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SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 8 (Questionnaire for WM-  requirements understanding / understanding clients business process)

 

From the Questionnaire document – Consultants can easily get the business requirement, Functionality, even they can easily get the existing business Process and how to Map the existing process as per SAP Standards and taking decisions on the customization requirement. let us say if business needs perishable items in a beverage, Food or some FMCG industries then they need FIFO with SLED strategy to get combine activated to map the business requirement and so the consultant involved in requirement gathering needs to thoroughly understand the client and user needs and how to satisfy customer. this is more important and we already know the IT industry runs based on satisfaction of customer, client or stake holders whatever it may be satisfaction is more required here.

say if a client needs to connect their SAP system to a legacy third party system in case of AS/RS, MFS, pallet handling system or a automated system such as DCS , SCADA, PLC’s consultant would know the basics and they need to advise the business or clients to opt cost effective solutions or interface design that make them to fully automate and optimize their business without any production stoppage or warehouse stoppage or Inventory loss or turn-over loss.

We can take the AS/RS system integration with SAP WM. both should system should speak without any problem. during one of my client project I have worked with SAP AS/RS system and interface done through WCS. for my client AS/RS is very critical choice as they are in beverage industry they need to deliver more orders and it is not seasonal and their warehouse an production running 24/7 through out 365 Fays and they need to dispatch 24/7..so that they will face new orders too..so they need a system which ful-fill their demand and requirement. the materials included for the AS/RS should be allocated to specific AS/RS storage types/ bins and so that material is picked from the designated storage causing non-interminent supply to customer. this requires efficient interface and it should not go down or performance issues during peak loads or critical shift hours.. here it is the job for the consultants and Architects or Designers to sit and opt right interface, hardware devices and solution. This bring the efficiency and performance. they need to decide on software part, hardware part and SAP mapping to external devices and system. if the interface is down then this WCS Queues carrying the pallet/HU information will get hang in the middle. Normally SAP WM will send IDOC WMTORD for sending pallets to external Warehouse systems and once in external warehouse confirms the pallet one by one it will update back to SAP WM using IDOC WMTOCO and if anything failed or not satisfying the pre-requisite conditions in external warehouse system  then it will send WMCATO. so WCS will be taken care by Some middle ware ..it may be even SAP MII systems also. so selection and choice is based on client requirement and consultant experience, advise and choice and also depends on customer budget.so all these depends on user requirement gathering, understanding. we need to first collect client requirements and take decision according and bring the success in SAP Implementation. here not only SAP also third party system integration and consultant and client co-operation is more required.

Good and efficient Consultant could frame more clever Questionnaire so that he will gather complete information from Client/ business user/ end users. here more important thing here is the question should not irritate or stressful to users and we need to maintain  good relationship and we need to create a good Wrapo with the users. so we get good co-ordination and if in case some system or interfaces requires re-gressive/ aggressive testing and if it takes time to test users wont get bad feeling or irritation. this bring good results. Many people accepts this user requirement and gatheration is more important and critical phase in SAP as well any kind of implementation.

I have already shared SAP WM Questionnaire in below link.

http://www.sapfunctional.com/WM/WMQ2.htm

Project Title Questionnaire for WM Module
Conducted By xxxxx
Company: xxxxx Tel : xxxxxxxxxxx
Contact xxxxxx Desg :
Address: xxxxxx
Date: xxxxxx

We need to know what is the exact warehouse location, how far the Warehouse from the city and industrial location and what kind or type of Materials handled- perishable, hazardous, viscous, acids, chemicals, Consumer goods and electronics, Metals..etc….- here I am mentioning some few but as you know the list is very vast one.

so based on the material type, characteristics we need to decide how the storage types and bins to be located and mapped to SAP and even strategies for putaway and picking. some materials having hazardous nature then we need to keep them in isolated places-storages and it needs to get activated Hazardous materials management indicator and their related strategy. it should not get mixed with normal materials.

