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Dear Consultants,

Document on Comparison between SAP IM- WM –Lean WM – DWM – EWM is very useful to Logistics consultants to understand the difference between different applications and which module will cover the requirement.

SAP Inventory Management

Storage location controlled. Stock is stored in is tightly integrated with other ECC modules. We can see all different stocks can be seen.

Physical inventory @ material level.

Inability to handle incoming materials to outbound demand to avoid multiple material handling. No visibility to see actual material locations i.e. bin

Immediate update of inventory during GI or GR -even before material is actually stored @ correct place. Not possible to control operating tasks like resource management or activity monitoring.

Lean WM

if you are not in need of full wm functionality but need of Transfer order functinality solely for GR & GI .. we can go for Lean Wm.

System can store the material in the bin but system not update the stock data of the bin using quants.  In other wards it is scale down version of WM or in other sense scale up version if IM in case o process & functionalities.

Advantages of lean WM- deliveries can be picked with TO as is done in normal warehouse.

Transfer order can be split to distribute the load among various warehouse operators.

We can store the material is bin.

If TO is created subsequent changes to the delivery can be made in pick qty field. this is not possible in normal wm.

Disadvantages of Lean WM

it is possible to store material in fixed bin only and random storage is not possible.

They system does not update the stock in the bin level using quants.

Stock difference is report to IM for processing.

Handling difference is not possible WM level in Lean warehouse.

Confirmation of TO not required in Lean wm. you can create  the TO and use it a pick list in delivery. After picking simply goods issue the delivery.

Warehouse Management

if warehouse is very small and stock is very less we can use store it storage loc level meaning Im level and there is no need for complex warehousing operation.SAP WM will provide and able to handle complex put away and picking operation and able to maintain the stock at bin level and able to display the stock @ each and individual bin level.

it is having value added services e.g. special handling requirements such labelling, packaging etc.

Powerful pick control

-step picking & wave pick..

FIFO LIFO, large/small picking strategies..

it is having flexibility to handle different strategies for put away and pick based on business requirements.

Sap WM having different monitors to enhance warehousing operations such as warehouse activity monitor, RF monitor, TRM Monitor, yard management cockpit, cross-docking monitor. so that warehouse operator can monitor the operations and improve the overall performance.

Also we need to specify cross docking, yard management activities such as appointment scheduling, check-in & check-out, assignment of dock doors, loading/unloading activities.

Advantage of WM over lean

Better control of inventory and accurate too.

Able to maintain lower inventory levels.

Visibility of picking and put away operation and status..

Reduced cycle time.

Better management of work and work force to gain efficiencies

Increased picking /shipment accuracy with RF.


Decentralized WM is basically distribution warehouse which is linked with plant but does not have manufacturing activities..

it is designed to only run WM operations like  GR, GI, put away, picking and physical inventory..

it is an stand-alone system and its completely separate from centralized ERP Warehousing runs in separate box and very remotely used in the industries..not all enterprise structure is required in DWM.

Trigger for DEM process in inbound delivery.

it is highly typical that it is physically located @ a place from where goods conveniently distributed to customers..

Characterized by high throughput volumes

data transferred from erp to dwm through BAPI’s.

normally located nearer to market place where materials availability is more so that it resposne to immediate demands.

Advantages of DWM is as a standalone system it can handle large volume of transactions with no or little down time as compared to SPA WM or any other ERP system.

all other standard warehousing functionalities available.

We can DWM has it’s disadvantage in terms..

data transfer from ERp to DWM via IDOC’s causes complication times when IDOC fails.

Master data is required to maintain in both ERP & DWM.

Slightly complex to setup in the system due to external connections. we can infer this by comparing with standard.


if volume of data is not high we can tell DWM is not advisable.


The objective is to cover all the warehousing functionalities in addition to that more flexible in configuring the process and covers widely than SAP WM does…

We cannot see wide range of functionalities provided by ewm and other erp wm system covers 70 % of that terms of function modules and interfaces. also with PLC

and distributed controls in plants.

SAP EWM has more flexible design of warehouse and process than SAP WM.

Inventory and improved process transparency.

Optimization of warehouse planning and execution.

Seamless integration with RFID, and automation devices.

Integration in the SAP general logistics solution.

Disadvantages over WM

it is for warehouse that are highly complex and higher volumes of load.

Complex to configure and operate.

I accept each having different functionalities and their own advantages and disadvantages but SAP –ECC  plays a vital role in integrating the systems and all other systems rely on ECC due to tight integration of components and here for FI accounting & costing need of ECC is more important. So that from the name itself we can know why it is having the name enterprise central component. It is integrating different system to speak with each other. Only disadvantage of SAP WM is :- interface with field devices and automation. We need to use WCS & RFC’s for connecting with external systems where as EWM is good in communicating with external devices. Decentralized WM is mainly used when client is already using other ERP WM software. We can make SAP DWM to speak with it. Hope the documents explains the functionalities and importance of ECC for accounting Hits.. Eventhouh EWM/DWM can work as a standalone system it requires ECC communication for FI/CO postings…

Thanking you for everyone.


G.V.Shivakkumar (Shivakkumar Geetha Venkatesan)

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  1. klif wiee

    Thanks Shivakkumar for sharing the note. I learned something from there!! It can be much better if all the spelling errors are corrected


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