This Blog Post is for Warehouse Operations Managers and SAP WM Consultants to understand and map the requirements of “Order Fulfillment process” with SAP WM Functions.
OPTIMIZE ORDER FULFILLMENT PROCESS
The costs and labor associated with outbound order processing are typically up to 60-70 percent of warehouse labor. Picking is one of the most important warehouse operations Three main variables a company needs to think ….. when it comes to order fulfillment are productivity, accuracy, and cycle time.
Productivity: This is usually measured by pick rate (i.e. cases/hr or pallets/hr).
Accuracy: An efficient warehouse layout, handling equipment, product identification, bin/location identification, use of bar-coding in conjunction with scanning equipment and proper choice of pick method
Cycle Time: This is the time it takes to enter an order to shipping the order out.
Some questions you need to ask yourself are “What is your product mix?” Are you picking eaches, cases, full pallets or a combination of the three? Do you have multiple SKUs, mixed pallets, etc.? Certain picking methods work better for high volume and complex warehouse Operations than they do for low volume or less complex operations. Choosing what
type of order fulfillment process to use in SAP is discussed in more detail below.
EFFICIENT SAP ORDER FULFILLMENT PROCESS OPTIONS
There are two levels of order fulfillment optimization; order level and picking level.
If we look at the most common and efficient picking processes, to sum up below list follows.
1. Wave Planning
2. Pick to Order
3. Batch Picking
4. Pick to Label
5. Pick and Pack
SAP has the capabilities to support all of these processes with some customizations.
Wave Planning – Wave planning is the process of grouping orders in order to release or control the flow of work to the floor. Some common methods of wave planning are by routes.
I used this method in order to route my picks to Spur, Doc Spot by defined a logical wave process though program.
Pick to Order (Pick for Delivery or Shipment) – pick to order is the process of picking a single delivery note or shipment at one time. This tends to involve more travel to and from the warehouse, but it is dependent on the size of orders, layout of the facility, as well as the picking equipment required.
Batch Picking – Batch picking can be defined in a few ways. In simple, it is the process of picking multiple orders at one time. This process is supported through the 2-step picking functionality. To pick multiple orders at one time with a case ‘pick to belt’ operation is a form of batch picking and is a common application for pick to label or RF picking with SAP WM. To pick several orders to a cart that holds multiple cartons or orders is another form. This process can be supported simply through a custom RF transaction. This will provide the ability to build a cart with multiple cartons by scanning the carton or HU in SAP. The user can pick the orders all the way through a pick by zone or pick area in SAP.
I used this Batch picking method for my client with custom develop program.
Pick to Label – A pick to Label module is a common application for a high volume case pick operation. We need to create Transfer orders based on Cases Picks and each picks and through custom program using Functional module With or without wave planning, this is supported in SAP through the transfer order creation and printing function. Integration with the conveyor sortation system can add visibility to know when the product is picked, sorted and unloaded from the conveyor. I used this method to create TO’s based on Case, Pallet and Each quantity through Functional module.
Pick and Pack – This functionality allows for packing as a separate function, after the pick, or for packing during the picking function. The system can use internal or external handling unit numbers so pre-labeled totes or containers can be used. This number can also be your SSCC (Serialized Shipping Container Code) number.
I used this method to Assign Pick HU to transfer order for my PICK by HU Label.
EFFICIENT SAP ORDER FULFILLMENT EXAMPLE
Order fulfillment should start with the outbound delivery monitor, which is essentially a reporting tool that allows for the execution of multiple functions such as displaying open deliveries, creating picks, creating pick waves, confirming transfer orders, loading and post goods issue. Though Tcode VL060.
WAYS TO OPTIMIZE THE ORDER FULFILLMENT PROCESS
Techniques and tools exist within SAP WM to further enhance order fulfillment and to allow operations a more custom process that is unique to their picking environment.
SAPConsole: These tools are SAP’s RF data collection solution that allows real-time, paperless transactions to occur in SAP. All picks are sent down to wireless RF data collection devices where the user can scan information such as material, bin location, license plate (storage unit or handling unit) or various other items. This information is validated in real-time to the SAP database and enhances accuracy as well as efficiency.
Rough Workload Estimator (VLLG): SAP WM has the ability to estimate the warehouse workload needed to complete delivery fulfillment. Configuration can be set in such a way to define workloads specific for picking, staging, and loading. This way, management can make informed decisions on how many people will be needed for the day to complete tasks.
Monitoring Tools: There are several monitoring tools in SAP WM to monitor and
optimize the processes for order fulfillment.
Warehouse Activity Monitor (LL01)
RF Monitor (LRF1)
Wave Monitor (VL37)
2-Step Picking Monitor (LX39)
SAP WM can fully accommodate any warehouse order fulfillment operation if the right tools are applied to the right operating conditions. Businesses can find the right solution and options within SAP to get the best results by considering their product mix, facility layout, and material handling equipment.
This article is basically a collection of content from various sources on the internet with reference to my practical work on those methods/steps. All product names are trademarks of their respective companies.