S4 EWM – Basic concepts.

Objective :

The blog provides a high-level overview of some of the key concepts in Embedded EWM which will be beneficial for the business community or a process owner, if their organization is either in the planning phase for moving to S4 from the current ERP LE-WM or in the process mapping workshops stage or in general, basically to get an understanding of different functionalities complied in a nutshell.

1. Process type determination Indicator in the Warehouse Product master :

In addition to the Put away and Stock removal control indicator in the product master, there is an additional parameter called Process type determination indicator. This indicator is one of the key criteria for determining the warehouse process type , which defines how the product needs to be directed within the warehouse during the inbound or the outbound process. The Warehouse Process Type (WPT) gets determined during the creation of warehouse requests (Inbound delivery or the Outbound delivery) and it has its own control settings. For example, from or to Storage type / storage bin information for regular good movements or a Storage control in case of Process or Layout storage control process is required or Warehouse Order creation rule for grouping the warehouse tasks. Subsequently, the warehouse process type gets carried over to the warehouse task.

High level process flow :

Process type Indicator in Product Master :

Below is an example of a standard put away warehouse process type (1010) from customizing with the source storage type and bin information:

2. Storage type role :

In EWM, every storage type has a role defined in customizing. This is to outline the purpose of the storage type and its usage .

The Storage type role includes standard storage type, Work center, pick point/ ID point, Staging area group, Door, Yard, Production supply area (PSA), Work center in staging areas group, Automatic warehouse controlled by the Material flow system.

The role must be defined during the creation of the storage type so that it can be mapped to the corresponding processes. For example, only a storage type with role B, C ,E , I can be assigned to a Work center.

3. Serial Number management :

In EWM, serial number requirement can be managed at three different levels.

  1. Delivery item level : This level provides visibility of the serial number at the Inbound or outbound delivery level only, not further downstream.
  2. Warehouse number level : At this level, the system requires capturing the serial number at every goods receipt or goods issue, so that it can provide the serial number tracking at warehouse level.
  3. Bin inventory level : Using this level has the provision to locate the serial number at bin level. It means every warehouse movement whether an inbound, internal processes or an outbound requires serial number information.

Serial number requirement levels :

In terms of the master data prerequisites, every product that needs a serial number requirement in EWM, must have two different serial number profiles assigned in the master, an ERP profile and EWM profile.

The ERP profile is assigned to the material master on the ERP side, either on the Sales General/Plant view or on the Plant data / storage 2 view and this profile is required to define the usage of the profile on the ERP side. For example which business transactions require serial number entry (goods receipts/issues, delivery etc.) and whether its optional or mandatory along with equipment number requirements.  It also defines whether the serial number must exist in the system as a prerequisite and a stock check is required or not.

The EWM profile is assigned in the WM Execution view of the ERP material master, and this is warehouse independent.  When the material gets replicated into the embedded EWM as a product master, it gets captured under the storage tab on the EWM side.

The serial number requirement level is set at this EWM profile. This EWM profile need to be configured in both the ERP and EWM side with similar settings. It is also possible to have a warehouse number specific EWM profile with a similar name so that it can be used to manage a product whether serial number is required or not for a specific warehouse.

4. Bin stock overview :

In embedded EWM, the bin stock is represented by the combination of Product, Batch (if applicable), Party Entitled to Dispose, Owner, EWM Stock Type, and qty with UoM. So, let’s look at the underlying concept behind the Party Entitled to Dispose, EWM stock type and how it ties back to the ERP plant and storage location.

To start with, lets understand what an availability group code is. The availability group code is a max 10 char code specific to the warehouse, which acts as a connection between the EWM stock type and the ERP plant and location combination.

In the back-end configuration, there are 2 mapping tables.

The first mapping table connects the ERP Plant, storage location, logical system, Party entitled to Dispose to an availability group code. This combination must be unique, meaning if there are more than one storage location that needs to be mapped, then the availability group code should be different for each of them.

As a side note, the Party Entitled to Dispose is the Business Partner representing the plant and it can also be entered as default Party Entitled to Dispose in the warehouse number customizing, if the warehouse is representing only one plant.

Warehouse configuration:

Now, coming back to the mapping table, the second table connects the availability group code to the EWM stock types. In general, it’s possible to map different EWM stock types to one ERP Plant and storage location combination.

Let’s look at the below 2 examples, where i have mapped few EWM stock types for illustration purpose. In the first example, let’s assume that under plant 4000, there is only one main storage location 4004 which is being used for processing the goods receipt for external PO, internal process order and for the outbound process as well. In this case, it has been mapped to multiple EWM stock types.

Availability group mapping with only one storage location:

In the second example, let’s assume that under plant 4000, there are two storage locations 4001 and 4002, where 4001 is being used for receiving (from Production or external PO in the dock) and 4002 as available stocks for outbound process or sale to the customer. In this case, there are 2 availability groups mapped to the respective EWM stock types.

Availability group mapping with two storage locations:

Conclusion :

Other key concepts in EWM include Storage control process, wave picking, two step picking, Warehouse order creation rule, integration with other components (QM, PP) and so on. It’s obvious that there are lot of different concepts  that needs to be accustomed during any transition or an implementation, but in this blog, I have compiled only few of them to start with as it will be over whelming to intake all at once.

Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog and please feel free to share constructive feedback to improve the next blog.