To all those who are familiar with the traditional SAP Warehouse Management Solution, you must be wondering why SAP came up with the new Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) solution as a completely new product instead of adding more functionality into existing WM solution? Is it just for getting more licensing revenue or if there is more to it?
To understand it better, we need to go back 15 years, when SAP WM was a standard solution implemented by thousands of SAP customers. Since the beginning, there always was a need from customers to add more functionality in SAP WM solution. SAP was focusing on delivering new functionalities after release 4.7 as part of WM extension sets. Some of the key functions added as part of these extension sets were Yard Management, Cross docking, Dynamic Cycle Counting, SAP Value Added services, etc. to name a few.
As part of evolving supply chains, Warehouses and Distribution centers started playing a significant role in supply chain networks. Warehousing systems needed more than just optimal storage and picking of materials. Warehousing systems needed to be more integrated with overall supply chains. They needed to provide additional value added services such as packaging, kitting, dynamic routing, slotting, opportunistic cross docking, Labor management, etc. to name a few. Warehousing systems needed to promptly respond to supply chain exceptions.
This required out of box thinking and required totally new system architecture. That was one reason, I believe, SAP came up with a new product, SAP EWM – Extended Warehouse Management.
EWM was developed from the ground up as a new Warehouse Management System option for SAP customers delivering enhanced functionality over ERP WM for more complex distribution processes needed as part of integrated supply chain networks.
Following graphic from SAP gives a good overview of EWM capabilities by each version. It clearly shows how fast SAP is innovating EWM to become a market leader.
SCM EWM offers significant functionality above and beyond ERP WM, offering functional parity with Best of Breed WMS solutions
- Multistep Inbound process such as unloading, receiving, deconsolidation, packing and storage trips
- Multistep Outbound process such as wave management, Pick trip building, picking, packing, staging, loading and shipping
- Labor Management including creation of labor standards and planned and actual workload comparison
- Slotting to identify optimal storage spot for fast moving and slow moving materials and rearrangement of materials based on slotting results
- Integration with Material Flow Systems such as conveyers and ASRS
- RF framework which is flexible and easy to configure and customizable as per customer requirements
- Integrated Quality Inspection Engine
- Resource Management to get better traceability and monitoring of warehouse operations
- Cross-Docking to enable better service fill for back order parts by minimizing normal putaway and picking process steps
- Value Added Services to enable value added operations in warehouse such as packaging and Kitting
- Yard Management to have better traceability and scheduling of transportation units in yard.
EWM is tightly integrated with ECC to always have real time integration of all goods movement carried out in warehouse. It is integrated with planning systems such as SAP APO to utilize real time planning data in slotting, Priority point calculations to prioritize inbound processing of back order parts and push deployment across other distribution centers.
As EWM provides significant functionality with lot of flexibility, there is a risk that it could become overwhelming for warehouse operators. It is important to keep standard processes simple for warehouse operators and keep all complexities out of their way to more advanced users or warehouse supervisors.
Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to learn more about implementation and optimization of your SAP EWM Solution. Genius Business Solutions is an ERP Consulting firm headquarted at Moline -Quad Cities, Illinois with clients based throughout the United States and India. With over 12 years of industry experience and multiple EWM implementation and optimization projects, our certified industry experts can help you unlock the best performance within your WMS solution. With software expertise and business knowledge we can help run your business efficiently by optimizing your ERP system and re engineering your business processes to achieve unprecedented business results.