As we all know if a Particular X material is frequently used and high importance then then it should be places in appropriate storage to make easier putaway or picking and low importance and very solely used materials should be placed in High rack storage because their frequency if usage is very rare and does not require high importance or frequent picking.

Some material is more frequent for picking and shipping and that kind of material is normally placed in a dock or internal warehouse in a harbor kind of thing. so when required they will directly pick from the warehouse located near the shipping point in Harbor this reduces time loss and reduces labor requirement and cost effective solution. so consultant should get all the business process followed and existing one. normally client wants to make all the process to map it in SAP. but in an IT world to make it possible we have some constraints.. that we cannot map in the system. but nowadays SAP having many inbuilt add-on and functionalities and SAP can allow customization. but primary thing here is requirement gathering and business process understanding and expertise in SAP- how , when and why mapping..  🙂

Some Materials does not requires storing in warehouse and they need to immediately issued to customer here in this case we can take perishable items and items in more demand in the market. so business or consultant choice would be cross docking. here one the material is manufactured it is immediately issued it does not require warehouse to store.

As already mentioned in my earlier blog choosing of strategy depend on the business process, industry type -let us say in a construction industry last come materials will be issued first let us say construction materials which are not perishable in nature . so for example a material came in Dec 2016 can be stored first in storage and later came materials stored over it and when during picking the last came material are picked and those materials are placed on a stop the stack. it wont affect the material or process. I hope explanation is clear.

If they client is looking for space optimization and control of material flow by utilizing storage facilities then we will can suggest them for SU managent activation. If you client is managing the stock as a separate quant @ storage bin level then we can advise them to activate SU Management because if SU management is active then stock is managed @ Pallet level or storage level. A storage bin can have one or more storage units.. each storage unit can consists of one or more Quants. we need to advise them if SU management is activated then it is possible for the movement of mixed pallets – with more than single materials – as a single unit within the warehouse. Then identification and management of materials using SU assigned internally or externally. Moreover WM can communicate with Fork lift or other Warehouse handling systems via an interface without moving to maintain material data in the external system because as a whole SU date will be passed to external system. I hope the explanation is useful. so we need to suggest the client if they are handling stock @ separate Quant @ storage bin level. Also one more advantage is we can plan GI- to stage materials in replenishment storage bins in production.

If suppose if it is pharma, chemical or beverage or any kind of Materials which need expiration date check. those materials need to maintain with batch managent and those materials requires more care on best before expiration date check, best before production date check and we need to maintain more caution otherwise if proper care not maintained then business will loose good will from the end the customers. we need to take more attention in implementing batch management and also required thorough understanding client process. if they wrongly distribute the stock then an issue. so batches are maintained and if wen need to map in SAP needs to activate BM. again it required decision and understanding @ what level it requires activation material/ client/plant level. it depends on the process. if suppose all the materials produced by your client requires to maintain batch then we need to set BM @ client level, suppose if particular plant is manufacturing pharma products and another plant within the same client not maintaining the batched then no requirement to maintain batches for that plant and so here the necessity for BM @ plant level, thirdly BM @ material level let’s say same material in 2 or more plants and all having batch management then we need to maintain in uniformity. what ever plant the material is used it is having BM indicator activated it shows the material in use will need to maintain in batch. hope it is cleat.

***BM- Batch management

we can know client required to use RF and if RF means what kind of arrangement ? hand- held or vehicle or truck mounted ? if I case very large warehouse we need vehicle mounted RF arrangement.. then what type of material handling equipment’s they are using currently ? how the bins are arranged ? whether they are using bin sorting ? what is the size of the bin ? if bulk strategy what is the stack calculation because materials are stored in bulk in case of beverage industries such as coke, PepsiCo..etc….

so based on the business process client is currently using/ based on the demand and supply we can decide certain factors whether they need automatic TR-TO creation/conversion, Immediate TO creation, whether client business supports Manual TR or Automatic TR creation when posting GR – MIGO. whether Delivery route or IM route to be used for a Warehouse Process..  based on the inventory method of the client we can decide what type of inventory best suites client to optimize the counting process. Which intern yields best results…

In this blog I tried to share the Questionnaires which I hope definitely helpful to both consultants and business leads and users.

