SAP EWM Tutorial

The SAP WM era has come to an end. So, this is the time to upgrade from WM to SAP EWM. SAP EWM is a new functionality of SAP for managing the inventory. While SAP EWM is not necessary for every organization, every logistics consultant or practitioner must be familiar with this module. Let us go through the topics related to SAP EWM in this tutorial. So let's get started!

SAP EWM Tutorial - Table of content

What is SAP EWM?

SAP EWM stands for SAP Extended Warehouse Management. It is used for managing the warehouse inventory and supporting the inventory movement processing. It enables the company to control its incoming and outgoing processes of the Warehouse as well as the movements of the goods in the Warehouse. Some of the important processes in the Warehouse are incoming and outgoing materials, fulfilling customer orders, goods receipt and goods issue and distribution of goods. If a company is not storing any goods, then warehouse management is not required. The inbound process includes the storage of the goods at the Warehouse and at their location, while the outbound process includes the pickup of goods. The materials are stored in the storage bin at the Warehouse, and we can find out its present location.

A warehouse management system controls the movements of goods using SAP EWM. SAP EWM makes it possible to effectively monitor the quality of the goods, managing the critical functions and the goods delivery. It also offers the tools for monitoring the warehouse activities. Additional functions of the Warehouse like creating a batch number, serial number, vendor management inventory, value-added services and resource optimization can also be managed. SAP warehouse management is completely different from Inventory management. Inventory management deals with the number of goods at the storage location, and the physical location is not known, while the warehouse management is focused on the movement of goods, monitoring the physical location of goods that is recorded with particular documents. 

How is SAP EWM different from SAP WM?

Warehouse management offers robust and enhanced features for managing the main activities of the Warehouse. SAP EWM is the same as Warehouse management. It offers features like picking, RF framework, put away, warehouse structure and many other flexible options for managing the warehouse functions. New elements like resources, activity areas, work centres, labour management that are not available in WM can be created in SAP EWM. 

SAP EWM offers a robust solution to an organization for managing warehouse functions. It also supports all the processes of the supply chain and logistics. 

Features of SAP EWM:

Some of the important features of SAP EW are:

  • The warehouse activities like picking, posting of goods, managing the storage bin, and receiving the goods can be managed by SAP EWM.
  • It helps in setting an alert for the modified data prior to receiving the goods from the EWM to the ERP system, reversing or correcting the receipt of goods from the EWM to the ERP system and an inbound delivery division from the EWM to ERP system.
  • Handling units that contain various products can be deconsolidated before being stored in various storage sections.
  • Storage concepts can be determined using slotting for products and automatically optimizing the arrangement of goods warehouses. 
  • It enables us to perform executable tasks like work packages, including the tasks related to the Warehouse that must be performed by the employees of the Warehouse as part of the warehouse activities. 
  • It helps us in managing and tracking vehicles and other transportation units from yard check-in to the yard check-out along with the movements and the other tasks in the yard. 
  • SAP EWM also covers the storage and handling of dangerous substances and their transport according to SAP Environmental Health & Safety EHS regulations.
  • In SAP EWM, labour times and resources can be planned very effectively, and this allows us to make our Warehouse effective by effectively managing key resource management tasks.
  • Warehouse cockpit can be used in SAP EWM for displaying warehouse key figures graphically and for evaluating or monitoring the activities through defined chart types.
  • Cross-docking is used for performing transportation of handling units through various distribution centres or warehouses until they reach the final location within the Warehouse.

SAP EWM Architecture:

SAP EWM is regarded as a standalone application which may be used in any of the warehousing environments. The primary functions of EWM are managing the inventory at the storage bin level, determining the storage bin for the incoming and outgoing goods and packing the products when shipping them to the customers. SAP EWM has two versions. One of them has a decentralized structure; it comes in a different box and needs an interface like Core Interface CIF for exchanging master data between the EWM and the ERP. However, with S/4 HANA, ECC and EWM are embedded into a single system, and there is no requirement of CIF.

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EWM Organization Structure:

For activating the warehouse management in the ERP system, the plant and the storage location of that plant must be linked with the appropriate warehouse number that will be then assigned to the EWM warehouse number. Following are the structural elements of the EWM warehouse that must be set up in the EWM system.

Storage type: The storage type is the other division in the SAP EWM. It refers to the storage space or facility, space required, technical characteristics in the Warehouse. A particular role should be configured for the storage type according to its usage. Following are the various roles of the storage type:

  • Standard storage type: It is the warehouse area in which the products are stored. 
  • Identification Point: It is an intermediate area in which the products are labelled placed temporarily placed for a particular purpose.
  • Pick Point: It is the point in the Warehouse from where the packing and picking activities are performed.
  • Identification and Pick point: It is the point that is used as both the pick point as well as the Identification point. 
  • Staging Area group: A number of staging areas are grouped as staging area groups.
  • Work centre: It is a place in which special processes such as quality, counting, deconsolidation, etc., are carried out.
  • Door: It is a place where the truck comes to load or unload.

Storage section: The storage type is then broken down into storage sections according to its properties. It is also combined with multiple bins with similar attributes such as light, heavy, slow, fast, etc. The storage section in EWM can be used optionally.

Storage bins: It is the smallest addressable unit of space in the Warehouse, and it depicts the accurate location within the Warehouse where a product may be stored. It's unique as far as the Warehouse is concerned. Every storage bin has a type of bin related to its properties.

