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In this series we talk about business and technical aspects of several use cases that are relevant for the SAP S/4HANA 1610 release. In the last week we talked about Procurement and this week we will focus on Warehouse Management.Today’s warehouses are subjected to pressures from an increased number of smaller orders via a growing number of sales channels. It’s no surprise that our customers in logistics are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of their warehouses, which can number in the hundreds and be distributed all over the globe.

The common challenges customers have with Warehouse Management are:

  • Rapidly increasing numbers of smaller orders coming from a growing number of sales channels

  • The need to improve customer order synchronization and to seamlessly support customer order requests

  • The necessity to create and manage more “mini-warehouse zones” due to much smaller e-commerce orders and the continuing growth of SKUs

The new realities of e-commerce and evolving customer ordering practices will necessitate changes in the way companies organize and operate their warehouses. Inventory accuracy, inventory location, utilization of space and optimization of picking are all factors to consider when addressing the need to improve customer order synchronization and seamlessly support customer order requests.

SAP S/4HANA 1610 SAP offers two Warehouse Management Systems

SAP EWM supports warehouse managers with more flexibility in building objects like warehouse structure, picking, put away, handling unit, and more.

SAP EWM for SAP S/4HANA 1610 has additional features in place to enable companies to execute goods issue activities and goods receipt activities in their warehouses, as well as flexibly plan and coordinate these activities.

For instance, the Inbound Processing feature provides all the process steps for the physical acceptance and putaway of goods. This includes multi-step putaway tasks, including unloading, counting and deconsolidation. Inbound processing also optimizes the warehouse capacity and material flow by using putaway strategies that automatically determine suitable storage bins for the new products.

Quality Management allows companies to check whether delivered products or packaging satisfy their quality criteria as part of the inbound process. In this way, companies can improve the quality of the products and better monitor product quality.

The Outbound Processing feature contains all process steps for the physical removal of goods from stock, including packing the goods according to the requirements of customers, prior to the outbound delivery.

Internal Warehouse Movements uses RF transactions to control the internal movements of products in the company’s warehouse efficiently

The features above are only a subset of the basic warehouse management features available as part of the SAP S/4HANA license. Advanced features require an additional product license.

SAP Fiori Apps for EWM available in the SAP Fiori Lauchpad

SAP EWM for SAP S/4HANA 1610 leverages the SAP Fiori user experience and with that, many different Fiori apps that can be used for roles such as Warehouse Clerk, Warehouse Operative and Warehouse Shift Supervisor.

One app developed for S/4HANA 1610 and targeted for warehouse clerks is Change Inbound Delivery. With this app, warehouse clerks can change inbound deliveries. When a truck arrives with a delivery, the clerk can compare the delivery in the system to the delivery note and easily change the quantities, create handling units, delete delivery items, and enter or create new batches.

New warehouse management app: Change Inbound Delivery

Another app for warehouse clerks is Run Outbound Processes – Deliveries. This app is optimized for small and medium warehouses using outbound process without waves. In an overview screen, the warehouse clerk has all the relevant information for the deliveries planned for one to several days ahead. The clerk can create the tasks to trigger the picking process. Exceptions can be identified and the clerk can navigate to a second screen in the app to resolve issues that arise.

For additional information on available Fiori Apps, please visit the Fiori Apps Reference Library.

Leverage SAP’s EWM centrally in SAP S/4HANA 1610

Because customers’ business and IT requirements are diverse, we’re introducing the full scope of the SAP EWM application in the core of the release of SAP S/4HANA 1610. This is not a replacement of the decentralized EWM, but rather an additional option which will provide customers with flexible deployment options to run all kinds of warehouses within a single SAP solution.

Now you may ask… what is the value of the centralized EWM, versus the current decentralized EWM?

First of all, it’s a full-fledged EWM solution, providing a high level of process and inventory transparency, a precise planning of warehouse steps, as well as efficient distribution and storage.

Additionally, integrated in SAP S/4HANA 1610, EWM gets all the advantage of “one system” like the ability to leverage other SAP S/4HANA 1610 innovations without interface. These include, but are not limited to direct usage of master data and the support of the 40-digit material number.

Of course, this architecture will ensure consistency by avoiding redundant objects. And, direct access to central objects in SAP S/4HANA’s core eliminates the need of the core interface for business partner data, material master data and batch master data.

From the point of view of user experience, Extended WM in SAP S/4HANA 1610 will leverage the new Fiori Theme “Belize”, which will foster the adoption of the product.

And finally, it gives an opportunity to simplify the SAP landscape, and deactivate components. This will directly reduce the TCO of the overall business suite landscape.

Discover the full scope and benefits of SAP S/4HANA 1610

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Link to the series:

IT view on integrated warehouse management with SAP S/4HANA 1610.