SAP materials - Units of measure

My compnay is currently undergoing a SAP implementation and i am assisting with data migration from the legacy system.
We have a consultant who is advising on how to map our old data to SAP but I would like a second oppinion on the following:

We are a manufacturing engineering company and do a lot of work with sheet metal and other such raw materials.
Clearly these need re-creating in SAP with a base unit of measure. (and associated quantities on the bom's)

The consultant says that the base unit of measure should always be in the smallest unit that could be used
thus in the case of sheet material mm squared would seem like the answer.

We as an engineering company work to SI standards and so would like to deal in metres squared but
apparently sap can only handle 3 decimal places of precision
- equally it seems that we cant use mm squared because it will not allow BOM quantities large enough to handle
the square area of a large sheet if reffered to in mm squared.

He has suggested cm squared as the base unit of meausure but this seems like a very strange solution to what must be a
problem faced by many manufacturing companies.

An example part would be a 410mm x 360mm x 6mm thick sheet of steel.
If the consultant is correct then we couldnt do the obvious .410m x.360m = quantity of 0.1476
becuase would lose the last decimal place of precision

Could someone please offer a second oppinion on the matter
Who is Participating?
antonbijlConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I agree that cm2 isn't a very elegant solution, but it probably will work. However, it seems illogical and your users will have a lot of difficulty adapting to it. I haven't worked with this for a while, so you may need to confirm my technical "guesswork" but I would suggest one of the following alternatives:

BUOM = mm
You don't HAVE to store your BOM in the BUOM do you? (actually not sure about this, does SAP insist on converting it back to BUOM in the BOM table???). So for the large numbers that you need to store in the BOM use an alternative unit (such as m2), provided my assumption is ok.

BUOM = m
You could loose precision, but once again, isn't it possible to simply use and alternative UOM on any transactions where that level of precision is typically required. And secondly, how important is that precision, I guess fairly important otherwise we wouldn't be having this discussion, but maybe the business reason should for that level of precision should be interrogated...
jonvaughanConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes the normal data elements that are assiciated with Quantitys (LFIMG)  have 3 decimals.

The idea of using CM2 would seem to solve the problem - allowing you to hold both the large qty and still have the precison that you need.

as for the rule of using the smalles possible unit as the base unit - this may be a rule of thumb but it is not a hard and fast rule.
For example we make Chemicals and they can be packaged in 250cc 500cc or 5 litre packs but the base unit is in Litres.

Personally I can't see an alternative solution that wouldn't end up being way too much trouble.

sdom100Author Commented:
Thanks - this is raising some interesting avenues.
Unfortunately my SAP knowlege is miniscule and so i would like to request
that anyone who can help answer these questions and thus guide us to
a final solution adds their thoughts.
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