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SAP Business Partner and Warranty

Why You Need a Unique SAP Business Partner in SAP Warranty

SAP ACS Warranty Management Often Needs a Unique Business Partner   

While SAP's standard business partner functions and even the SAP ACS Warranty management business partner functions cover many warranty scenarios, they don't yet provide coverage for many complex scenarios. These scenarios exist in complex equipment industries such as Aerospace and Defense, Mining, Construction Equipment, Rail, Shipping, Renewable Energy and any other businesses where there are ultimately multiple owners and operating models.     

Let's take the example of private jets 

Private jets are not cheap. They are often owned by wealthy individuals and other entities, and operated by non-owners. They are often also serviced by third-party MRO service providers as well as company owned service centers. To further complicate the flow of information, fractional aircraft ownership and private jet travel services, such as NetJets, utilize multiple ownership models. Sometimes they own the aircraft, other times there may be a leasing arrangement with the aircraft manufacturer, again in other situations the aircraft may be owned by a person or corporation and is given to NetJets to charter to their customers. 

This model of fractional ownership creates several scenarios with regards to the business partners that you must define in standard SAP.

Customer - Service Center

The first complication in our particular scenario is that the claimant is often different than the OEM knows or sold the equipment to. Warranty Claims are submitted via an online portal by external service centers. When the portal user logs onto the portal, they are a known user, associated with a SAP customer ID. Depending on the size of the external service center they may be associated with specific aircraft or they may be authorized to service several specific aircraft models. 


Y5 Partner Function Illustratred Equipment

SAP Model - Serial Equipment - Partner View: Aircraft equipment holds the owner and operator relationships as partner functions 

It is crucial for the analyst to have all the necessary information at their fingertips while handling a warranty claim. Therefore, we prioritize displaying the contact name, phone number, and email address at the top of the claim, as it helps the analyst understand who the stakeholders are and whom to contact in case of any queries. This approach not only supports the analyst's workflow but also ensures seamless communication between the parties involved.

Some questions on a warranty claim are straightforward and can even be answered by SAP automatically. However, there are also more complex questions that require a thorough review of additional documents, such as equipment history, spare part installation history, failure analysis, corrective action analysis, and work orders. By having this information readily available, analysts can make informed decisions, and the analyst may have to reach out to a contact person via phone or email and have that data within analyst reach.     

The following screenshot shows a professional user's screen of a warranty claim with the partner view selected. As you can see the header has been configured to show the claimant partner, owner, and operators' name, phone, and email:

claim mheader and partner view

SAP Claim: Showing custom header fields, partner, owner, operator and additional partner functions available (unlimited)  


Due to the intricate ownership structures involved, the standard business partner functionality incomplete and necessitates customized configuration and coding to accurately represent the existing data model.

The ownership relationships in certain industries can be incredibly complex, making it difficult to accurately represent them using standard SAP business partners. This is especially true for industries such as Aerospace and Defense, Mining, Construction Equipment, Rail, Shipping, and Renewable Energy, where there are often multiple owners and operating models involved. Take the example of private jets, which are owned by wealthy individuals and entities and operated by non-owners. Additionally, they are often serviced by third-party MRO service providers and company-owned service centers. These complex ownership structures create several scenarios where the standard business partner functionality is inadequate. As a result, customized configuration and coding are often necessary to accurately represent the existing data model.


The operator may be the same as the owner, or, an operator may be a fractional ownership company, or a medical transport services company, or a government organization. 

Handling Any Data Situation

To prevent the risk of data loss from external portals to SAP, a unique ID is necessary to assign the SAP Business Partner to a claim. In the event that this information is missing, a placeholder approach is taken, allowing data to be loaded and corrected by the analyst if necessary. This best practice ensures seamless data transfer and accurate representation of the existing data model. The design approach is to load the data into placeholders and then attempt the standard partner search and linking as a second step automatically. If the second step fails, the incoming data is not lost, and the analyst can make sense of it and possibly correct the SAP partner link manually.

SAP Standard Business Partner - In General 

In general, the Standard SAP Business Partner is a central master data entity used for managing and maintaining information about customers, vendors, and other business partners in an organization. There are some key differences between SAP Business Partner in ECC (ERP Central Component) and S/4HANA, which I will explain below:

  1. Data Model: SAP Business Partner in ECC is implemented using the Customer Master and Vendor Master data models, which are separate entities. In contrast, in S/4HANA, the SAP Business Partner data model is unified, meaning that both customer and vendor data are stored in the same table.
  2. User Experience: The user interface for SAP Business Partner in S/4HANA is more modern and user-friendly compared to ECC. S/4HANA provides a simplified and intuitive user interface, making it easier for users to navigate and access the required information.
  3. Functionality: SAP Business Partner in S/4HANA provides enhanced functionality compared to ECC. For example, it provides a more extensive set of attributes to capture additional business partner details, including the ability to store social media handles, bank account details, tax identification numbers, and more.
  4. Integration: In S/4HANA, SAP Business Partner integrates seamlessly with other modules, such as Sales and Distribution, Materials Management, and Financials. The integration is smoother and more efficient than in ECC.
  5. Performance: S/4HANA provides better performance than ECC, mainly because of its in-memory database technology, which significantly speeds up data processing and access times. This enhanced performance leads to faster business processes and improved decision-making.

Summarizing the ECC to S/4 comparison, SAP Business Partner in S/4HANA offers a more unified data model, better user experience, enhanced functionality, seamless integration with other modules, and improved performance compared to ECC.


In conclusion, SAP ACS Warranty Management often requires a unique business partner due to intricate ownership structures involved in various industries.

The standard SAP Business Partner may not be adequate out-of-the-box to represent complex scenarios such as those found in Aerospace and Defense, Mining, Construction Equipment, Rail, Shipping, Renewable Energy, and private jets ownership.

As a result, customized configuration and coding are often necessary to accurately represent the customer's required data model.

Nevertheless, SAP Business Partner in S/4HANA offers a more unified data model, better user experience, enhanced functionality, seamless integration with other modules, and improved performance compared to ECC. In addition, the fully built-out Fiori Dealer Portal and SAP Warranty Claim provide excellent solutions that allow the user to handle any data situation. If you want to learn more about SAP Business Partner, S/4HANA, and SAP Warranty Management, be sure to engage us.


Please book a meeting to discuss your requirements.


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Topics from this blog:
ACS Warranty Analytics Business Partner

Soren Detering

My name is Soren. I am the founder of Detering Consulting. I began the company in 2003 because I wanted to provide more value for SAP customers. I knew that many of them were missing out on all the great benefits that could be obtained from the software. Before establishing Detering Consulting, I completed my education by obtaining a Master’s in Computer Science. After that, I worked at SAP in Germany and SAP Labs in North America for 10 years. My extensive background in solution management, project planning and -management, implementation services and leadership includes experience in: Automotive, A&D, High Tech, Medical Equipment, and Manufacturing Industries.
Me and my teams have successfully assisted many customers with their SAP ERP software, completed several full life cycle implementation projects, and carried out over 30 projects in SAP ECC and S/4 Hana. My experience has given me the unique ability to scope out ERP solutions in a very short amount of time. I have a knack for finding untapped money-making opportunities and discovering areas where customers could be saving money. I currently live and work in Palo Alto, CA just 10 minutes away from the SAP office. I dedicate myself to helping our clients with our SAP consulting services. In my spare time, I enjoy sailing, kickboxing, and spending time with my family and our two Taiwanese Mountain dogs.

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