SAP® Extended Warehouse Management in SAP S/4HANA 2021 – What’s New
We are once again in the final quarter of the year, which means that it is time to share with you the latest updates to SAP EWM that came with the SAP S/4HANA 2021 release.
While overall this year was slightly more optimistic than 2020, the world is still feeling the effects from the impact of last year’s events. And while the road to recovery is still ahead, I would like to proudly thank our great development teams for their tireless work and dedication. Thanks to their efforts, we have not slowed down in delivering enhancements that all our customers can appreciate.
In this year’s release we invested in stronger integration, especially in the process flow between production and warehousing. Aside from this, over the year we have constantly worked on enhancing usability and user experience, brought many often-requested features, as well as quality of life enhancements that make our warehousing solution more intuitive and easier to use. In the following article, we will go through the areas of our investments for this release as well as some of the highlights in each area. And we begin with one of our key focus areas of this release, Integration.
Plant Maintenance Integration
With this feature, you can manage the material components that you need for plant maintenance with SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM). You also have full transparency throughout the maintenance process.
The material components that are requested are staged from an EWM-managed storage location via an outbound delivery order. The outbound delivery order now contains a reference to the maintenance order (PM order) and to the reservation document. The staging area can be determined based on the recipient location that is entered in the PM order. SAP EWM uses different methods to retrieve the recipient location from the PM order, depending on whether you are using EWM embedded in SAP S/4HANA or decentralized EWM based on SAP S/4HANA.
Enhancements to Packing Functions Using Unified Package Building
With this feature, you can create packages using unified package building, a generic packaging layer. Unified package building supports alternative packaging approaches. These packaging approaches are called unified package building engines and process different sets of packaging master data and Customizing settings. The following unified package building engines are supported:
- Package building with the package builder
- Packing instruction
- Packaging specification
You can use unified package building when a packing proposal is required for the following process steps:
- For receiving handling units (HUs) from production using radio frequency (RF)
- For deconsolidation and repacking inbound deliveries
- For packing in the outbound delivery process
- For packing in the posting change process
- For packing in the stock transfer process
In the linked “What’s New” document (which you can find in the intro or at the end of this presentation) you can see multiple examples of using the UPB for the processes listed above, such as for the process of receiving handling units (HUs) from production using radio frequency (RF).
Moving Sample Stock to Quality Inspection
On the Quality Management side, users can now split sample stock from quality inspection stock for a quality inspection. If the stock is packed into handling units (HUs), you can round the sample size to avoid needing to unpack the HU to take the sample.
To take sample stock from quality inspection stock, during inbound processing the system uses the sample size calculated in the Quality Management component to create a warehouse task to move the sample stock for a quality inspection. The remaining quality inspection stock in the inspection lot is then put away to the final putaway storage bin.
MES-Driven Staging (SAP DMC)
In this release, one of our primary integration goals was to further strengthen the integration between production and warehousing operations. As a result you can now use MES-driven staging to create detailed plans for fulfilling staging requirements for a manufacturing order, if you’ve integrated your SAP S/4HANA system with a manufacturing execution system (MES). The plans are represented by a document from the MES, the staging request, which is mapped to a warehouse request of the internal stock transfer type in SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM).
SAP EWM uses a staging report to check the capacity of the bin at the production supply area (PSA) and to create reasonable numbers of staging warehouse tasks. These staging warehouse tasks can be organized, for example, by applying process-oriented storage control (POSC) or waves.
The staging process is transparent from beginning to end. It’s possible to see the status of the staging process in both EWM and the MES. For example, you can see whether a staging request is being planned or has already been executed, or what quantity of a component is requested, in-transit, or staged.
During the MES-driven staging process, you can monitor the status of warehouse processes and communication between EWM and the MES in the warehouse management monitor. In the node Tools SOAP Message, you can monitor incoming and outgoing SOAP messages.
Other Integration Enhancements
Aside from the highlights mentioned above I would like to briefly mention that we also enhanced the new integration between SAP EWM and SAP TM called Advanced Shipping & Receiving (ASR) as well as the integration with MIGO for Synchronous Goods Movement. For ASR we made it possible for users to have the system set the shipping readiness status of a delivery to READY automatically. We also enhanced the “Load or Unload Freight Order” App so that users can view and update the actual quantity in the delivery, view the container unit in the hierarchy of the delivery, see the aggregated gross weight and gross volume, and call up detailed error logs for failed goods movements.
