SAP S/4 HANA EWM – SAP Putaway Strategy for Inbound Process

SAP S/4 HANA EWM – SAP Putaway Strategy for Inbound Process

Putaway warehouse location determined based on location(source) of the product being received

Introduction

In the inbound process flow, for example, products being sourced from an external vendor when the products are physically received in the warehouse location and all the necessary checks are done for the product, they are planned to be placed at the most optimal location (referred as bin location), this process is known as “Putaway Warehouse Process” in SAP Extended Warehouse Management. 

 

SAP Put away processes are triggered in many different forms. It can be an actual put away process linked to an inbound from either production or an external vendor, as it can be part of the destination determination after a picking activity. 

 

To put-away goods in Extended Warehouse Management, a put-away strategy is used. The Putaway search sequence (which determines the most optimal area within the warehouse) is governed by various factors such as stock type, warehouse process type, and many other factors as per SAP standard functionality.  

 

In our client-specific case, there was one warehouse representing multiple buildings as described further below in Figure 1.2 thereby having multiple receiving zones as the storage capacity of both the buildings could be utilized at the maximum capacity. 

Business Use case

Putaway-Warehouse

Figure 1.1

In the above Figure 1.1 the overall process flow is explained for Inbound from external vendor and the related detailed steps to be performed in SAP extended warehouse management. 

equipment

Image source: Always Equipment Inc

   Figure 1.2 

In the above Figure 1.2, the physical layout of the warehouse structure is displayed where there are multiple buildings outlined representing the same warehouse. 

Challenge/Problem

For one of our customers which deals with heavy machinery products, the warehouse designed in SAP extended warehouse management in this case as seen in Figure 1.2 represents as one warehouse consisting of multiple buildings with the receiving docks possible for each of the different buildings.  

 

As per SAP standard functionality, the put away control indicator or the door determination during the inbound process would influence the products being received at their respective receiving zones (staging areas) and thereby resulting in finding the most optimal bin from the same building of the receiving zone.  

 

The following key points were the requirement/problems faced  

 

  • Product Master Data maintenance to be limited and avoidance of frequent changes to the product master data.  
  • There was no transportation planning for the inbound processes  
  • And the further relevant options of creation of dummy transportations would inefficient inbound flow for the warehouse.  
  • Same products being stored in multiple buildings of the warehouse. 
  • Default staging area determination for such products resulting in the products being received within the same building of the warehouse. 

 

  • With the products being heavy machinery, the movement of products within multiple buildings would lead to time-consuming activity and thereby reducing the desired output from labour and delayed shipments to the customer. 
building

       Figure 1.3 

inbound from external vendor

Figure 1.4

In the above Figures 1.3 & 1.4, the representation of multiple buildings within the same warehouse location and the same product being received from the external vendors across the multiple buildings.  

Solution

In order to address the above challenges, the SAP standard putaway strategy could not meet all the requirements for this customer-specific case thereby the solution offered was to customize the put away determination of the products by influencing the end destination (final storage area/ bin location) based on the source location (staging area/receiving zone)  

 

To meet the requirement, we implemented the BADI enhancement spot /SCWM/ES_CORE_PTS which is used frequently to influence the put away search sequences/strategies during the warehouse task/order creation and determine an alternative search sequence based on the additional client-specific criteria.  

 

A custom table ZEWM_PUTAWAY was created as below 

In this case, handheld devices were used to receive the products in the receiving zone for each of the building of the warehouse. The users log into the handheld device and select the work centre which represents the physical location of the warehouse building for example Building 1 work centre represents the receiving area of building 1 and for the other Building 2 work centre represents the receiving area of the building 2.  The selection of work centre in the handled device results in the “Source Storage Type” i.e., the staging area for the inbound delivery.  

 

All the related entries are maintained in the custom table ZEWM_PUTAWAY which includes the source location details along with the expected put away search sequence, for example Building 1 staging area (as source storage type) will include the destination search sequence of Building 1(as destination storage types) and Building 2 staging area (as source storage type) will include the destination search sequence of Building 2(as destination storage types)   

 

Hence with the implementation of the BADI’s which is also the extension of all the standard criteria’s such as warehouse process type/stock types etc will be extended to consider the custom table ZEWM_PUTAWAY as an additional criterion and thereby replacing the standard put away search sequence to the put away search sequence of the custom table.  

 

Based on the above explanation, when the products were physically received in building 1, the user logs into the handheld device and selects the work centre of building 1 thereby determining the source storage location and when the warehouse tasks/orders were created the put away search sequence would change the default put away search sequences to the values maintained in the custom table and would determine the most optimal bin location of building.

Result

  • Limited Product Master Data maintenance.  
  • No need for transportation planning/dummy transports during the inbound process.  
  • No default determination of staging area for the inbound deliveries. 
  • Flexibility of same products being stored in multiple buildings of the warehouse. 
  • With the products being heavy machinery, the movement of products was reduced and thereby increasing the productivity of the labour and faster shipments to the customer. 

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