SAP’s Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) solution has become an integral part of many organisation’s warehousing and distribution operations. For large and high-volume warehousing, a decentralised deployment is often the most appropriate option to go for as it is more able to handle a higher throughput. For smaller and mid-sized warehousing operations however, a decentralised deployment can seem like overkill and the cost of implementing it becomes a deterrent.
For those instances, SAP instead offer the option to deploy a centralised EWM solution as an embedded application component in S/4 HANA. This can be a far more cost-effective way for companies to manage and optimise warehouse operations in the right circumstances and offers a host of benefits over a more complex decentralised deployment.
Simplified Systems Landscape
An embedded EWM solution drastically simplifies the IT landscape and reduces the total cost of ownership. With a single solution to manage and a common user experience across all facets of ERP and warehouse management, user engagement and productivity is also increased.
The benefits of running a single solution extend to creating an environment where all processes, including those across planning and execution, product development, warehouse, quality and transportation, can be easily integrated to enable simple end-to-end operations management.
Built up over many years of working with businesses operating at every stage of the supply chain, SAP Best Practices are an extensive offering of pre-configured processes, sample structures and automated workflows that can be deployed “out-of-the-box”, accelerating both the system implementation and the ROI.
SAP offer two options for deploying an embedded EWM solution, with varying functionality depending on the individual business requirements. The Basic Embedded EWM option is included in the cost of S/4 HANA licensing, helping to keep deployment and running costs down. This option includes functionality for stock transparency and control, including inventory, process and layout management. The Advanced Embedded EWM option includes enhanced functionality, but also incurs an additional license fee. This option includes more detailed functionality that helps to further enhance optimisation of warehouse operations, including wave, yard and labour management.
With EWM embedded into the S/4 HANA platform, the functionality of S/4 HANA’s embedded analytics engine can be leveraged to provide detailed analytics and reporting of not just live transactional data, but also enables real-time monitoring of warehouse operations. Pre-configured reports and live dashboards are available to a wide range of users, tailored to their particular duties. Having unified access to critical performance information in real-time helps to elevate accuracy and productivity, while enabling decision-makers to take informed actions based on the real-time status of operations.
Reduced Data Duplication
As all warehousing and transactional data is held within the S/4 HANA database, the need for data replication is significantly reduced. Master data does not need to be duplicated and subsequently removes the need for CIF (Core Interface) to be used. On top of this, as transactional data can be read directly, the need for an EGR (Expected Goods Receipt) document is also eliminated. Removing the need for multiple copies of the same information means storage costs are much lower and network loads are reduced, freeing up valuable resources.
It’s crucial for organisations to evaluate the best options for their own individual purposes, but with the flexibility to deploy EWM in multiple ways SAP have further enhanced the value of one of the most popular warehouse management solutions available today. Should you require assistance in choosing the right option for your needs, Invenio’s expert consultants are here to help guide you through the process and ensure the best fit for your business.