On the Synchronous Goods Movement side, you can post goods movements for unpacked products directly into the warehouse from the “Post Goods Receipt for Purchasing Document” and “Post Goods Receipt for Production Order” Apps. You can also allow the system to determine packing instructions in the Post Goods Movement app based on more criteria than before.
For more details and examples on all the mentioned topics, be sure to read more in the “Integration” chapter of the linked “What’s New” document.
Perform Physical Inventory on Production Supply Areas
We continued this year on further enhancements and features to our solution for automotive industry. The ability to perform physical inventory counts on Production Supply Areas is a new feature for SAP EWM. With it, you can perform accurate physical inventory on production supply areas (PSAs), where the amount of stock is constantly changing. When a production worker takes products from a PSA, goods issue posting is often done later as a backflush. To deal with the difference between the stock quantity on the PSA and the quantity in the system, you can link the physical inventory document to a production order using a count reference. The system updates the numbers from the physical inventory count with the goods issue information from the production order. Existing customizing “Reason for Physical Inventory” is enhanced with “Count Reference Flag”. If this reason with this flag is used in the PI document, the count reference should be entered in the PI count & record.
Enhancements to Stock Transfer for JIT Call
We also enhanced the Just-In-Time supply to production process this year with a new scenario, process enhancements and new UI elements. Firstly, regarding the new scenario, you can now stage products to a production supply area that is managed by the Inventory Management (MM-IM) application component for the stock transfer for JIT call process.
Furthermore, you can redetermine the warehouse process type for stock transfer items, if necessary, and you can block stock transfer items for planning activities. You can also process exceptions that occur using pick denial or bin denial for stock transfer items, and you can cancel or reverse picking warehouse tasks.
If pick denial is triggered during picking preparation for stock transfer items that are assigned to a wave, you can configure your system to remove the stock transfer items from the assigned wave. This allows picking to be replanned for the stock transfer items, which can be assigned to different wave.
If you have to execute a bin denial during picking, you can configure the wave template for the system to remove the item from the wave, without reassigning the item.
As to the UI enhancements we have made the following additions:
- New “Alerts” column in the App “Plan Supply to Production” to display error messages from stock calculation
- New monitor node “JIT Handling Unit ”
- New monitor methods
Consolidation of Batches with Date Tolerances
Stock consolidation allows you to form full stock-keeping quantities from partial quantities of stock. With this release, you can consolidate stock of the same material but with different batch numbers within a given date tolerance interval.
You select the batch criteria that you want to match, and then you get proposals of partial stock to consolidate. In addition to the batch criteria for consolidating different batches, you can also set a date tolerance interval for the following selection criteria:
- Expiration date
- Manufacturing date
- Next date of inspection
The application log for the “Consolidate Stock” App has been enhanced with a tree structure to make it easier to follow the logic of the stock grouping and the generation of the warehouse task proposals.
Attachment for Handling Units
Attachment services is a feature we made available for the On-Premise deployment of SAP EWM since the SAP S/4HANA 2020 release. This year we extended this service to allow users to upload, read, update, or delete attachments in various file formats to handling units (HUs). You can also add hyperlinks as attachments to delivery documents, transportation units (TUs), and HUs.
We support attachments in the Fiori Apps to process deliveries as well as the Fiori App “Monitor Handling Units”. And, as exemplified above, you can also manage attachments directly in the Warehouse Monitor. For that we updated the Monitor to include:
- New method to upload attachments
- New sub-node to list attachments
- Node: Stock and Bin – Handling Unit
- Node: Documents – Handling Units
Please note that if you want to use attachments to handling units that were created in a lower release than SAP S/4HANA 2021, you must migrate the handling units using the migration report /SCWM/R_GEN_MISS_GUID_HU_EXT. Further information can be found in the system documentation for this report.
