If you like videos, there’s a bunch of those in YouTube, I can look for some. I’m afraid I tend to disagree with every book I’ve ever encountered on the subject at very-fundamental levels (1); with the videos too but these tend to do less of the stuff that irritates me. Are you doing SAP R/3, SAP HANA, both?
Why it is important to have locations be their own plant is because a lot of data and security is managed at that level and because it affects how you move goods. In general it makes things a lot easier if each separate address is a separate plant; occasionally it makes sense to divide complex locations into several plants.
How does it affect goods movements?
A Plant can only have one address. So let’s say you need to move goods by truck from Location A to Location B. If both are Plants, SAP knows it needs to generate shipping documents; the processes to create those, load the truck, track the truck, go through Customs (if appropriate), transfer ownership (if appropriate), offload the truck, are all there. If they are the same Plant then both are at the same address and you need a Damn Big Bespoke Program to do the same thing.
How does it affect security?
Any piece of data which is created at the Plant level can be security-managed at the Plant level. Dumb-dumb example, but you can give to someone access to “all stock data from Plants A, B and C” (1 security object) more easily than to “all stock data warehouses 1, 2 and 3 in Plant A” (2 security objects); more importantly, you can track more easily which roles have which accesses if you only need to have one authorization object (indicate the Plant in the role’s name). The most efficient way to manage security in SAP is by having roles which are identical from Plant to Plant and separated only by Plant (i.e., all “warehouse operators” have the same accesses, but in different Plants; all “warehouse managers” have the same accesses, which are different from those of their operators, and have them for different Plants).
How does it affect other data?
Warehouse structures and most data objects belong to one Plant. A few objects (mainly Materials) can exist in more than one Plant and will have specific data for each of them: Material 12345678 could, for example, be inspected in Plant A but never inspected in Plant B: that is Plant-level data. How is cost calculated for a product, and the value of that cost: Plant-level data. Etc. The same Material will have other data which is Client-wide, such as its names in multiple languages, its dimentions, its EAN…
- I was driving myself crazy retyping Plant as plant, but it’s a SAPish convention so I figured I’d explain it instead: if something can be both a “general concept” and a “SAP concept”, you capitalize to indicate you’re referring to the SAP concept and use small caps to refer to the general concept. A geranium is a plant and a factory is a Plant.
1a: any book or video will tell you that ERP is a type of software, but usually not why it’s called that. It’s called that in reference to a management philosophy (“Enterprise Resource Planning”), to the idea that in order to manage work correctly we need to take into account all of the resources involved and not only the materials (which is the idea behind “Material Resources Planning”, MRP). ERP software is software designed to enable that global management of resources.
1b: the people doing the videos tend to be better at pointing out “this is an example”.