Migrating from SAP Warehouse Management (WM) to SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) – A Useful Guide
SAP Warehouse Management solution may end by 2025 based on SAP Note “1648480 – Maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 Software including SAP NetWeaver.” SAP S/4HANA customers can use SAP WM till 2025. Please refer to SAP note 2269324 – Compatibility Scope Matrix for SAP S/4HANA. WM is still part of S/4HANA but in a compatibility mode – see SAP Notes 2269324 and 2270211. With the compatibility mode, SAP allows customers to migrate their existing solutions smoothly into S/4HANA. SAP also restricts the usage of components which are in a compatibility mode until 31st December 2025 (refer to SAP Note 2269324 for details). SAP considers EWM as the strategic product for warehouse management and recommends implementing new warehouses by using EWM. Customers with SAP WM needs to plan for EWM Migration.
Inventory should be stored efficiently to satisfy customer orders and supply production with raw materials. Warehouse Management is management of stock and management of locations where the stock is being stored.
SAP WM (Warehouse Management) has a big boost in new capabilities to manage warehouse operations. It is a scalable solution that has been deployed in various business environments from simple raw materials warehouses to complex, basic warehouse processes, small and medium volume. The functionality of SAP WM has been expanded further to S/4HANA EWM (Extended Warehouse Management) that has comprehensive warehouse management processes, full process transparency, flexible automated processes, high-performance, high-volume warehouse operations, medium & large-sized warehouses.
Benefits of SAP Extended Warehouse Management in SAP S/4HANA
Extended Warehouse Management provides us with the option of mapping entire warehouses in detail in the system. Using EWM, we can control and optimise various processes in the warehouse. SAP S/4HANA EWM solution covers complex warehouse processes in the whole supply chain. It offers customisable processes and supports direct integration to fully automated warehouses. If I compare to WM, EWM offers almost the same basic processes of WM and has additional capabilities.
1. Extended Warehouse Management offers you flexible, automated support for processing various goods movements and for managing stock in your warehouse complex. For example, the goods movement from the goods receipt zone to the warehouse can be planned in more detail according to labour and resources than is possible in the original warehouse management in SAP ERP that is currently still available in SAP S/4HANA. So the worker in the warehouse knows exactly when to pick a part and how to move it to the next bin. The system can also plan exactly where to put a truck in the yard and when it is directed to the door to unload the parts.
2. SAP EWM is the strategic warehouse management solution for SAP S/4HANA.
3. SAP EWM offers enhanced visibility and flexibility.
4. Labour management is a part of SAP EWM.
5. It also contains advanced warehouse functionality that you can use for your whole supply chain.
The Primary functions of EWM
1. Inventory Management at storage bin level
2. Storage bin determination for incoming goods
3. Stock removal for outgoing goods
4. Stock transfers
5. Physical inventory Management
SAP S/4HANA Simplifications and Innovations – Comparison SAP EWM vs SAP WM
1. Internal Routing
2. Expected Goods Receipt
3. Unloading of Transport units
5. Slotting/ Re-arrangement
6. Labour Management
7. Decentral Quality Inspection
8. Warehouse Automation (MFS)
1. Put away Strategies
2. Removal Strategies
3. Wave Management
5. Handling Unit Management
6. Yard Management
7. RF Technology
8. Resource Management
9. Value added services/ Kitting
11. Dynamic Cycle Counting
12. Multi-Client Warehousing
13. Flexible Process Modelling
14. Layout Modelling
Migrating to EWM reduces costs through a better and improved process and improves productivity of the warehouse by using capabilities of EWM. It also offers flexibility. It is now embedded in SAP S/4HANA. This offers us “best in class” warehouse management application that provides real time transparency. Basic WM features are available as a part of the S/4HANA licence. Advanced features need an additional licence. It would be ideal to speak with SAP on this.
SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) normally runs as a de-centralised system. With SAP S/4HANA embedded EWM another deployment option is available. In general, the processes of a decentralised EWM system and an embedded EWM system are the same.
SAP ERP/SAP EWM System Landscape
SAP EWM shares the same server as other SAP SCM applications such as Advanced Planning and Optimizer (APO) and Event Management, but it is considered a standalone application. We recommend that you run SAP EWM on a different SAP SCM server to production planning applications such as APO demand planning and production planning/detailed scheduling.
Since the SAP SCM 2007 release of SAP EWM, it is possible to run SAP EWM in a centralised mode within SAP ECC 6.0 (SAP ERP Central Component). A limitation with this deployment option is that SAP EWM installed on SAP ERP only works with storage locations within the same client that the warehouse is running. An SAP S/4HANA system can be connected to an SAP EWM system that runs on an SAP SCM server or standalone. With embedded EWM, available with SAP S/4HANA 1610, another option exists.
SAP EWM is a self-contained application; it requires integration with an SAP ERP system to access master & transaction data. Use of some functions in SAP EWM, Example : entitlement slotting & availability-checking may also require an interface with SAP applications and systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Global Available to Promise (Global ATP) in APO, and Service Parts Planning in APO.
Some functions that were introduced with the different SAP EWM releases, such as batch selection, kit-to-stock, and production integration, require SAP ECC 6.0 with a certain EHP. It is ideal to read the EWM release notes to determine the functions that require an EHP.
Two kinds of data need to be transferred between the SAP ERP and the SAP EWM system — master data and transactional data. The use of CIF is not required in an SAP S/4HANA embedded EWM. For transactional data a separate distribution model is used. Technically, both the CIF and the transactional data distribution model are based on qRFC. For earlier SAP ERP versions, IDocs are also supported.
