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Product Information

Shopfloor Simplification App

Introduction

Today I would like to highlight a solution coming from our SAP Consulting Digital Supply Chain, the Shopfloor Simplification App for mobile devices on Android SDK.

The shopfloor worker often has to adapt to, navigate and work in various environments, such as production order handling, production execution and warehousing. This can lead to reporting issues and lower productivity, where each onboarding involves a lot of training, consuming lots of time and resources.

To make it easier for shopfloor workers to adapt and communicate in this environment, a new tool is required. This tool must be easy to pick up, learn and handle, so that everybody can intuitively start using it. This is where the Shopfloor Simplification App comes in.

The Shopfloor Simplification App significantly streamlines and guides the worker along logistic processes in production. Workers need only to be familiar with the App in order to accomplish their daily tasks and reporting, as well as organizing the staging processes.

From a system perspective, some backend processes are sometimes hard to remember for starting workers. To learn and get accustomed to each transaction and transaction sequences, workers often need significant training and practical hands-on experience. With the Shopfloor Simplification App, the processes become clearer and self-explanatory, requiring much shorter trainings, and leading to reduced efforts for production supply and reporting. The worker can focus more on their main tasks and keep production machinery running at its green range.

Motivation and Scope

This application was created for companies in Discrete Manufacturing industry. Companies using SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) that a wish to improve the communication between the shopfloor and the warehouse. The App can be used with Advanced Production Integration on S/4HANA embedded EWM.

Shopfloor Simplification covers all relevant processes of EWM Advanced Production Integration, listing released production orders, performing staging, consumption, goods receipt and clear Production Supply Areas as well as set completion of orders.

Technical Architecture

Functionality

As an initial step, a user profile is created in the Shopfloor App, which is connected to the user in the EWM system. When setting up the user profile, some basic settings can be configured such as production line channel selection, printer selection and the possibility to list support contacts for direct mail communication with the user. After these basic settings are configured once, the workers can simply jump into the released production orders for their respective production channel and will right away receive all relevant information they need at that early stage.

Some of the other technical functionalities available for the workers after the setup stage include:

  • Staging and clearing of handling units with one click
  • Easy to use scrap, consume and label reprint functionalities
  • Simplified goods receipt posting and production order completion
  • Individual unit of measure selection with automatic recalculation
  • Push notifications to stay up to date about material arrivals

Key Benefits

The main objective of the Shopfloor Simplification App is to increase the efficiency and empowerment of shopfloor workers. This is achieved through the following benefits:

  • Zero errors due to guided procedure – Guided procedure reduces errors in reporting and increases efficiency
  • Location independency – access the system from every place via the mobile network
  • Accessible login – login based on fingerprint or face detection enables fast and easy access to system
  • Enhanced user experience – easy to use interface and no need to change the device for scanning which increases employee satisfaction
  • Reduction of training effort – focus on most essential functionality make training effective, ensure moderate learning effort and lowers entry barriers for new users
  • Push notifications – Push notifications enable employees to be fully aware of material movements inside production

Service Outlook

The basic version of this service has been live since 02/21/2020. However, the Consulting Service will not stop there. New functionalities like auto-staging and auto-consumption are currently in development to further reduce the efforts for shopfloor personnel while performing their tasks. Whereby new customer requirements will be used to build in some further functionality.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This service is offered as an Add-on to enhance the SAP EWM solution. You can find this Add-on under scope item 15 of the Consulting Solution “Enhancement service for SAP EWM”, which you can find in our Services and Support catalog by accessing the following link:

Services & Support Catalog – Enhancement Services for SAP EWM.

Shopfloor Simplification App – OnePager: https://dam.sap.com/mac/embed/public/pdf/v/2oX5k2y.htm

For more information about SAP Extended Warehouse Management, please follow us on social media, our YouTube channel or our community pages:

SAP EWM Community:

https://www.sap.com/community/topics/extended-warehouse-management.html

SAP Digital Supply Chain Channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCELmE2CEAkcwqpBLnuZHufA

EWM LinkedIn Community:

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1952257/

 

3 Comments
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  • Hello,

     

    It looks very interesting.

    But I don’t have much knowledge about the architecture for Android apps.

    Is the architecture depicted in this article the only possibility to use an Android app with our S/4 HANA system (on-premise)?

    We need a cloud platform to have access to the Android apps, and we access the data from S/4 with this Cloud platform?

    Thanks in advance,

     

    Kr,

    • Hi Geoffrey Flawinne,

      Thanks for reaching out to us with your question. To answer it we will start from the beginning.

      The app itself cannot be developed with a tool/service of SAP Cloud Platform (e.g. WebIDE or similar). This would only be possible in case you develop apps with SAP MDK, but not with native Android/iOS apps. Therefore, local Android Studio or xCode is used.

      Once the app has been developed, if needed it can be distributed to the users via mobile Services of SAP Cloud Platform.

      But there are other possibilities as well for distributing the app. For example, the app itself can be distributed via the official app store, or this could also be in B2B-area an own app store of the customer. Most often the customer has for their mobile enterprise-apps an own Mobile Device Management (MDM). Then IT-department is managing the upload of the app and the end-users can download the app directly on their device.

      Using the SAP Cloud Platform is the best suited approach for our scenario. Using SAP Cloud Connector, mobile Services on SCP have a secured connection from mobile phone towards backend system. This helps to always deal with real time data and having no time delay.

      The SCP is used as an interface towards on prem system; however, it would be possible without SCP, but this would bring several circumstances:

      • Cloud Connector cannot be used to get access towards on-prem systems – You will need a different method
      • Authorizations need to be built by your own team
      • You cannot use the UI-elements and SAP Android SDK, which means in consequence, you need to build the UI controls and o-data interface by yourself

      For these reasons it is best to use SAP Cloud Platform for this scenario.

      Thanks for reaching out.