Warehouse Management solutions have indeed come a long way. SAP WM (Warehouse Management) offered basic storage functionalities with put away and picking. With the rapid change in customer demand, these basic functionalities were not enough. The need for the hour is transparency and visibility to warehouse operations in real time, optimized and high performance warehouse processes with efficient material flow system integration, flexibility and adaptability to support ever changing customer requirements. To match the dynamics of the modern warehousing scenario SAP released SAP EWM (Extended Warehouse Management).
SAP EWM is an integrated software platform that provides automated and flexible support for efficient management of inventory in a warehouse. It is designed to promptly deal with supply chain exceptions. Furthermore, to handle the high transaction volume of modern-day warehouse EWM includes functions like:
- Bin Management
- Placement Strategies
- Removal Strategies
- Wave Management
- Handling Management
- Transport Units
- DeconsolidationYard Management
- Dock SchedulingValue Added Services
- Cross Docking
- Dynamic Cycle Counting
- Task and Resource Management
- Labor Management
- Mobile RF Technology
- Configurable RF Menus
- Material Flow System Integration
- Multi-Client Warehousing
- Flexible Process Modeling
Out of all the functions, Wave Management is one of the critical functionality. It helps to achieve efficient resource utilization and increases the overall efficiency of warehouse operations. Simply put Wave Management is the process of grouping orders or deliveries or warehouse tasks to perform customer order picking / replenishment requirements on time with a cost effective manner.
Key Benefits Of EWM Wave Management
- Helps to build optimized plans to meet customer requirements
- Efficient handling of scheduled order by reduction in load time
- Supports order based replenishment
- Facilitates planning and control by increasing real time visibility of warehouse operations
- Helps to achieve better order fulfillment rate
- Get optimum productivity of resources
- Other warehouse based replenishments
- Customized (as per business needs) warehouse order creation rules
- Slotting and rearrangement
EWM Wave Management Process Overview
Waves can be created in two ways – manual wave and automatic wave.
Manual Wave – To fulfill a special customer request warehouse planners might need to create wave manually. This can be done through by manually inputting details in a preset template already present in the system.
Automatic Wave – This type of waves are created by predefined wave rules and conditions to optimize the picking and accelerate the shipment process.
As the name suggests at this stage the wave created is monitored and controlled. The status of the processing status is displayed which helps the warehouse planners to initiate subsequent processing activities. Wave monitor offers the flexibility to the warehouse planner to lock/unlock wave, merge waves, assign wave item, remove wave item, split wave and delete wave.
At times due to special customer request or situations the warehouse planner might need to release a wave ahead of its release date and time. For such scenarios, the manual release option is available apart from the standard automatic release and wave unreleased.
Once the wave has been released the warehouse staff perform the picking activities. Packing, staging and loading, follows the picking activity. Once all these activities have been completed the goods issue is posted, which leads to inventory update and customer invoice is raised.
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Rambabu Yella SAP Solution Architect – Logistics @YASH Technologies
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