also manifest in integrated article maintenance. In the distribution chain-related sales view you maintain data that is relevant for delivery, for example, the sales unit. For price determination, you maintain the actual sales price and other condition parameters but you also need to enter certain control data, such as the price fixing flag or the competition characterization of the article.
If there are lots of distribution chains, you can set up reference distribution chains to reduce the amount of work needed to maintain customer and article master data and conditions. To do this, enter suitable reference distribution channels for a distribution chain in Customizing under Distribution chain control.