Modern businesses with on-hand inventory must prioritize prompt and efficient fulfillment to ensure customer satisfaction. From an operational point of view, a warehouse management system (WMS) is critical for inventory control and visibility, optimum utilization of assets and space, enhanced supply chain productivity, and better customer service.
WMS is indispensable for improved speed, accuracy, and throughput, and a productive and modernized warehouse must adapt fast to shifting market situations.
SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) is the latest warehouse management solution, designed specifically to align with the complex needs of any business. SAP EWM primarily focuses on providing physical services to control warehouse operations, logistics, and relevant workforce management with utmost efficiency.
Why is SAP EWM a necessity?
SAP extended warehouse management is an advanced warehouse management solution designed to meet the evolving and complex needs of the supply chain process. Support for the existing model of SAP warehouse management (SAP WM) will end by 2025. Therefore companies are upgrading from SAP Warehouse Management (WM) to SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) as a part of their intelligent migration module.
SAP EWM offers more functionality in advanced, efficient, and convenient functionality. It covers warehouse operations, including storage, aggregation, layout, RF framework, and configurable alternatives. Additionally, SAP EWM allows for the creation of new aspects, such as activity areas, resources, labor management, and work centers. Traditional warehouse management lacks these attributes.
SAP EWM features
SAP EWM offers meticulous support for all warehouse procedures, simple or complicated. With the flexibility and automation of SAP extended warehouse management, a business can manage inventory storage and movement swiftly and effectively.
The key features of SAP extended warehouse management are discussed in detail below:
SAP EWM process flow
The SAP EWM process flow primarily includes a series of activities like picking, packing, receiving materials from external vendors into the warehouse, receiving finished goods, and more. The entire warehouse process flow is divided into different categories, defining the movement of goods at specific points in the warehouse.
Some of the essential process categories include:
- Internal Movement
- In stock
- Cross process
- Goods receipt posting
- Stock Removal
- Goods issue posting
- Physical inventory
- Cross Line putaway
As a part of the selling and receiving process in SAP EWMt, inbound flow primarily deals with shipping and receiving goods before storage. The inbound process starts with the purchase requisition detected in the ERP system to create a purchase order.
The components of a purchase order include the store location/location of the manufacturer and the order quantity. Following are the steps to follow while handling the purchase order:
Step 1 – Send the purchase order to the concerned supplier/manufacturer for delivery and post a delivery receipt once the goods are delivered.
Step 2 – Establish the goods’ arrival date based on the supplier’s purchase order request.
When a warehouse creates a purchase order, SAP EWM creates a ‘CTRL’ pipeline to enable supplier notification. Once the CTRL key is set, the ERP system automatically generates an inbound delivery based on the purchase order. An inbound delivery features relevant information about the tentative date of goods delivery, the number of goods, and the location of the supplier/manufacturer.
The inbound flow includes the following processes in the SAP extended warehouse management system:
- Receipt of goods and optimization
- Transportation and unit inspection
- Quality control and inspection
- Sending the received goods to designated warehouse spaces
Any changes in the inbound flow are quickly reverted in the warehouse ERP system. The SAP extended warehouse management ERP system constantly traces the process flow and updates relevant information until the supply chain process has been fulfilled.
Storage and operations
Also termed ‘Storage Operations,’ this process flow stage determines and monitors the movement of goods along the supply chain inside a warehouse. Retention and operation include specific process categories like maintaining serial numbers, physical inventory stock process, providing VAS (value-added services), and others until the outbound delivery request is issued in the ERP system.
- Maintaining serial numbers – Serial numbers are specifically allotted to easily track the product location inside the warehouse facility. Additionally, serial numbers can be used to churn out supplier and receiver details in case of discrepancies.
- Processing stock – Maintaining the steady flow of goods in the warehouse ERM system and various supply chain unit operations like shipping and receiving, physical inventory, master data, and labor management.
- Value-added services – These include services such as packing, labeling, and assembling performed in warehouses. SAP EWM uses value-added services to inform warehouse employees about the work needed to be done as a part of packing and delivery specifications.
Alternatively known as the Picking process, the SAP EWM outbound flow starts with defining store bin types in an SAP warehouse. An outbound delivery request (ODR) allows the ERP system to start the direct goods issue process for relevant items in extended warehouse management.
The specific types of outbound delivery are:
- Sales order – A customer sales order can create an outbound delivery process to carry out specific tasks like picking items from the warehouse bin, quality inspection, packing, and resolving the goods issue before final shipment.
- Returns order – A return order is generated within the ERP system when the product delivered does not satisfy the customer’s expectations.
- Product transport order – Upon receiving the receipt, the product transport order is used to move the goods within the supply chain. The outbound flow is created at the supplier’s end until the final delivery of the products.
Essential documents required in outbound flow:
- Outbound Delivery Order
- Warehouse Task Order
- Warehouse Order
SAP EWM Benefits
SAP extended warehouse management offers complete visibility and control across the warehouse. Notable benefits of SAP EWM include:
- SAP EWM allows improved runtime and resource planning, assisting the business in managing its warehouse efficiently through critical resource management duties.
- Following SAP Environmental Health and Safety Regulations, SAP EWM addresses the handling, processing, and transporting of hazardous products.
- SAP EWM allows for the visual aspect of key warehouse numbers and the assessment or follow-up of operations based on predefined lines.
- SAP EWM can de-consolidate processing units that include diverse objects until stored in distinct locations.
- SAP EWM automatically optimizes the product storage configuration in the warehouse by evaluating warehouse concepts through placement.
- SAP cross-docking allows transport units to be moved from several distribution centers or warehouses before arriving at their final destination.
For more than 40 years, SAP has offered several new platforms and applications for various enterprises, including installation and operations. Companies can better control their inventories with SAP EWM to ensure efficient resource utilization. SAP EWM enables businesses to combine accounting and financial elements, assisting planners in making the best choices and lowering overall expenses.