Capability of Package Building in Freight order in embedded Transportation Management (TM) in S/4HANA 1909 Release
Package building (PB) is a functionality to bundle products in specific packages based on specific constraints like orientation, possibility to group or place one above another, maximum weight / volume / height, overhang etc. Utilization of truck depends very much on how the products have been packaged. Marcus Zahn (of SAP TM development) has posted excellent blogs on PB explaining its capabilities in links like
Prior to S/4HANA 1909 release, PB was possible only in Freight unit (FU) in embedded Transportation management (TM). PB is now possible also in capacity document like Freight order (FO) in embedded TM in S/4HANA 1909 release. My present blog is to describe the capability of PB in FO and some insights & observations on SAP’s roadmap / direction with packaging in TM and EWM.
Consider a simple scenario in which products FG05 (with weight 5 KG each) and FG09 (with weight 9 KG each) can be grouped in a package PB_PAL_01 with maximum weight of 50 KG and product FG10 (with weight 10 KG each) in a package PB_PAL_02 (with no grouping) also with a maximum weight of 50 KG. Each of the package (PB_PAL_01 and PB_PAL_02) weighs 10 KG. Below image shows that system has proposed 2 packages – PB_PAL_01 for 4 pieces of FG05 and 2 pieces of FG09 and PB_PAL_02 for 4 pieces of FG10 with PB triggered at FO level.
This PB at FO will immensly help in effective utilization of truck capacity and reduction of freight cost.
Settings (configurations and master data) required for PB in FO is depicted in below image. PB profile must be assigned in planning profile and FO type should ‘Enable package building’.
Now, like to highlight some of the observations w.r.t PB as stated below.
- Scenario considered in this blog (as shown in first image) is very simple. However, complex scenarios can be modelled (to meet the specific business requirements) with PB as is evident from the settings in PB profile in below image. PB profile is configured in Transportation management (TM) at IMG path IMG->Transportation management->Planning->Package building->Define package building profile. PB profile can also be defined for Extended warehouse management (EWM) as in IMG path IMG->SCM Extended warehouse management->Extended warehouse management->Goods issue process->Package building->Define package building profile. Notice a difference in settings as in S/4HANA 1909 release as shown in below image. Also, note that the settings in PB profile in EWM (of S/4HANA 1909 release) are same with the TM PB Profile as in Marcus Zahn’s blog (of 2015) as stated in the beginning of this blog.
- EWM also provides excellent ‘Cartonization’ capability as detailed in my blog in link https://blogs.sap.com/2019/06/06/functionality-of-cartonization-with-extended-warehouse-management-ewm/ which is based on EWM’s ‘Packaging specification’. However, this PB functionality is not dependent on ‘Packaging specification’.
- Embedded TM and embedded EWM can now be directly integrated as in my blog in link https://blogs.sap.com/2018/03/14/direct-integration-between-embedded-ewm-tm-in-s4hana-improving-overall-efficiency-of-suply-chain/. As of S/4HANA 1909 release, packages planned in TM do not get transferred to EWM. However, as per SAP’s roadmap, integration for Package building and Load planning is expected in 2020 release of S/4HANA and that will help warehouse personnel to pack the products (as planned in TM), improve the efficiency of warehouse and utilization of truck capacity.
- There are also several limitations between EWM and TM integration as stated in note 1984252. Expect these limitations will be eliminated in upcoming releases of S/4HANA.
This blog is based on my personal observation and insights. Will appreciate your feedback / comments.