Contract Grouping

Description

This function enables you to group contracts as lower level contracts under one master contract. It contains the general terms which apply over a specified time period for the lower level contracts and ensures consistency of data in all the lower level contracts. When a contract is linked to a master contract, data is copied from the master contract into the lower level contracts according to referencing requirements which are defined in Customizing. When a master contract is changed, the lower level contracts can be updated automatically using a workflow scenario. The data copied into the contract header is forwarded to the items according to the standard application logic.

Master Contract

The master contract contains header data only. You can record, for example:

The master contract also contains a list of all the contracts which are linked to it. From this list, you can branch to each lower level contract.

Setting up the Link

You set up the link between a contract and a master contract by entering the number of the master contract in the new Master contract field in the contract header or on the Sales screen. You can use a matchcode to find a suitable master contract. Matchcode E enables you to search for documents by partner. You can control in Customizing that the system informs you during creation whether master contracts already exist for the customer. You can branch from the message dialog box into the list of master contracts and select a suitable master contract from the list.

On the basis of the referencing requirements which are configured in Customizing in the step Define Referencing Requirements , the system determines:

This involves the following activities:

You define which contract types are allowed to reference which master contract types
You define a referencing procedure which includes:
You define whether a message should be issued in the lower level contract before changes are copied into it from the master contract. You assign the referencing procedure to a master contract type. When you create a master contract, the referencing procedure is proposed in the header. Once a master contract has been referenced, you can no longer change the referencing procedure in the header.

Making Changes to the Lower Level Contract

If you change an identical field in the lower level contract, the system deletes the reference to the master contract.

If you change a copy field, the system always overwrites the new value with the value in the master contract.

You can change proposal fields as you require.

Making Changes to the Master Contract

In the Customizing activity

Define Sales Document Types , you control whether changes in the master contract are directly copied into all the dependent lower level contracts. If the update function is activated, a workflow scenario is initiated when the master contract is changed. The system accesses each lower level contract and determines on the basis of the referencing procedure whether the changes should be copied.

If the update function is not activated in Customizing, the workflow scenario is not initiated until you call a lower level contract for processing. In this case, only the lower level contract being processed is updated.

If you change an identical or copy field, the system copies the change.

If you change a proposal field, the system only copies the change into the lower level contract if the fields in both contracts had the same value before the master contract was changed.

The system performs the check according to the referencing procedure at header level. The standard application logic is used to determine whether changes copied from the master contract into the lower level contract header are also copied into the items.

When errors occur, the user who changes the master contract receives a work item. When he or she carries out the work item, the system automatically opens two sessions. One session contains a list of all the changed data and a description of the errors. The lower level contract to be changed is displayed in change mode in the second session.

When the lower level contract is blocked by another user, the system makes several attempts to access the contract. The work item is not initiated until the document is accessed.

Change system parameters in customizing

A new document type GK has been created for master contracts. It is defined in the activity Define Sales Document Types and has the following characteristics:

This indicator identifies a document as a group contract.
This new screen sequence group controls that the overview screen for the master contract is displayed.

The contract grouping function is configured in the Customizing step Define Referencing Requirements.

You assign the procedure to a master contract and set the "update lower level contract" indicator in the step Define Sales Document Types.

Prerequisites for Workflow Scenario

To set up the workflow scenario, you must perform the following steps in Customizing:

Changes to the interface

The following fields have been added:

By entering a master contract number in this field, you link the contract to the master contract.
The referencing procedure which is assigned in the sales document type in Customizing is proposed in this field.

Further notes

Constraints