SAP: PO Box Addresses

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been in SAP on an address screen.  Hundreds?  Thousands?  And each time I’ve glossed over the “PO Box” address fields.  I’ve never been very interested in them — never had to.  But the other day a client asked me a question about them and I finally got the opportunity to look under the hood a bit.

SAP-PO-ADDR-003
The [Print] Preview button visible on the XD01 Customer Create screen.
No matter which address screen you’re on — customer, vendor, sales order, PO — you’ll see a print preview button.

As you might expect, clicking this button will reveal a pop-up showing exactly what the address will look like when appearing on output with that partner.  Makes sense.  But, what’s the deal with the PO Box fields?  Why are they kept separate?  And what happens when the normal street and house number fields are maintained along with those PO Box fields?

The three PO Box fields.
The three PO Box fields.

The PO Box field behaves differently from the normal street/house number fields.  When maintaining this field, you do not have to input “PO Box”; you just need to input the actual box number.  Please note that you can expand this section to revel additional fields, such as PO Box City, PO Box Region, PO Box Country, etc.

The PO Box Address fields when fully revealed.
The PO Box Address fields when fully revealed.

SAP will add the “PO Box” label automatically.  You can experiment with this feature using the print preview function.

The Address Print Preview pop-up box when both sets of address fields are maintained with default settings.
The Address Print Preview pop-up box when both sets of address fields are maintained with default settings.

But what happens when BOTH sets of fields are maintained?  Well, in true consultant form, that depends.  Pull up the Print Preview pop-up window.  You will notice a ‘Change Parameters’ button on the bottom.  When you click this you will see another pop-up with some additional settings — one of which is called ‘_____’.  This setting has two options:

  • Street takes priority

    The Address Print Preview Parameters pop-up.
    The Address Print Preview Parameters pop-up.
  • PO Box takes priority

The SAP default takes the PO Box as priority but can be changed on a per-partner basis or on a document-by-document basis.

SAP-PO-ADDR-009
The two options controlling which set of address fields takes precedence.

All-in-all, this isn’t an earth-shattering reveal.  I just think it’s remarkable how broad SAP is and how much logic there is built in — even into something so seemingly insignificant.

8 thoughts on “SAP: PO Box Addresses

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  1. Can you explain what you mean by the setting can be changed ‘per partner’ basis. My customer wants the default to always be ‘default to street address’ across the system or specifically on customer, not Vendor necessarily.

    1. Hi, Randy. Thanks for the comment. If I recall correctly, that PO Box indicator can be set on individual orders *OR* the customer/vendor master directly. Setting the indicator on the Customer/Vendor master record SHOULD adopt the value into subsequent Sales Orders and Purchase Orders. I don’t recall having tested this, so it’s just a theory. But I believe that is what I meant when I stated the setting can be change on a ‘per partner’ basis. I am not aware of any way to change this setting globally and I’m not sure if this field is accessibly via a MASS change. I could see an LSMW recording being capable of changing this value for a group of customers, though. Please let me know what you find out.

    2. I found some time to test this functionality and I must change course on my original statement. Please see the update I made to the post. The parameters that are visible in the ‘Print Preview’ pop-up are ONLY used in the print preview function. Further, the print program is responsible for deciding which address takes precedence. If multiple partner or address records cannot fulfill your client’s requirement, then perhaps creating a custom parameter on the individual customer master could work. Sorry for the confusion.

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