Difference Between Vendor Master and Material Master Lists in SAP

Data in SAP R/3 can be categorized into master data and transactional data. Since SAP R/3 works on real-time data, there is a negligible time delay between data entry and data availability. The master data is an area of interest which helps in quickly filling the material requirements according to the SAP vendor list compiled by the company.

The master data types

  1. Material Master Data
  • The epitome of material specific data for the enterprise is provided by the material master data. This information is crucial as it includes details such as the information on the types and quantity of material that can be procured, produced, stored, or sold by the company.
  • Every department in the wide array of departments in a company is considered as an enterprise. All the departments require some specific material to work on. Multiple views of the material master record can be viewed by the user departments.
  • The data screens that create material master data are-

Main Data and Additional Data.

  • Main data

The basic data is encompassed in this part. The basic data includes basic units of measurement, weight, purchasing data (with over tolerance and under tolerance), and accounting data (with the standard price and moving price).

  • Additional data

Additional data has details of additional information such as a short summary of the material and its properties and the currency.

  • Material types- Common attributes of the material are grouped together and they are collectively given a material type. The differentiation between different materials can be made and the company can easily segregate every material according to requirement. For example, raw material and finished products constitute such material types.
  • Material groups- They encompass a wider range of materials and common attributes between materials are detected and assigned a group. For example, while packaging, the materials can be divided into electrical or food products which are assigned the ‘package material’ group.
  • Material master- This contains a summary of all the products which are sold by the company. This is the central data which is available at every level of the company.


  1. Vendor Master Data
  • The vendor specific data to be disseminated throughout the company is found in the vendor master data. The data has a list of vendors from which the company can procure materials and sell products.
  • The vendor’s name and address are stored in this information.
  • The three entities that hold the vendor data include general data, accounting data, and purchasing data.
  • General data-

This information is valid at all levels of the organization and it is the data maintained at the client standard.

  • Accounting data-

The plants that belong to the company have access to the accounting data that is maintained at the company level. Vendors that have similar characteristics are grouped together in the vendor ‘account’ group. Local vendors of a city can be listed and grouped together.

  • Purchasing data-

The purchasing organization level is responsible for distributing purchasing history and data to the required levels. This information is restricted for some levels and this distinction helps in keeping the information in the right hands.

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