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Four Different Tools to Eliminate those Pesky Duplicate Business Partners

by Antoine Cadot-Wood

November 21, 2011

I have a rather personal reason for being concerned about customer master data. Thanks to my French background, I have seen more variations on my name than I can possibly keep track of (my current crop of marketing emails addresses me as “Anoine,” which apparently refers to either a type of small forest buffalo or a DJ from Argentina). When I turned 18, I received two different numbers for the military draft, both assigned to me, but with slightly different variations on my name. The Selective Service System, of all agencies, probably has the best reason to maintain clean customer data.

Data entry mistakes, transfers from external systems, and lack of awareness of preexisting records all contribute to duplicates in your business partner records. Fortunately, SAP CRM has a number of standard tools to help you merge them. These include the BUPA_CLEAR transaction in SAP CRM 5.0, and the Merge Accounts, Duplicate Check, and Data Quality Management functions in SAP CRM 7.0.

This week at CRM Expert, Veeranna Battula gives you exhaustive step-by-step directions for using three of these “cleansing case” tools, and an overview of the fourth. On SAP CRM 7.0’s Merge Accounts function, he has the following useful advice:

“The Merge Accounts function is useful for merging two business partners, if you have accidentally maintained the same business partner twice in the SAP CRM system.

  • You can select at least one business partner to be a master account from the two records to be merged – that is, the business partner that remains in the system after the merging process. The system automatically selects the account with the most transactions in the system as the master business partner, although the user can also select this account.
  • You have the option to select what information is transferred from the source business partner to the master business partner.
  • Be careful transferring information from one account to another. For example, as soon as a sales order is replicated to the ERP system, the partner function sold-to party can no longer be changed in the SAP CRM system.”

Subscribers to CRM Expert can view the article right here on ILN.

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