CDS Views for Storage Bins
CDS Views are de-facto standard for SAP development, and they enable convenient extraction of data for storage space utilization. We have enriched the SAP EWM Virtual Data Model with key figures for Storage. With this feature, you can view some aggregated data relevant to storage bins. For example, the following data is available:
- The number of storage bins that are empty, utilized, or full
- The utilization of storage bins in terms of their weight, volume, or capacity
- The number of storage bins that are blocked, and the reasons for being blocked
Enhance RF Scan Field Length
2D barcodes like DataMatrix or QR-Code are more and more used in a warehouse. Industry standards like VDA (for automotive) or in pharmacy use different data identifiers even with single value barcodes. The solution prior to the SAP S/4HANA 2021 release only supported barcodes with up to 50 characters. Now however you can scan different types of bar codes and longer bar codes (up to 255 characters).
You can enhance the standard bar code logic or define your own bar code decoding logic in Customizing for Extended Warehouse Management under Business Add-Ins for Extended Warehouse Management –> Mobile Data Entry –> Bar Code Specification:
- Initialization of GS1-128 Bar Code Support
- Changing of Application Identifier Types
- Additional Check of Application Identifiers
- Decoding of Bar Codes
- Changing of Application Identifier Data
Modernize RF Presentation
There is a new “EWM_MOBGUI” service in the transaction SICF. Via this service, you can display ABAP Dynpro in RF Framework as SAP GUI for HTML. It is optimized for mobile use cases. There are three key advantages for using this service over ITSmobile:
- It requires no generation of an HTML template
- It renders the RF screens in the most recent SAP Themes and Fiori Design for a modern look and feel
- Screens can be further personalized using SAP Screen Personas
SAP Screen Personas is a brand-new feature, but it is a topic deserving its own article so be sure to keep an eye out for that. We will present in more details what it is, what it does and how you can use it.
New Fiori App “Display Warehouse Documents”
In a typical warehouse, a warehouse document is a goods receipt or goods issue posting which can consist of one or multiple items. You can use the “Display Warehouse Documents” App to select and display warehouse documents which contain all information about a goods movement.
Other Usability Enhancements
Aside from this, we made many other enhancements and fine tunings for the user experience. While they each do not merit and individual subchapter of their own, I would like to quickly mention some of them here:
- In the “Count Physical Inventory” App, you can assign ranges of serial numbers to physical inventory items.
- In the “Pack Handling Units” App, you can resize the split screen and the system then uses this new screen layout the next time you open the app.
- In the “Warehouse KPIs – Operations” App, you can navigate from the outbound delivery order in the drill-down page directly to the “Run Outbound Process – Deliveries” App.
- In the “Run Outbound Process – Deliveries” and “Run Outbound Process – Production” Apps you can change the gross weight and volume of delivery items.
- From the “Run Outbound Process – Deliveries”, “Run Outbound Process – Production”, “Change Inbound Deliveries – Deliveries”, and “Change Inbound Deliveries – Production” Apps you can navigate to the Packing screen. There you can manage handling units (HUs) more extensively, including nested HUs.
FIND OUT MORE!
There are many more features and enhancements that we brought to our solution with the SAP S/4HANA 2021 release, such a more migration options, laying the foundation for connecting Decentral EWM on SAP S/4HANA to multiple ERP systems, more BAdIs in the area of RF Framework, new Monitor methods and so on. I highly encourage you to explore our latest “SAP EWM in SAP S/4HANA 2021 – What’s New” document for a more detailed look into all of our new features and enhancements.
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it is really nice to see some updates. I have some ideas regarding performance improvement of the material master reading. Unfortunately it is sometimes hard to communicate with SAP via Support messages. Some issues we faced in S/4HANA, which are still (not sure about first one, but it looks like this ) not fixed in standard. Maybe somebody sees this and it be included in some of upcoming releases, if not it is good that in S4 modification key is not required anymore
1st is material mapping, old and nice /SAPAPO/MATMAP table is represented in EWM as DDL SQL View SCMPRDMATMAP, DDL Source SCMPRD_MATMAP
this View we had to replace to achieve better performance in the interface. Not sure when the table materialid is used, it is empty in all systems where I have access + I found following comment in the source code
Additionally this part of code was discovered in the system, please see comment:
Write in the MATERIALID table only on systems where the business function
for LAMA is active. On S4 system teh function is always disabled and that
is why, it is not necessary to write there.
It means this table is probably never used in S4, but still one has decided to use value from left outer join for the keyfield in this view. (this part exactly)
In case this table removed from the join, or it can be maybe done conditionally, performance increases drastically, without any side effects:
SAP vs YSAP
2nd Is the cache mechanism in the material reading. It was partially broken with OSS Note 1512956 10 years ago.
