Most companies these days have some kind of product or service for their customers. Manufacturing goods and products require a lot of manpower. Apart from that, a lot of logistical operations are associated with it. Plus, the warehouse where these goods are stored has also evolved from being simple storage spaces. They are now high-end distribution centres where many logistical operations take place.
Thus, companies focus a lot on warehouse management. This is important for optimizing and controlling the different warehouse functions. These include tracking inventory of goods, managing new stock, and handling shipping orders. So, companies need powerful software for warehouse management.
This is where SAP EWM makes its way. It is a part of the SAP Supply Chain Management package. But the software is also available outside the SCM package and consists of apps for warehouse management. In this article, we will dive into the details of SAP EWM.
SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management) is a part of SAP SCM which provide end-to-end support for supply chain processes. It offers all the required functionalities and processes for managing a warehouse efficiently.
It is one of the leading software solutions in this field and is used worldwide in small and large scale corporations. Using this tool, managing high-volume warehouse operations and complex supply chain logistics becomes easier.
Companies can directly control warehouse equipment using this software. This also supports inbound/ outbound processes and monitor goods. Moreover, this is a very convenient solution that can be deployed on-premise and on the cloud. It also supports warehouse functions such as picking, posting, and managing the storage bin.
This robust solution has helped companies to enhance their supply chain and logistics operations.
SAP EWM was initially launched as a successor to the Logistics Execution Warehouse Management platform. This consisted of added benefits of labour-management and material flow system. In 2008, the SAP EWM 5.1 was launched with a material flow calculator. Then in 2009, the 7.0 version was released which had Merchandise Distribution Cross Docking, which helped to reduce the gap between production supply.
A major step was taken in 2013. SAP combined the Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), Transportation Management (TM), and Event Management (EM) in version 9.0 of SAP EWM. This helped companies to empower their supply chain and logistics operations. In 2016, SAP included the EWM functionality into the SAP S/4HANA suite.
Then in November 2017, the 9.5 version was released. Here, SAP included the functions of labour-management, SAP Global Batch Traceability (GBT), and enhancements of e-commerce and retail management.
The Embedded EWM was launched in SAP S/4HANA 1610. This allowed users to utilize the processing power of SAP HANA, thus reducing the total cost of ownership. This was also better than using a decentralized EWM. The special EWM functionality is available to anyone having the SAP HANA license.
The Embedded EWM is great for small and medium-sized companies. If anyone requires additional features, they can purchase a different license. Nevertheless, all users will enjoy the benefits of a reduction in ownership costs and ease of deployment. This is because while using Embedded EWM users have to manage a single system instead of multiple systems for managing their operations.
1) Inbound Processing
It offers features such as inbound quality management, goods receipt management, transportation unit processing, and internal routing.
2) Storage and Operations
SAP EWM offers facilities including managing the company’s physical inventory, rearrangement, replenishment, stock management, slotting, and Kit-to-stock management.
3) Outbound Processing
This includes goods issues, pallet planning, wave management, packing, staging, picking optimization, and load management.
Other important capabilities of SAP EWM include –
The main benefits of SAP EWM are –
SAP EWM can manage a wide variety of tasks such as tracking goods remotely, controlling equipment, and integrating warehouse processes. Thus, companies no longer require many software solutions to handle these tasks, which reduces the overall costs.
SAP EWM offers you complete transparency over your business. This is because all the warehouse processes, labor, and stock are visible to employees who can access the software.
SAP EWM makes handling storage and retrieval processes simpler. It allows companies to manage inventory and streamline the movement of goods. It enhances the movement of goods by integrating production management and warehouse management.
As SAP EWM saves all business data to the cloud, it can be accessed by various officials remotely. Plus, the software automates supply chain processes, decreases cycle times, and standardizes various procedures. All this helps companies make better decisions that are data-driven. This also makes business operations more accurate.
The software offers a role-specific interface that enables employees to plan shipping activities, implement adjustments, and tracking supply chain activities.
You can consider that SAP EWM is deployed on an ERP server. Or, it can be considered as an app for Supply Chain Management. SAP EWM is integrated with the ERP systems. This is done to access master data and transaction information. It also offers availability check, slotting and but this needs CRM integration.
SAP EWM can be considered as an individual application. It shares the same server with supply chain management applications. You can also run the software in its own SCM environment.
The deployment options for SAP EWM are shown below –
Figure 1: SAP EWM on SCM Server.
Figure 2: SAP EWM as Standalone.
Communication methods are established to let master and transaction data between SAP ERP and SAP EWM. This is done via queued remote function calls and the Core Interface. This transaction data may include production material requests, inbound and outbound deliveries.
CIF stands for Core Interface which is a data transfer interface between an SCM system and an ERP system. This lets data be exchanged between ERP systems such as SAP R/3 or SAP R/3 Enterprise to any connected SCM platform.
qRFC stands for queued Remote Function Call. This is a technique used for establishing communication between an ERP system and an SCM system. The qRFC technique is used for transferring data modifications and initial data transfer. It can be executed with an inbound queue or an outbound queue.
If the system you are using is SAP Advanced Planning and Optimization (SAP APO), you can use qRFC for publishing the planning results from SAP APO to the ERP system.
The differences between SAP EWM and SAP WM are –
|SAP WM||SAP EWM|
|The warehouse structure is based on storage sections, storage bins, and storage types.||The same structures are used here for the basic warehouse structure. Here, the storage section may be of 4 characters, and bin numbers may be up to 18 characters.|
|This software is not as flexible.||This is more flexible when it comes to warehouse design and processes.|
|This software is focused on managing the tasks in the warehouse such as changing stock and moving stocks from one location to another.||As this is a part of SCM, it focuses more on the logistics of a company.|
|Complex inbound processing is not supported.||Complex inbound processing is supported using process-oriented storage control.|
There are 2 certifications for SAP EWM –
Candidates having the certification of SAP EWM and working experience of the software can opt for the position of Extended Warehouse manager. Most companies will prefer candidates who have performed at least one E2E implementation. Furthermore, candidates knowing SAP basics and warehouse management will also be preferred.
The salary of an SAP EWM consultant ranges from ₹716K to ₹1,390K per year. Thus, this will be a lucrative career option.
SAP EWM platform has become a boon for companies who want to improve their warehouse management strategies. This software also offers technologies such as interleaving tasks, so that they can make the most out of their equipment and human resources. Therefore, if you are a company owner or an employee and looking to streamline your warehouse operations, SAP EWM is the answer.