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Author's profile photo Ramesh Karanam

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:


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
Organizational Structure

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
Search Strategies

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.

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      Author's profile photo Anubhav Parashar
      Anubhav Parashar

      Hi Ramesh,

      Thanks for sharing the differences in detail and in layman language.

      keep continue to post on S/4 HANA EWM

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Ramesh,

      Good post. One question I have is; can we have embedded ewm run 24X7 while the core S4HANA is down for maintenance? My client is requesting that their warehouse operations should be up and running 24X7.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      I don't think so, as it is embedded one.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi Ramesh,  Thank you for sharing this.  It definitely to help us to design new flow with EWM

      Author's profile photo Eddie Webb
      Eddie Webb


      Thanks for the information. My team is starting the SAP journey, so the more we can learn about EWM and its capabilities the better,


      Thanks again,

      Author's profile photo Ramm Shenoy
      Ramm Shenoy

      Hi Sreenivas -  this may be late answer.  Nobody answered your question - "My client is requesting that their warehouse operations should be up and running 24X7".

      So I will clarify that for this requirement you have to go with Decentralized EWM only so your warehouse operations can continue even if SAP ERP/ECC or S4 system is down. As Ramesh explained in his blog, Decentralized EWM helps when large Distribution centers and Third party Warehouses who really need only a Warehouse solution. Usually large warehouses have very high volume transactions, large number of inbound, outbound movements and Decentralized EWM is better than embedded EWM from performance perspective.

      I was involved in an EWM on ECC implementation earlier and did realize the limited performance we got out embedded EWM on ECC solution. Having said this Embedded EWM on S4 HANA would likely give a much superior performance due to the underlying HANA architecture.

      Hope this helps,





      Author's profile photo Rafal Starczewski
      Rafal Starczewski

      Hello Everyone!


      A good comparison of SAP EWM embedded in the S / 4HANA system in the basic and advanced* extended** version. Link below:

      Author's profile photo Igor Veriaev
      Igor Veriaev

      Unfortunately, the link doesn't work 🙁

      Author's profile photo Shyam C
      Shyam C

      Dear Ramesh,

      I was scanning through internet and other portals for SAP S4 HANA certification on EWM, but could not find any.


      Kindly guide through the correct certification code of S4 HANA EWM.




      Author's profile photo Juergen Pitz
      Juergen Pitz


      there is no separate certification for S/4HANA and EWM (embedded or whatever). The next EWM certification release will probably also include S/4HANA embedded EWM, as the next collection of the EWM courses will.



      Want to learn EWM?
      Check for EWM courses @
      Get a SAP Learning Hub Subscription:

      And it is EWM. NOT eWM - Duh!
      And if your question includes the word "transfer order" - do NOT tag the question with Extended Warehouse Management!

      CW4 + 5: EWM Bootcamp (specific partners only) WDF
      CW6: Customer specific workshop
      CW7: EWM120 WDF
      CW8 + 9 EWM Bootcamp (specific partners only) WDF

      Author's profile photo Andreas Adler
      Andreas Adler

      Hello All,

      currently we don’t use HU’s at WM, is it necessary to use handling units at embedded EWM?


      best regards

      Author's profile photo Ashish Srivastava
      Ashish Srivastava

      Really good article, thanks for the blog!!