Category: Supply Chain

SAP WM vs EWM

I am not SAP-ean but recently been having discussion around WM so I try to learn more about this.  What I wrote here is based on my research over the internet, you can look from the source link from below.

I found these information from our team of experts with SAP EWM Interface, SAP Blog: https://blogs.sap.com/2013/08/04/sap-scm-ewm-vs-sap-ecc-wm/ ,
SAP Documentation: https://help.sap.com/saphelp_scm50/helpdata/en/58/c69040bca2ef4ae10000000a1550b0/frameset.htm , and
LinkedIn: https://www.slideshare.net/InSyncSolutionsLtd/sap-erpsolutions

First : What is SAP?
SAP – German Company, Enterprise Software (ERP).

Second : What is WMS?
This is broader term, WMS refers to Warehouse Management System, keeping track of the load in the warehouse with detailed attributes – unit by unit.  Unlike Inventory System, which only capture the overall quantity.

This post will specifically talk about SAP WMS.

SAP1

Third : When it started?
SAP WM was introduced since SAP R/2 in the 1970’s (around 1978, 1979).
It is further enhanced during 1990’s (around 1991) when SAP introduced SAP R/3.  It is important to know that SAP R/3 is the most popular version, it enables Enterprises to run SAP on Client-Server.

SAP EWM was introduced since 2005.
EWM is the abbreviation of Extended Warehouse Management, the most significant functionality advancements include labor management, slotting and Material Flow Systems.
At the same time, SAP R/3 has evolved into SAP ECC 5.0 (2004) and ECC 6.0 (2006).

SAP2

Fourth : Compare SAP WMS vs EWM for Automated Warehouse
Material Flow Systems.
SAP EWM is designed to allow the WMS to directly control automation without the use of what is commonly known as a Warehouse Control System or WCS.

Detailed Storage Bin Management, Storage System Control does not exist in the ERP.

If I may sketch the communication between ERP, EWM, and Automation Systems:

SAP3
Blue Box refers to SAP component.  Orange Box refers to Automation Component.

SAP WMS (which is built into SAP ECC, as part of the ERP) do not have the functionality to manage and control automation.

While SAP EWM with slotting and material flow systems will have the capability to speak to the Automation Systems in the warehouse.

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Transformation

On my journey to work this morning, I have a conversation with myself.

I do not know how many people practice speeches or talk to ourselves, I LOVE to do this.
It helps to sort out my thoughts, while I practice talking to myself, I also practice to speak in different language – I choose the language for my thoughts.

Thinking in Mandarin vs thinking in English gives different feelings.

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Think about a recent client I met, they clearly know their current operation, 20 years of operating model, and they know what they want to achieve in 5 years.

I speak to myself as if I am standing in a boardroom telling the client that they are going to embark on an interesting journey.

Anyone in Supply Chain Business, would feel the thrill to carry out a major investment – building a new warehouse with automation for the business – automation also meant, digitization.  In your lifetime, you may experience once, twice if you get lucky.

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I am working in a company providing warehouse automation solution, over 3 years tenure, I participated in 3 projects during pre-sales, and witness the realization – I think I just strike multiple lotteries – except the point that I wasn’t building for my family.

If customer doubted my personal experience, I can fully understand – I am too young.
The collective experience our organization has as a whole, we are reliable, and hence, customer need to trust us – and perhaps giving up 50% of their current processes.

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Digitization is scary because you need to let go of a lot of physical touch, the control we used to have when we carry out the tasks with our physical body.

Once you put the goods on a machine, you let go of the touch – and trust that that it will work.

Faith is not enough to justify multi-million dollar investment.

True.

That’s why automation is a journey, it is not a vending machine.

Research, invest your time, hire consultant to examine your organization, hire the right people for this journey, go to a Live Site (and be amazed).

It is a journey, not a signature on the contract.

It requires a lot of effort, if the consultant have not tell you enough.

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It Just Work! It is not effortless.

Be pro, be systematic, analyse, know what works for your business – you already know this – you won’t be where you are today, if you do not know this already!

Sort out the rules, choose to let go of the simple yet repetitive task to the robots.

Tedious work ahead, remind yourself why you are doing this.

Convey the same vision to your organization – after all – you are doing this for the benefit and future growth to your business.

Be patience to examine the minute details, make the decision.

Hardwork will be paid off – because – you are the boss.

*wink*

This video from a happy, passionate customer.

Transportation / Yard Management

While our prospect is looking for Yard Management System / Transportation Management System.  Below some company in their search.

Transportation Management, Yard Management – for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies.

First, this company from India – Inspirage – offer an Oracle Transportation System, the website did not disclose this product at all, strange. I guess it is an on-premise solution, and Oracle based (they name explained itself!).

Link: http://www.inspirage.com/2016/09/innovative-cpg-companies-need-effective-transportation-management-tools/

Second, this American company – Transporeon, as suggested with their brand, they offer transportation management. Their website has cool write up and videos on their product. SaaS model Tansportation Management.

Link: http://www.transporeon.com/us/

Here’s who they are and what they do:

Another integral part within Supply Chain Management – Transportation Management

For Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) – it is competitive, it is perishable, it is fast moving.

The manufacturer might have 1 central location to produce CPG, and distribute to all destination in the country.  A central location to manage the recipe, raw material, quality control, audit, etc.

The finished goods (CPG) needs to deliver to few distribution channel – few regions in the country, before they can go to market, and sometimes receive market feedback / returns.  If one of these process get disturbed, it could impact the organizations’ bottom line.

These external factor : Truck failure, Shipment Hold.

Chain effect:

  1. Production & central warehouse have to hold on to its goods.
  2. Distribution channels are crying for stock.
  3. Unable to meet its deadline, consumer opt for other brands.
  4. Goods were held in warehouse for more than 2 days, warehouse run out of storage space..

N i g h t m a r e .