The main process areas in SAP EWM are inbound processing, storage and operations, and outbound processing
• The following are the inbound processes:
• Transportation unit processing
• Goods receipt, management, and optimization
• Inbound quality management
• Internal routing
Storage and Operations
Storage and operations comprise the following:
The types of physical inventory procedures are as follows:
• Periodic physical inventory
• Continuous physical inventory
• Cycle counting
The following are the outbound processes:
• Outbound planning (route, wave, bin)
• Picking optimisation, packing, staging, and load management
Simplify your Journey to SAP EWM
In February 2020, SAP announced an extension of the mainstream maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 core applications including SAP ERP 6.0, SAP Customer Relationship Management 7.0, SAP Supply Chain Management 7.0, SAP Supplier Relationship Management 7.0 and corresponding enhancement packages as well as SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, from the end of December 2025 to end of December 2027. See the SAP Release Brochure
(https://support.sap.com/content/dam/support/en_us/library/ssp/release-upgrade-maintenance/maintenance-strategy/sap-release-and-maintenance-strategy-new.pdf) for more details.
In addition, SAP offered extended maintenance until end of December of 2030.
See SAP note 2881788 (https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2881788) for the offered maintenance phases for Business Suite 7. This gives SAP customers long-term predictability and planning security.
After 2025, SAP will provide support for the latest three Enhancement Packages only. For Complete information, refer SAP Note 1648480
EWM will probably be set up as a complete new solution, as it offers very vast functionality than WM. For example, EWM includes information about warehouse structures that were not available in WM (like co-ordinates of a bin). Customers can look into the enhancements or modifications they have done in WM and redesign their processes. As a result, more complex warehouses can be completely defined anew to leverage the advanced features of EWM.
WM Customers can enable a quick migration to EWM
Many of the customers using WM might be interested to move quickly & easily to take over the existing structures and settings into EWM.
As a first step in the warehouse number migration, it is necessary to integrate the EPR warehouse number to an EWM warehouse number. You can set up the integration manually, but SAP EWM also offers a tool to automatize this integration on the EWM side.
When migrating an existing warehouse number to EWM, a plant and a storage location, which is connected to a warehouse number in ERP. For this warehouse number, we need a warehouse number in EWM. This can be the same key, but the keys in ERP and EWM can be different. The storage location needs to be assigned to an availability group and some other assignments are necessary for the integration as well.
For each plant for which the stock is stored in an EWM warehouse number, we need a vendor number and a customer number in the ERP system. This is necessary because when a stock movement is triggered from ERP an inbound or an outbound delivery is created. The vendor and customer are transferred to EWM via the core interface (CIF) through which business partners are created.
We can manually set up the warehouse integration in SPRO path to customise and the master data settings, but SAP EWM also includes a tool that automatically makes numerous settings. The advantage of the tool is that it also creates additionally required customising entries with the help of BC sets. You can also select to create the default number ranges and even to create the standard warehouse layout (in case of a new warehouse number).
An overview on SAP Warehouse Management to SAP Extended Warehouse Management
Migrate a Warehouse
• Migrate from SAP WM to SAP EWM
• Migration Process
Migrate warehouse layout
• Migrate warehouse layout
• Migrating storage types
• Migrating storage sections
• Migrate bin types
• Migrate doors and staging areas
• Migrate picking areas
Migrate Cross Process Settings
• Migrate queues and movement types
Migrate strategy settings
• Migrate strategy settings
• Migrate put away strategies
• Migrate stock removal settings
• Migrate replenishment strategies
Migrate Master Data and Stock Data
i. Migrate Master Data and Stock Data
ii. Storage Bin Migration
iii. Warehouse Product Migration
iv. Stock Migration (Migrating stock from WM to EWM)
We can use tools and transactions to move settings and data from ERP WM to EWM.
Generally, warehouse migration process will be done in two steps. The selected data will be downloaded from ERP and saved either as a local file or a logical file, and then uploaded to EWM. The standard file type is CSV.
For most objects, the transaction requires the selection of a folder for each object. These folders should be created as a first step.
• Storage types
• Storage sections
• Bin types/SU types
• Doors/staging areas
• Picking area
• Movement types
• Putaway strategies
Migrate Warehouse Layout
Migrate Warehouse Layout:
It is possible to take the structures from the ERP warehouse number and create the corresponding EWM objects.
Migrate bin types:
It is also necessary to define a mapping of ERP storage unit types to EWM handing unit types, as these are transferred at the same time
Migrate doors and staging areas:
Doors and staging areas are subjects that are not very commonly used in an ERP warehouse number. So the transfer has some limitations and also some default values
Migrate picking areas:
Picking areas can be used to create activity areas, which will usually require some additional work.
About the Author:
Dr. Ravi Surya Subrahmanyam is a technical and Financials writer with a background in SAP Financial Accounting, Funds Management, Group Reporting, Financial Supply Chain Management, Cash Management & in-house cash, SAP S/4 HANA Finance. He has been working as a Director for the SAP Practice for The Hackett group India Ltd, (Answerthink Company). He completed his Master’s degree in Finance from Central University, Master of Commerce from Osmania University, Master of Commerce from Andhra University, and Ph.D.in Finance from one of the best universities in India. His research Papers have been published in National and International magazines. He has been a Visiting Instructor for SAP India Education and SAP Indonesia – Education. He has been working on Conversion and Upgradation projects. He is a Certified Solution Architect for SAP S/4 HANA and an SAP S/4 HANA Certified Professional. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Ravi Shankar Bhograju has been working as Director SAP Practice and working on various WM, MM, EWM projects for The Hackett Group India Ltd. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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