Embedded EWM in SAP S/4 HANA… A functional Comparison
The objective of this blog is to provide a brief introduction to Embedded EWM covering following topics:
- Evolution of EWM
- Functional comparison between WM and S/4 HANA EWM
- Comparison between Decentralized EWM and S/4 HANA EWM
The main functionality of warehouse management tool is to provide accurate, on-time stocks till Bin level, capability of tracking all the movements and providing analytics.
With decades of experience in development of various warehouse functionalities, SAP continued to march in the direction to meet the complex requirements of modern warehouses with SAP Extended warehouse management.
Evolution of Extended Warehouse Management:
It is very interesting to note the path traversed by SAP to provide functionality to track stocks from IM component level to present Extended Warehouse Management.
- To start with, Stock was managed at only storage location level with IM component and without any Warehouse Management component.
- Next, the facility to enter Bin number as a text in Material Master was provided and stock was managed at storage location level. No Warehouse Management component still.
- Later, SAP introduced Lean Warehouse Management concept where Bin number was still maintained in Material Master as a text, but the system could create picking Task and confirmation of picking task to update picked quantity in Outbound Delivery. The development of Warehouse Management component continued from Storage Unit concept, integration with modules like PP, QM and HR and HU integration.
- Introduction of Yard Management, Cross-Docking and value added services in ERP 4.7C release set 2.0 and named as Extended Warehouse Management.
- ERP EWM solution with TRM functionality is added.
- Decentralized Extended warehouse management solution as a part of Supply chain management. Integration with SAP ERP is needed for data transfer.
- Extended Warehouse Management in SAP S/4 HANA
Embedded EWM came into existence with SAP S/4 HANA 1610 release. With this release. Embedded EWM is a default offering, but traditional WM is also available. However, the life span of traditional WM is limited to 2025 only.
With the EWM functionalities coming into S/4 HANA, advanced and flexible functionalities like Value added services and Material Flow system also offered to Business to improve efficiency.
Most of the capability of Decentralized EWM is retained in Embedded EWM.
Before comparing the solutions of
Functional capability comparison between Traditional WM and Embedded EWM:
There are many additional and improved functionalities in EWM over the traditional Warehouse Management component.
A brief summary along with business benefits are given below for a quick understanding.
|Element/ Functionality||WM||Embedded EWM||Business Benefits|
Warehouse Number is of 3 Characters
Storage Type is of 3 Characters
Storage Section is of 3 Characters
Storage Bin is of 10 Characters
Warehouse Number is of 4 Characters
Storage Type is of 4 Characters
Storage Section is of 4 Characters
Storage Bin is of 18 Characters
Storage type can be either HU or Non-HU
Bin Number is unique
· Physical Bin structure will match with the Bin structure in system.
· Precise location of the Material in the Bin
· Both HU & Non HU can be stored in St Type
· Defining Max. no. of Bins in St Type ensures that a single product does not overfill the storage type.
|Storage Type Search||
Storage Type Search is unidirectional
Two directional. Storage Search can happen across storage types.
Efficient sorting of Bins for putaway and picking
|Serial Number||Serial Number capturing and tracking does not exist||
Serial Number capturing and tracking is possible.
Three levels of Control possible:
• Delivery Item level (Only for activated ID/OD item types
• Warehouse Level (At each GR/GI)
• Storage Bin level (For each Task conf.)
|Provides complete transparency of stock in warehouse|
Up to 30 storage types, sections, bin types and storage unit types can be defined in bin searches.
No limit on the number of storage types, sections
and bin types in bin searches
|Provides additional search facility and optimization when storage types are more|
|Printing and Outputs||
Print Control settings and output control are used to WH documents through SAP scripts and Smart Forms.
Uses the post-processing framework (PPF) to trigger all printing and outputs based upon the
status of warehouse tasks.
Standard outputs are delivered in both
SmartForms and Adobe forms
Leverage Adobe forms Benefits
|Fixed Bin assignment||
Only one fixed bin per Material in a storage type.
Multiple storage Bins per Product per storage type.
Flexibility for Fixed Bin storage process
Decentralized EWM Vs S/4 HANA EWM:
Having discussed about the Embedded EWM capabilities over the traditional WM, we also have another SAP EWM solution, called Decentralized EWM.
This Decentralized EWM will be a preferred solution for the following reasons:
- Multiple ERP systems are required be connected to a single EWM
- Third party manages warehouse activities
- Larger warehouses and high performances are required
Though core of the capability of decentralized EWM is available in Embedded EWM, following comparison
Embedded EWM Vs Decentralized EWM
|Criteria||Embedded EWM||Decentralized EWM|
|Master Data||No transfer of Master Data between the systems||Transfer of Master data required|
|Core Interface||CIF is not required||Required|
|Customizing Objects transfer||Not required||Required|
|Document duplication||Inbound and Outbound deliveries are created directly in Embedded EWM.||Replica of Inbound and outbound deliveries called Inbound Delivery Notification (IDN) and Outbound Delivery Request (ODR) are created in decentralized EWM.|
|Expected Goods Receipt||Not required||Required for cases where no deliveries are created (GRs from production order/ PO without shipping notification)|
|Quality Inspection||No inspection document is required||Inspection document created through Quality Inspection Engine and Inspection lot from ERP are required.|
Embedded EWM provides advanced functional features, better user experience and flexible approach to complex warehouse requirements.