With rapid technological changes, we see many innovations entering the market – across various business domains and sectors.
Supply Chain Management is one of the areas welcoming a rapid increase in innovations focusing specifically on improvement and sustainability. Warehouse Management, within the supply chain, has been one of the key beneficiaries of these advancements.
Companies who utilise warehouses for their core operations understand that to keep up with the dynamic customer demand, improve operations and move towards sustainable ways of working – an automated and digital warehouse management solution is required.
SAP – one of the leading enterprise software providers – has invested significant resources in this space, bringing numerous innovations and improvements to its product suite, especially in the Digital Supply Chain space.
Most SAP customers have already started their transformation journey from SAP ECC to SAP S/4 HANA while those with warehouse management capabilities are now exploring additional viable options to develop their warehouse transformation roadmaps.
To ensure the ease of its customer transformation journey to SAP S/4HANA, SAP has imported the core Warehouse Management (LE-WM) capabilities from SAP ERP to SAP S/4 HANA – a strategic decision to ensure SAP customers can first migrate to SAP S/4HANA and subsequently decide the best course of action for their Warehouse Management requirements. The above approach minimises the risks of embarking on multiple transformation journeys at one time.
In this article, we have summarised warehouse transformation (incl. deployment) options to help organisations of different sizes embark on their warehouse management transformation journeys – based on their respective capacities and needs.
The following are the key Warehouse Management transformation options available to SAP customers (in consideration of the SAP S/4 HANA journey):
|SAP LE-WM |
(Logistics Execution – Warehouse Management)
|· Core capabilities from SAP ERP are supported in SAP S/4HANA as a Compatibility Pack Scope item |
· Compatibility Pack Scope items in S/4HANA are supported if the customer opts in for SAP ERP to SAP S/4HANA conversion.
|· Compatibility Pack Scope items in S/4HANA are supported only until Dec-2025 |
· LE-WM is not part of the SAP strategic product roadmap
|SAP S/4HANA Stock Room Management||· Core capabilities of Warehouse Management have been developed for the SAP S/4HANA platform |
· Part of SAP strategic product roadmap
|· Limited/basic capabilities of Warehouse Management intended for use by small-scale organisations who require minimal warehouse capabilities/functions. |
· Although part of SAP strategic product roadmap, most innovations of EWM will not be made available for Stock Room Management
|SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM)||· SAP’s strategic product for Warehouse Management capabilities and the recommended options for most SAP customers |
· Can be operated in “Basic” or “Extended” (i.e. advanced) modes based on the customer’s need
|· New technology with significant improvements/innovations from SAP, thus requiring new implementation and investments|
The above options can be deployed in a variety of ways to ensure they fit the customer’s landscape. The key high-level deployment options are covered below:
|Warehouse Scenarios||Notes||On-premise||SAP S/4 HANA Private Cloud||SAP S/4 HANA Public Cloud|
|S/4 HANA – LE-WM (Logistics Execution – Warehouse Management)||Can be used as a Compatibility Pack Scope item in S/4HANA until Dec-2025||✔|| |
|SAP S/4 HANA – Embedded EWM – (Basic)||Typically seen as the standard deployment of Embedded EWM on SAP S/4HANA. |
Delivers core capabilities required for business, ability to scale vertically and horizontally, and the benefits of innovations (e.g. HANA platform, Fiori UI, Analytics etc.)
| ✔ |
|SAP S/4HANA – Embedded EWM – (Extended)||The preferred option for customers operating complex warehouses within a singular geography or location. |
Delivers core and advanced (e.g. complex picking and put-away strategies, value-added services, kitting and automation integration) capabilities required for business, ability to scale vertically and horizontally, and the benefits of innovations (e.g. HANA platform, Fiori UI, Analytics etc.)
| ✔ |
|✔|| ✔ |
(Core EWM capabilities tailored for Cloud)
|De-centralised SAP EWM||The preferred option for customers who operate multiple complex warehouses spread across multiple geographies and require significant integration with internal and external applications.|| ✔ |
| ✔ |
|SAP S/4HANA – Stock room Management||Basic SAP S/4HANA compatible warehouse management capabilities are offered, but the capability/functionality is drastically reduced in comparison to LE-WM.|| ✔ |
As previously highlighted, the Warehouse Management transformation is a key initiative for most SAP customers today – the right components, deployment options and implementation approaches vary significantly based on:
- Current customer landscape and the level of customisation/integration
- Size of the organisation, warehouses and how the operations are spread across geographies
- Required level of automation and digitisation
- Required level of integration with the wider IT estate and third-party systems
On Device Solutions developed an SAP-certified mobile app (myWarehouse) for customers who are keen to increase operational efficiencies by mobilising their warehouse management capability.
Please download our mobile SAP WM/EWM case study to discover our product’s mobility proficiencies and to find out how we helped one of our clients capitalise on the legacy IT investment whilst exploiting all other innovations/capabilities available at hand.
At On Device Solutions, you will find expert SAP architects and solution consultants with years of consulting and implementation experience in the warehouse management space. Please get in touch today to find out how we can help you accomplish your warehouse management and enterprise mobility goals.