Quant: It is the presence or stock of a particular product with similar characteristics in the resource, storage bin, and transport unit. The different batches within a product are the different quants. Quants may be created or removed only by the system by the movements.

Activity area: Warehouse activities, such as picking, putaway and physical inventory, are carried out at activity areas. The activity area is composed of one or more storage bins assigned. According to the activity, the same storage bin may be allocated to more than one activity area. For every activity, the allocated bins are sorted by the activity sector. This makes it possible to optimize the sequence of warehouse tasks depending on the storage bins assignment to an activity area.

Staging Areas: Prior to loading or After unloading, material may be stored in the interim storage referred to as staging area. A staging area specifies a storage section of the storage type under the role "D". You need to set up the activity that is carried out in the staging area, which is, define if it is incoming or outgoing or both. We also have the option of assigning a loading rule. Within the storage section, we may have one or more bins which are also referred to as staging bays for this type of storage.

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Door: A warehouse door may be used on incoming and outgoing shipments. The door where the shipment originated is updated within the delivery. Vehicles and transport units make their way to the doors of the Warehouse, where they load or unload goods. The door may be used as a yard bin or staging area. 

Work centre: The Work Centre is a physical unit at a warehouse with the following activities: Packing, quality inspection, counting, VAS, Deconsolidation, etc. Every work centre will be assigned to the storage type, storage bin and warehouse number.

Supply chain unit: A physical or an organizational unit used in the logistical process for a particular business attribute such as a shipping office or goods receipt office.

Custodian: Every warehouse number must also be assigned to a business partner acting on behalf of the custodian. Custodians are those who store, manage or process inventory for another business partner without title transfer. The custodian retains only the actual possession of the stock, while the owner retains legal possession.

Availability group: The EWM system will use the availability group to identify the types of stock and where the ERP system is stored. We may have various types of stock in EWM for a storage place in ERP. The EWM identifies the ERP storage location for the availability group. However, the combination must be unique for each Warehouse.

Warehouse Process Type: The activity or the movement of every process like goods receipt, posting Change, issuing goods in the Warehouse are controlled by the Warehouse process type. A warehouse process type is assigned to each warehouse task document and has different impacts on creating warehouse tasks. 

SAP EWM Architecture Documents:

Inbound delivery notification: The Supplier's Shipping Notification is stored in the Inbound Delivery Notification (IDN). It contains all logistics data related to the incoming delivery process and is automatically created with an incoming message and was used as the reference document for creating Inbound Delivery.

Inbound delivery (Warehouse Request): It comprises all the data needed to trigger and monitor the full inbound delivery process automatically created after the activation of the Inbound Delivery Notification. 

Outbound Delivery Request: It comprises all logistic data relevant to the outbound delivery process and is automatically created by the incoming messages and acts as a reference document for the creation of an outbound delivery order.

Outbound delivery order (warehouse request): It comprises all the necessary data to trigger and track the entire outbound delivery process and is automatically created after the activation of the outbound delivery request.

Posting Change: It is a document with all the data needed to complete the EWM posting change process. It triggers in the EWM subsequent to the transfer posting document posted in the ERP.

Warehouse Request: It is a document which allows warehouse operations to be processed for a particular product that includes Putaway, Picking, Stock Transfer, Posting Change, scrapping. Following are the type of warehouse requests created by the system: Posting Change, outbound delivery, inbound delivery, internal stock transfer.

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Warehouse Task: It is a document used to carry out movements of goods which are physical or logical, that includes picking, packaging, putaway, display change, etc. A warehouse task includes all the required information about a planned movement of goods: what needs to be moved, how much needs to be moved, from where it must be moved to where. Warehousing tasks are required for Picking, Internal movements, Putaway, Posting changes, Goods issue postings and Goods receipt postings. 

Warehouse orders: It is a document which indicates a set of executable tasks that a warehouse employee must complete at a given time. A warehouse order is made up of warehouse tasks. Combining warehouse tasks to warehouse orders is controlled by rules for creating warehouse orders.

Basic Warehousing Processes in the SAP EWM architecture: 

Outbound goods issue process: The Process begins with the creation of sales orders and the outbound delivery in ERP that creates outbound delivery order documents in EWM with PPf action. This document comprises other data relevant to the EWM that is determined by the service profiles associated with the outbound delivery document type and the delivery category. It is the warehouse requisition document for the process of issuing EWM goods. From the outbound delivery order, warehouse tasks are created for controlling the picking and other related processes like packing, loading and staging. 

Inbound goods receipt process: Inbound process starts by creating the inbound delivery from ASN or purchase order in SAP ERP. The system defines the SAP EWM architecture for particular parameters, like the type of warehouse process, and creates the ID within EWM through a post-processing framework. Goods will be placed in the storage bin or storage type by the creation of warehouse tasks through inbound delivery in the EWM.

Conclusion: 

In this tutorial, we have learned about SAP EWM, how SAP EWM is different from WM, features of SAP EWM, EWM's Architecture, etc. We hope you found this information helpful. If you are in search of any other topics related to SAP, do not forget to comment on them in the comment section. We will get back to you with that topic.

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Kavya Gowda
Kavya Gowda
Research Analyst
Kavya works for HKR Trainings institute as a technical writer with diverse experience in many kinds of technology-related content development. She holds a graduate education in the Computer science and Engineering stream. She has cultivated strong technical skills from reading tech blogs and also doing a lot of research related to content. She manages to write great content in many fields like Programming & Frameworks, Enterprise Integration, Web Development, SAP, and Business Process Management (BPM). Connect her on LinkedIn and Twitter.