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Background documentation Merchandise Categories: Fields Relevant to Creating a Merchandise Category Locate the document in its SAP Library structure

A merchandise category is always also stored in the form of a class; this takes place automatically (in the background). It can be regarded as the key to the Classification System.

The individual fields which you encounter when you create a merchandise category are explained briefly below:

Merchandise Category Description

The merchandise category description is language-dependent and is also used as the class description.

Merchandise Category Reference Articles

One merchandise category reference article can be created per merchandise category. It plays no physical part in merchandise management: it is purely a carrier of article information, which can then be offered automatically as default values when an article is created, thus reducing unnecessary maintenance.

Reference articles can only be maintained in Article Processing. The merchandise category reference article should therefore be defined as fully as possible, in order to keep the effort of maintenance to a minimum when further articles are created for this merchandise category.

It is possible to assign an existing reference article to more than one merchandise category. In addition, it is also possible to use any number of other reference articles to help you when you are creating an article. This means that you can choose the most appropriate one for the article you wish to create.

Merchandise Category Articles

One merchandise category article can be created to represent each merchandise category. It represents the merchandise category as an article. If a merchandise category article is used, all the functions which are available for an article in the system (for example, Inventory Management) can be used.

You can also assign a store merchandise category the value-only article of another merchandise category for the purposes of value-based inventory management. It is thereby possible, for example, for a small store to manage different merchandise categories (for example, bread, cheese and spreads) on a value basis using a hierarchy article called "Sandwich", to which goods receipts and sales are posted.

The merchandise category article can only be created in Merchandise Category Processing. It can then be maintained in Article Processing. Once this value-only article has been created and assigned, complete with description and base unit of measure, it can no longer be changed.

When an article is sold via a "catch-all" cash register key (a merchandise category key on the cash register), the merchandise category concerned is represented by the merchandise category article. You can assign any cash register key to any merchandise category.


You have the option of assigning a department to a merchandise category; this allows you to make the department a default value which appears when you assign the merchandise category to stores.


A division cannot be used as a merchandise category hierarchy level. If you do maintain one, it can form a completely independent article hierarchy.

Authorization Groups

The authorization group protects against unauthorized access to certain objects. In order to be able to perform a particular activity the user must have authorization for the combination of activity and authorization group. Authorization groups do not have descriptions.

Merchandise Category Hierarchy Levels

When you create a merchandise category, you can assign it to a merchandise category hierarchy level immediately, as long as the latter already exists. It should be noted, however, that you can only assign to the level directly above the merchandise category. All characteristics (required and optional fields) are inherited by the merchandise category according to the principle outlined above. If characteristics have been defined in the assigned hierarchy level a value assignment screen appears, offering the possible characteristic values for you to choose from.

Hierarchy Articles

If the merchandise category has been assigned to a hierarchy level, all the hierarchy levels above this level will also appear as default values for assignment. One hierarchy article can be defined for each hierarchy level when the selection indicator is set. Once the article has been created and assigned, complete with description and base unit of measure, it can no longer be changed.

Online Procedures

The following diagram illustrates the overall procedure online. No differentiation between required or optional screens is shown; instead, in the interests of completeness, all of the available procedures are represented.

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text



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