Q1) List down storage location relevant for Warehouse Management

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Q2) Do you have storage locations, which are not relevant for Warehouse Management?

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Q3) Will you use storage locations for more than one plant? Name these storage locations and the relevant plants.

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Q4) Describe the structure of your warehouse!

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Q5) Do you have warehouses with stock of different plants?

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Q6) List down Door define in the system?

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Q7) List down picking define in the system?

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Q8) Are you using external Warehouse control systems / subsystems? Do you plan to connect this system with the R/3?

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Q9) Are you using bar-code / RFID system and interface with SAP?

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Q10) Are you using any external system determining the storage bins for stock placement / remove? If yes then which system should determine the storage bins for stock placement / remove?

Q11) For removals and batch management, which system should determine the batch?

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Q12) Which system should generate the transport orders ?

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Q13) How does your automated storage and retrieval system communicate to the legacy system? Explain or provide a design drawing.

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Q14) Are your using SUT management?

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Q15) Are pallets managed in the system with a unique number?

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Q16) Are pallets managed in the system with a unique number?

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Q17) Are materials posted to quality inspection after goods receipt, or are they in unrestricted-use stock?

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Q18) Can goods be issued directly from the goods receipt area?

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Q19) Do you post your materials to “blocked stock”?

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Q20) Do you post your materials to return delivery stock?

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Q21) Describe the individual steps from external goods receipt to final placement in storage (putaway).

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Q22) Do you have capacity limits for your storage bins, for example, weight, volume…?

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Q23) Is a transfer requirement is generating automatically at the time of a goods receipt with reference?

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Q24) For which goods movements are transfer orders to be created automatically?

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Q25) What kind of form (printout) are you taking for stock putaways (GR slip, transfer order form, sticker, etc.)?

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Q26) Is procured material pending inspection posted to stock or does it remain in the goods receipt storage area? What happens with the samples: – Keep in GR area – post to stock – move to inspection area?

Explanation: Will procured material pending inspection be placed into permanent storage or remain in the goods receipt storage area? What happens with the sample: – Keep in GR area – place into warehouse – move to inspection area?

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Q27) Which parameters determine your putaway strategies?

Explanation: Storage type search

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Q28) Do you print the stock placement (putaway) document when the transfer order is created?

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Q29) Are transfer orders confirmed manually or automatically?

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Q30) Please list the storage types that have auto placement confirmation.

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Q31) Are you maintaining placement strategies (for example, storage types, storage sections, storage bins) for your stock materials? If yes then what type of placement strategies are you using?

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Q32) How many storage bins do you have per storage type?

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Q33) How many stock putaways (items) do you have per day?

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Q34) Do you have consignment stock from vendors?

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Q35) Do you receive articles that have batch or serial numbers from vendors?

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Q36) Do you create a pre-allocation of your materials within warehouse management?

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Q37) Do you group together your pick list for multiple processing for a particular shipping point, route, pick date, stock placement, stock removal?

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Q38) How do you handle stock differences that are noticed either at the time of transfer order confirmation or continuous inventory based on bin-to-bin transfer?

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Q39) Are transfer orders confirmed separately or automatically by the system?

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Q40) How much time elapses between delivery of the goods and their inspection, and between inspection and the arrival of the goods at their final destination? the destination bin.

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Q41) How are the picking results confirmed?

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Q42) Which documentation should accompany the goods that are returned to the vendor?

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Q43) Which documentation should accompany the goods that are returned to the vendor?

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Q44) Which movement types will you use for posting changes?

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[ ] Stock in quality inspection to unrestricted-use stock
[ ] Blocked stock to stock in quality inspection
[ ] Unrestricted-use stock to stock in quality inspection
[ ] Change in material number
[ ] Batch split
[ ] Consignment stock to own stock
[ ] Other

Q45) What type of documentation (forms) is to be generated in the case of transfer postings?

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Q46) Are you using any workflow to inform of a transfer posting?

