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SAP EWM – Inbound Processing of Small Parts (Large Warehouse/DC’s)

Created by

Shivakumar Patil



This white paper highlights the challenges faced by the warehouse personnel in tracking the in transit status of the parts within the large warehouse/DC’s  from the point of goods receipt till the part is put away in the destination bin. With the several receipt of the shipments (especially small parts), it is impractical to put away each goods receipts separately when multiple buildings/floors constitute a single large warehouse complex. The warehouse personnel would combine the multiple receipts to form a cart and perform the put away. Since the warehouse complex being very large, it necessitated the in transit tracking of the parts from the point of receipt till put away in the destination Bin. A solution towards this was implemented which can be leveraged/rolled out to the warehouse following the similar operating model.

Target Audience

Project owners, Project stakeholders, SAP EWM end users, SAP EWM consultants

Business Scenario

A single large warehouse is constituted of multiple building with each building divided into multiple levels / floors with more than 800K bins part of several different storage types (based on location/size of bins) and handling around 1300 receipts per day with 350 personnel involved in running the warehouse for 24X7.

Warehouse complex being large and multiple warehouse personnel involved and responsible for each area, it necessitated the in transit tracking of the parts from the point of the receipt till the part is put away into the destination bin. This necessitated introduction of multiple scanning points across the warehouse.

Business Requirements

  1. All small parts receipts are put into the cart, once the cart is full, then warehouse personnel carries the cart for put away of the parts into the destination bin. This is to carry out mass put away of multiple receipts instead of performing the receipt of every single receipt.
  2. The business requirement is to track the physical movement of the cart within the warehouse and also to have the information of the parts in the cart.
  3. Any point in time, warehouse personnel should have information of the parts in the cart and who moved the cart.
  4. Each part from the cart is put away into the separate destination bin.

Problem Statement

Upon evaluation, it was found that none of the SAP standard available EWM inbound process could be used due to this specific warehouse operating model.

Inbound process steps per standard SAP are ~

  1. Inbound delivery distributed to EWM
  2. Unload the stock
  3. Goods receipts posting for inbound delivery
  4. Move the stock deconsolidation area to break the pallet so that we can move and place parts separately
  5. Move and place the part to area 1
  6. Move and place the part to area 2
  7. Place the part into final bin

As per the warehouse operating model, the pack functionality is implemented (as against the standard deconsolidate, which is applicable in case of pallet with multiple materials)

Instead of deconsolidation, we have defined the process step for packing in a work center for inbound process,

  1. Inbound delivery distributed to EWM
  2. Unload the stock
  3. Goods receipts posting for inbound delivery
  4. Move the part to packing area.Pack the parts into cart
  5. Move and place the cart to area 1
  6. Move and place the cart to area 2
  7. Place the part into final bin

The system supported the part movement up to the step f, while further execution, as per SAP standard behavior would propose to move the entire cart into one bin, whereas the business requirement was to be able to put the parts from the cart on to different bins

Other standard features of SAP like product putaway/HU putaway, were analyzed but could not meet this specific business requirement.

Proposed Solution

  1. Inbound delivery is created, packed in ERP and distributed to EWM
  2. Automatically goods receipts are posted for this Inbound delivery based upon the PPF action and parts are placed in the GR area
  3. Warehouse task is created for moving the part from the goods receipt area to packing area. This Warehouse task is confirmed immediately. Now the part is in packing area.
  4. Putaway Label (HU) is printed. Which has the destination area on it.(PACI (Putaway control Indicator of the product)of the part is linked to final area for putaway). This label is pasted on the boxes.
  5. In the packing area, using Radio Frequency gun (RF Gun),warehouse personnel packs the inbound delivery HU’s /part into cart/tub based upon the destination area. Here we have validation. System compares the PACI of the part to the already packed parts, allows packing only when both parts has the same PACI.
  6. Once the cart/tub is full, warehouse personnel will close the HU i.e cart/tub and move it to next storage area as per the system guided route based upon the LOSC configuration
  7. Once the cart/tub is confirmed in the area 1, system to create next warehouse task for moving the cart/tub from area 1 to area 2.
  8. Warehouse personnel from area 1 will move the stock from area 1 to area 2.
  9. Once the cart/tub is confirmed in the area 2, system does below activities in the background i.e system to activate the final putaway task for moving the parts to final bins.
    1. In back ground, cancel the warehouse task which is supposed to move the cart/tub to final bin.
    2. Programmatically create individual warehouse task for moving the parts which are in cart/tub to final putaway bins.
    3. All the warehouse tasks are assigned to one Warehouse Order and sorted for achieving the effective putaway( as all the stocks are going to one activity area and we don’t have restrictions in capacity( as we have not maintained parts weight/volume dimension in product master) , i.e one Warehouse Order can have any number of warehouse tasks.)
  10. In RF Gun, warehouse personnel in this area scan the cart/tub to move all the parts into final bins.
  11. In the next screen of the RF, system suggests user to scan the 1st part into final putaway bin
  12. Once the user confirmation of first part, system suggests the next part and these processes goes on till all the parts are putaway’ed in final bins.

Process Benefit

  1. Phenomenal improvement in the track and trace of the part, with the accurate location of the part in the inbound process.
  2. Scanning of the cart provides the guidance to warehouse personnel about the location where the part has to be moved along with the bin information into which the parts has to be put away; this resulted in prenominal reduction of the overall man-hours in the put away process.
  3. System sorts the parts based on the bin sort sequence and determines the optimized path to be followed by the warehouse personnel resulting in reduction in time in put away process.
  4. The cart can be temporarily stored in a bin for time being, from where next warehouse personnel can resume the put away process.
  5. Phenomenal reduction in missing parts due to improved visibility throughout the entire inbound process.
  6. Additional validations incorporated in the inbound process to minimize the human errors.
  7. From the point of part pack, till the placement in the destination bin, a part is associated with the cart and later the path taken by the cart can be retrieved, if need be.
  8. Reduced man hours for putaway process as system suggests how to proceed after each scan.

Business Benefit

  1. Overall reduction in time taken to fulfill High priority outbound deliveries
  2. Reduction in the number of missing parts.
  3. 15% man-hour reduction in put away of inbound delivery.

Example Scenario

This scenario talks about the goods receipt in EWM for two parts which are heading to same area.

  1. Inbound delivery created in ECC, packed automatically and distributed to EWM
  2. In EWM, GR is posted automatically
  3. Automatically, the parts are moved to packing area


   d. Packed, these two parts using RF gun into cart 2703 ( while packing we are making sure that the packed parts are going to same area)



   e. Once the cart/tub is full, warehouse personnel will close HU/cart to for moving the cart/tub from packing area to next stop


Due to closing of HU, system creates two warehouse tasks for moving the cart/tub 2703 from packing area to next stop


   f. Closed cart/tub is picked for moving to next stop

Scan the HU,


System proposes to put the cart in next stop, where user will drop this cart.


Again, user scans the cart


This time system asks user to move the cart to next stop


   g. Once the cart is in the binning area, another warehouse personnel will come and pick to cart for final putaway

Scan the cart


In the next screen, System asks user to scan the part’s HU no, storage bin and the quantity.


This process is repeated for the all the part’s which are in the cart/tub, in our case we have only 2 parts.


Once all the parts are placed, system will show the first screen, where in user can ready to scan the next cart/tub.


   h.  /n/scwm/mon report to show how the parts are moved within the warehouse before the parts are finally putaway’ed.( result are sorted in descending order as per confirmation date and time of Warehouse task)


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