If BOD read is requested it is not possible to hit buffer in case when product has no BOD records.
In case when Product does not have any BOD records table remains empty and system always rereads BOD
Unfortunately in the FORM enrich_elements (Include /SCWM/LPS_CIFF06) which is called during packaging specification distribution somebody decided to use huge structure to read one field from material master. It would make sense in case buffering would work, but since BOD is required all products are re-read it is easy to see if many Packaging Specifications are distributed with same packaging material. Sade, but it is almost impossible to make first line Support to accept such issues.
It make no sense to add performance trace if same product be selected from database again and again, and in case of correction it be taken direct from the memory from the second run. It could be solved locally for EWM Packspec distribution, by usage of smaller structure for material reading, or it could be solved globally by changing the central material reading part of the code.
thanks for your comprehensive analysis and for your willingness to share this. I have forwarded this to our architects to check in detail.
But I can share that the topic is not finished with the 2021 release. We are also investigating further areas to improve such cases. Performance is an ongoing thing and we are constantly looking into this. Hopefully we can deliver some further improvements soon.
I received some updates already:
we are planning to optimize product master access further by using the MM function modules and are confident this will improve the topic you mentioned
Hello Jörg, thank you for your update.
Would be great if some improvements would be available with OSS Notes. 🙂
very good point! Some of monitor reports (especially Product master - related) are VERY slow when reading already hundreds(!) of entries. This is sad, not expectable from a super fast Hana DB and from OSS I have got not really working answers so far. Even if I pointed some certain places in code, which seemed not optimal to me.
Just wanted to support your comment!
Thanks for this story.
Short question: can we expect ME driven staging for decentralized environment with R3 system (ECC), not S/4?
I understand your question in the following way: You want to connect your decentral EWM on S/4HANA (2021 release) to an ECC and run MES driven staging on the decentral EWM. This is supported. The ECC needs to send the production order to EWM and EWM sends back consumption postings to ECC, this was build with EHP5 of ECC.
We uses WebServices for the communication to SAP DMC for the scenario MES Driven Staging. In case there is no SAP DMC you need to build a project solution.
Thank you for sharing brief release functionality.
For production - MES-Driven Staging capability is quite helpful.
Is this capability possible to use only with discreate and process industry type or in Repetative industry also able to use this capability via DMC and SAP ME ?
Hi and thank you for the information!
Happy New Year to you, and I apologize for the late reply on your questions. Let me start with the first one:
1) As of today, we don’t have any Fiori Apps planned to replace the RF. In S/4HANA we plan to continue the future support of the RF framework to safeguard the investments of our customers. Our current strategy for the RF Framework is to provide an out-of-the-box solution with a robust set of standard RF logical transaction that the customers can immediately use. For customers requesting UI5 Apps, we provide Open Data services for the EWM objects. Please note however, that in this case customers will have to implement the mobile UI5 Apps in their own custom development projects. Our OData services are provided via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and for a full list of APIs available in Cloud WM and in SAP Extended Warehouse Management On-Prem (with restrictions) please check SAP Note 3093108 "Using Warehouse Management APIs". As an example of what can be achieved using EWM OData services, there is an SAP app being developed for native iOS devices, the “Warehouse Operator” Apps. You can find a bit more details of the planned scope for this App in the linked planned scope document.
2) There are no plans today for such updates to the RF Framework. However, now that we introduced SAP GUI for HTML for browser-based radio frequency (RF) devices, you can use SAP GUI to modernize the look and feel of RF screens. You can now have an SAP Fiori-like design without the need to use ITSmobile. SAP GUI for HTML renders the ABAP Dynpros created in the RF framework directly in the browser on the RF device. With SAP GUI for HTML, you can also use SAP Screen Personas to personalize RF screens. SAP Screen Personas is a personalization engine for Dynpro and Web Dynpro applications. You can use SAP Screen Personas to personalize and transform the user interface of SAP applications according to specific business needs. You can create role-specific screens (called flavors) that are managed by a central administrator. If required, you can also allow users to create their own personalized look and feel for applications or transactions. Transactions can have more than one flavor, with each screen looking differently if desired. You can also use SAP Screen Personas to create scripts that automate processes within a transaction. The following guide describes how you can set up SAP Screen Personas flavors for mobile RF devices working on SAP GUI for HTML.
