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Keeping with the idea that it would be simpler to Blog about issues/questions that come up in my day-to-day consulting life I decided to go with the topic of “Changing a Material’s Base Unit of Measure” this time.

Yes the base unit of measure can be changed on the material master. This may go against what an “Expert” has told you and truth is there does come a point when the base unit of measure is almost impossible to change. But this truly depends on how much the material is used in SAP.

Unfortunately the more a material is used the tougher it is to change the base unit of measure. More to the point the more open documents that have been created for a material, in SAP, the tougher it is to change the base unit of measure. This is because any open document has to be completed or deleted.

While my goal is that anyone could use the following information to successfully change the base unit of measure on the material master it is not a step by step instruction manual and will require a good overall understanding of SAP.

A couple of key points in regards to changing the base unit of measure are:

  • No open purchasing documents can exist for material. (Scheduling Agreement, Purchase Requisition, Purchase Order)
  • No Stock can exist for the material in the current or previous period.

Other documentation may also need to be “cleaned up” before the base unit of measure can be changed. (i.e. Open Sales Order, Deliveries, Transfer Orders, etc.) If documents exist that need “cleaned up” they will be displayed in the error log when you try to change the base unit of measure via transaction MM02.

When stock exists the only time to make the base unit of measure change is at period end.

Steps with stock in inventory:

  • Remove all stock from inventory on the last day of period.
  • On first day of the new period make the base unit of measure of change. If documents exist that need “cleaned up” they will appear on the error log when you try to change the base unit of measure. Anything on the error log will need to be taken care of before you will be able to change the base unit of measure.
  • After Base Unit of Measure has been successfully changed add stock back into inventory. And add back any documents that are still required.

As a note: If an error log exists the “Display Errors” icons will appear after you change the Base unit of measure (MM02).

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Steps to change the base unit of measure

Transaction: MM02

Menu: Logistic > Material Management > Material Master > Material > Change > Immediately

On initial selection screen enter material to be changed. And in pop-up box select the basic data 1 view.

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In below example “FT” was entered in Base Unit of Measure field. Because documents exist and error log was created as a result the “Display Errors” icon was created and the unit of measure reverted back to “EA”.

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In the below error log the base unit of measure cannot be changed for the material because planned orders, purchase requisitions and production orders already exist for the material, see screen shot.

If stock existed for the material you would also see the message, “Stocks already exist at plant level.”

Display Error Log:

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All the documents in the error log will need to be processed or deleted before the base unit of measure can be changed. If the material is salable or processed with WM transactions a lot more document types could be listed. Also the longer a material has existed in SAP then the more documents that will be listed under each document type.

There may come a point when it is impractical or impossible to “clean up” all the documents in order to change the base unit of measure. In these cases there are a couple of other options;

  • Create alternate unit of measure and use alternate in master data and SAP documents. Example being 1 EA = 1 FT. Then use FT in all master data unit of measure fields and SAP documents.
  • Create new material and flag old material for deletion. This is truly last case scenario. And would recommend using SAP’s discontinued parts functionality.

If you have question on this or any other PortSAP Consulting blog please feel free to contact us at Blog@PortSAP.com.  Or if you are looking for Top Quality SAP Consultants please feel free to contact us.

The author, Ray Hornbrook, has over 16 years of SAP functional and technical experience.  Ray started his career in SAP as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) for a SAP implementation in 1998 and is now a senior level SAP Consultant.  Since Ray has worked both sides of SAP, business end user and IT professional, he is able to communicate effectively with both IT and Business team members.  Having a background as an SAP business end user has helped Ray greatly in his consulting career to better communicate with the business members of the team.  As well as helping bridge gaps in communication between the IT and Business team members.

To find out more about the Ray Hornbrook please check out his LinkedIn profile by clicking HERE.

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