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Q47) Do you use storage-bin-to-storage-bin stock transfers?

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Q48) Do you have warehouses with stock of different plants?

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Q49) Do you carry out complete pallet removals and subsequent return transfers? If so, to which location is the merchandise returned?

Explanation: Withdrawal of whole pallet = requirement to remove all stock

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Q50) Will you maintain picking strategies?

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Q51) Are pallets managed in the system with a unique number?

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Q52) Is a transfer order is generating automatically at the time of a goods receipt with reference?

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Q53) For which goods movements are transfer orders are created automatically?

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Q54) What are the various user-exits that are used and for what purposes?

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Q55) What is the number of SAP Warehouse management users?

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Q56) What are the different outputs you use? Whether you use print out or email or fax or some other medium to send the outputs?

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Q57) Do you have following documents?

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[ ] As-is To-Be document
[ ] Business blue print

[ ] User manual
[ ] Configuration documents
[ ] Test cases used for testing your system
[ ] Any other documents (Please specify)

Q58) Are you using any Work Around? (Please Specify)

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Q59) How many Z-Developments are their in your system? (Specify the T. codes & Use)

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Q60) Do you have any core team?

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Q61) Do you use interfaces to transfer data to or from SAP?

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We can add Questions based on industry nature of the client. it is not stringent   🙂 🙂

 

 

For earlier blog post related to SAP WM please use below blog links

SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 5

SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 4

SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 3

SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 2

SAP WM –Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage- Complete Reference-Part 1

 

SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 6 (Cut over activities Details)

 

SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 7 (Comparing 4.6 C & ECC 6.0 WM Screens)

 

SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 9 (Automatic Picking, Packing, Batch Determination, 2-Step Picking in Warehouse:- Improves Warehouse efficiency and Performance Optimization)

SAP WM- Process, Functionality, Scope, Benefits, Advantages, Disadvantage-Complete Reference-Part 10 (IDOC’s used in SAP WM)

SAP Warehouse Management_Step by Step configuration Document

 

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2 Comments

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  1. Jürgen L

    If I would send such questions to a warehouse manager who has not yet worked with SAP then I am pretty sure that I get this questionnaire returned empty.

    Many questions would require a deep knowledge in SAP already.

    It might be used as a topic collection to go through together with the warehouse manager, for some questions even together with the IT team who supported him in the past (in case you bought a company and have to migrate their SAP into your system).

    Many of those questions and their specific technical terms have to be explained before you can get an answer to the question.

    You really need to differentiate if you do an implementation at a site which had

    • never worked with SAP
    • which used already inventory management and knows their SAP processes well and want implement WM
    • which used already WM and wants/gets a redesign

    The best filled questionnaire cannot replace the experience made by yourself when walking together with the warehouse manager through the location

     

    (0) 
  2. shivakkumar Geetha venkatesan Post author

    Hi Jürgen Sir,

    I accept to some extent but nowadays users and leads @ client place are more knowledgeable than a consulting person. because they got good expose to SAP as well as other warehouse system. in my experience I worked with global players.. frankly telling they taught me more. secondly I framed this blog not to a specific community. my aim is to share the knowledge on general process of framing the Questions. so that mentioned as “We can add Questions based on industry nature of the client. it is not stringent “. I have concentrated more on SAP point of view on a consultant angle. Actually I go with you in some warehouse very new to SAP it is difficult to get the requirement based on the Questionnaire. we will get back only a blank paper what a student do in his graduation if not studied properly. I understood. Questionnaire preparation wont compete with the thing warehouse manger take us to the warehouse local site. but many time this is not possible in big giant clients. the are setting-up Global business solution team they will act as a bridge between the SAP consultant and user community. in small client I accept the information. Finally I like to specify the blog is general frame work to know how the Questionnaire is framed and utilized in user requirement gathering process. now users are more skilled and knowledge persons. If we need to go in deep the Question will spread like a pacific ocean or like a entire space of universe. Thanks sir for pointing it. it is really useful..

    (0) 

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