SAP Extended Warehouse Management

Worker with tablet computer in warehouse
Getty Images/Cultura RM Exclusive/Antonio Saba

SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) is a component of the SAP Supply Chain Management (SCM) business suite. The EWM function is not a part of the SAP ERP application, which contains standard warehouse management (SAP WM). SAP has announced that although they will continue to support SAP WM, they will not be enhancing the product, and all new warehouse functionality will be included in the EWM component.

The SAP EWM function gives the user a flexible, automated support for processing goods movements and for managing stocks in the warehouse.

Mapping the Warehouse

Before implementing the EWM function, it is best to define the physical structure of the warehouse complex. It is possible to define the individual warehouse areas, such as bulk storage or ​racking, as storage types within the warehouse complex. For each of the storage types it is possible to define the bin locations that can be found in that area. The stock resides in the bin location and the items move in the warehouse from bin location to bin location. It is possible to logically group together a number of storage bins into an activity area, so they can be concatenated for stock placement.

Monitoring in the Warehouse

It is possible to monitor activities in the warehouse using the Warehouse Management Monitor. It allows warehouse managers to monitor storage bins, handling units stored in the warehouse, maintain resources, assign warehouse tasks, process wave picking, and maintain warehouse orders.

Delivery Processing

The delivery process with the EWM function is two part; outbound deliveries and inbound deliveries. Outbound deliveries cover all shipping activities such as picking, packing, transportation and goods issue. The outbound delivery process also includes route determination, picking bin determination, and the loading of materials from the warehouse to the trailer.

Inbound deliveries covers the notification, the delivery, the putaway and the goods receipt posting of the ordered goods. It also includes the receipt of the advance ship notice from the vendor, determination of the putaway storage bin, slotting, deconsolidation, and returns.

There are a number of documents that are associated with deliveries such as the inbound delivery notification from the vendor. This document will contain all the relevant logistics data in the inbound delivery. An inbound delivery will be created automatically from the inbound delivery notification. The inbound delivery document contains the data required for triggering and monitoring the complete inbound delivery process. This process starts on receipt of the items in the yard and finishes on transfer of the goods at the final putaway.

The outbound delivery request is a document used for the creation of an outbound delivery. It automatically generates an outbound delivery document when the request is created. The outbound delivery document can cover a number of outbound deliveries and covers a number of activities such as picking, loading, and posting the goods movement.

Slotting

Slotting is the activity of determining the most appropriate storage bin for each item in the warehouse.

This can mean that you are placing items in the warehouse so that travel distance for forklifts is reduced to a minimum, and this will increase the number of picks per hour. Slotting can also mean condensing the material into a smaller number of storage bins and therefore this can reduce the overall needs for warehouse space. In SAP EWM the slotting is determined by the system using master data parameters that are relevant for putaway.

Kitting

Kitting is the process where items are picked from the warehouse and placed or packaged together to make a kit. Kitting can be performed in sequential, batch or zone manner. The sequential kitting process involves warehouse staff picking the parts to make up the kit, but is poor utilization of time and resources. Batch kitting has the warehouse staff picking parts for the kit, so that many kits can be made up at one time.

Zone kitting has the warehouse employee in a specific zone of the warehouse. They will then pick the parts for a kit that are stored in the zone they are located. The kits are completed when all the kit parts from all the zones have been collected.