As an SAP Business One user, you know the out-of-the-box system is pretty all-encompassing. Standard fields already exist for the vast majority of the data you want to track, like Business Partner data and Contact details, to name a few. But, we all know that every business is unique and you’re bound to have special requirements outside of what’s common across most companies. Luckily, SAP Business One has a neat little feature called the User-defined Field (UDF) that allows you to track virtually anything. They can be used on various forms, but we’re going to look specifically at some examples in the Business Partner module to give you an idea of the capability.
Let’s Look at Some Use Cases
Here at ProjectLine, we like to track as much information about our Business Partners as we can. While the standard fields cover the most common data, they don’t allow us to capture some of the more specific details. This is where UDFs come in handy…
Use Case #1: Demographics
Knowing what industry our customers and leads are in is useful in many capacities – it informs our marketing content and helps our Sales and Customer Success teams engage in relevant conversations. While SAP Business One has a standard field to track industry, we have our own set of industry definitions that we like to use. So, we created a UDF. In this case, we opted for a drop down list, with our pre-defined options, rather than just an open text field (we would likely end up with a ton of interesting industry definitions, depending on who was filling in the field, making the data not so useful). Now, say we want to know which of our customers and/or leads are in the Distribution industry – we write a quick query to pull the Business Partner names and any other details we want and voila! (Side note – if you need a refresher on queries, check out our post on the Query Wizard)
Use Case #2: Lead Source
Now, let’s take a look at this from a Marketing perspective. Each time we get an inbound lead, we want to know where they’re coming from. Did they send us an email? Maybe a phone call? Or did they contact us through our website? Here again, there’s an easy way to track this with a UDF on the Business Partner Master Data. With this data in hand, we can pretty easily evaluate which inbound sources are most valuable.
These are just a couple simple examples of how we use UDFs in our system. The data you track and how you track it (using drop down lists, open text fields, etc.) will depend on your specific business requirements. But the point is that, at some point, you’ve likely had the thought “I sure would like to track XYZ in SAP Business One, but there’s no place for it”.
Now that we’ve hopefully got you thinking about how you might use User-defined Fields, your next question will be “Ok, how do I actually create UDFs?”. Easy answer – check out our recorded webinar, A Guide to Using User-defined Fields