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Thoughts and Views : De-centralized Warehouse Management

Sometime back I worked in an assignment which involved Decentralised Warehouse Management (DWMS)  . That was  the first time I worked in decentralised warehouse management scenario and I thought it will be nice to pen down my experience  and personal perspective on DWMS.

My first goal was to understand the business cases which made the project team choose Decentralised Warehouse management over Centralised warehouse management concept. On exploration , I came to the conclusion that there are two main reasons which influenced to take the decision for DWMS  viz. continuous delivery from the warehouses demand max availability  and bare minimum downtime of the warehouse management solution, and quick system response time.  The other points which favours DWMS is it’s ability to work with Multiple ERP SAP/Non SAP systems .This makes it feasible to use the same server/application as warehouse management  solution across organization irrespective of the Inventory Management/manufacturing execution system implemented in different sites.

The above mentioned flexibility with DWS system comes with some constraint like distributed delivery cannot be deleted directly in ECC system , once the delivery is post goods issued (PGI) from DWS system then it cannot be reversed or cancelled etc.  Even if stock inconsistency exists  between the IM and WM level due to any reason ,  as long as stock is available in WM level PGI can be done successfully from DWMS system and the delivery PGI confirmation Idoc  to reconcile the stock in IM level will fail with stock deficit error. This further jeopardizes the stock accounting within the supply chain and complicates the entire  stock tracebality.

I believe DWMS offers tremendous flexibility and is the right strategy solution for business where high delivery volume demands  round the clock availability of WMS system with fast system response time .But I feel  it is more appropriate for matured business users who have worked on centralised warehouse management systems before and understand  the concept of stock at Inventory and wareshouse management level .

It was the first time I worked in DWMS landscape and the thoughts shared above are purely my personal views based on the understanding developed during the assignment .

I invite all readers to share your views, pros/cons of DWMS and suggest the scenarios where DWMS  is most recommended .

Disclaimer : The views mentioned are my own and  does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer.

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  • Good day,

    I wrote a reply on DWM some months ago and it sums up my thoughts on it, I made some minor edits and pasted it below. I just thought you might be interested to see another point of view, I do agree with all the points you mention.

    “If you only have one or two plants running SAP I would not personally recommend DWM. In my opinion the negatives out weight the positives unless you have many sites.

    DWM positives:From a security perspective DWM is great because you can strictly limit the updates that you allow posted in your main ERP system through rules in your interface, only starting the interface services for select IDOC types for select updates and there is the added benefit of having WM in a separate system in case your main system goes down, you can still do most warehouse processes independently (although all posting updates in the main system would be delayed until your main system comes back up).

    DWM negatives: all communication between systems is done VIA IDOC – (IDOCs for everything) Interfaces can be prone to failure and delays….simply put why add additional points of possible system failure when they would not be required without DWM.

    So my experience is that SAP-WM operates quite effectively and DWM can be problematic if you see interface errors (not to mention the added man hours spent monitoring the interface because you need to make sure your updates are flowing between systems). For me, it really comes down to resource consumption on your main system, if its to great you need DWM if not I would stay away.

    Don’t get me wrong, SAP is excellent centralized warehouse management or decentralized, , my comments should be considered generic for any interfaced system.”

    Kind regards,


    • Agree with your observation Jacob. I recommend to customer to stay away from DWM based architecture unless there is strong business case . I think with EWM taking up the lead position slowly DWM will be phased out in near future.

      Disclaimer : The views mentioned are my own and  does not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my employer.