“SAP Screen Personas for Mobile RF Devices in Extended Warehouse Management in SAP S/4HANA – How-To Guide”
3) From an EWM application point of view, we recommend to use MOBGUI and not the Slipstream engine for RF. For the reasoning behind this recommendation i suggest you read SAP Note 3069276 “General Information on the SAP Screen Personas Add-on Slipstream Engine Feature”.
Hope these answer your questions!
Thank you for the detailed answers Gheorghe! Good to be able to confirm as it's not that easy to find information.
Yes, I've seen the Warehouse Operator-app and it looks great. Hopefully UI/UX-learnings from this can be applied to the RF framework in the future and be made available to more device types, with proper scanners built in (android).
Personally, I don't believe the RF framework needs to be completely redesigned into "proper fiori apps". One key thing is to simplify by grouping fields and remove field labels (just as the Warehouse Operator-app). Another is to make scanning fields a bit more clear. A third one is to make the design responsive (the group-boxes could perhaps help this).
Seems like MOBGUI + Personas is the way to go right now. I've worked a lot with Personas and last week I did a quick prototype using RF + Personas. Not the best example since it's only one field per group, no config done to buttons etc...
RF + Personas Prototype
a question regarding the plant maintenance integration:
How is the creation of the outbound delivery triggered? Is it comparable to PP-integration, so the deliveries are generated during release of the PM order? Or do I need to execute the consumption posting via. MIGO, with which the delivery is then created?
I would prefer the creation during release of the order, but in this blog post MIGO is mentioned: Integration of Plant Maintenance(PM) with Extended warehouse management (EWM) in S/4HANA 2021 Release | SAP Blogs
I also found an Add-On from SAP Consulting, which seems to have more possibilities like PMR integration, and also the trigger of the deliveries through release of the order. Are those features also coming into a future S/4 release?
PM(EAM)-EWM Integration | SAP Blogs
with the development of the PM integration the existing transaction MB26 was enhanced to create the deliveries, an additional check was implemented make sure that the delivery is not created twice. Also it was enhanced that no batch is needed when creating the delivery so EWM determines the batch during picking. To my understanding you are able to plan a regular job for MB26.
You are right, the add-on from SAP consulting can also provide the integration with PMR documents, this is currently not planned in the standard.
thank you for the fast answer, that is good to know.
It also means the creation during release is not possible and also not planned in the future, right?
I have one question that I can´t find any answer in any blogs, notes or other documentation.
We have upgraded from SAP ECC to latest version of S4HANA 2021, and started implementing EWM embedded in this S4HANA installation. We can see that standard EWM warehouse 0001 with all other table entries only exisist in client 000. Are there any BC sets, best pratice etc. to have all this config. automatic in to our running client 201? It is time consuming to walk threw all customizing steps and copy from client 000 with use of standard adjustment.
maybe this helps: https://help.sap.com/viewer/S4HANA1809_AdminGuide/0b852bb0d1464aee83cb038496ab3e90.html ?
We have recently performed an upgrade from S/4 HANA 2019 to S/4 HANA 2021. Since this upgrade, the change transfer for batch data (e.g. SLED) is not working anymore. Any change to the SLED via tcode MSC2N is not visible in EWM physical stock. Once we use the "Repair Batch Attributes" function in the Warehouse Monitor, the SLED is updated correctly in EWM.
Seems to be a CIF or RFC problem, but we cannot find any irregularities here. Any suggestions as to what might be the solution?
Pleas open a ticket so we can analyze and provide a fix.
Thanks for your quick response. I already logged a ticket yesterday, so hopefully this will result in a solution.
with the new release we got some new nodes in the warehouse monitor, also here:
Stock and Bin --> Handling Unit --> HU Ident
But I missed "Alternative HU Ident" with the new release. The node is very important for our daily process.
Is this integration (EWM - PM )part of BASIC EWM or Advanced EWM in S4 2021 Embedded ?
Could you confirm if the PM(EAM)-EWM Integration (Delivery based) falls under Basic Embedded EWM license?
yes, we confirm this. No advanced license is required for this scenario in the embedded deployment.
For decentral the advanced license is mandatory but you want to use embedded so no impact for your project.
That helps a lot, thanks Joerg Michaelis. I tried finding this information from multiple sources, no where it is this crisp.