Understanding Retail Warehouse Management with SAP EWM



Highly efficient,high-performing retail warehouse operations are backbone for success of Retail companies.
The latest SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) application ( SAP EWM Retail) provides a comprehensive proof of technology and performance for Retail industries. This blog post helps you to understand the core functionalities SAP EWM that leverages Retail distribution processes.

A Retail Distribution Center replenish merchandise products to Stores regularly with a proper forecasting and replenishment planning.  I would like to share some of the processes of retail scenarios with SAP EWM application solutions.

SAP EWM provides high efficiency of most critical processes. Examples such as SAP EWM Outbound process enables 180,000 delivery items to be picked with a 60 minutes with real volume of 40,000 lines in a wave release.

Here are some scenarios in SAP EWM Retail application solutions

Inbound Goods Receipt:

A full truck vehicle arrives, The driver contacted the goods receipt office, The office clerk posted the goods receipt, Workers unloaded pallets from the freight vehicle.
Workers put away pallets, according to system-guided strategies, using a material flow system.

Generally Retail Vendors send ASN ( Advance shipping notification) with planned arrival date, quantity and packing information. The Inbound clerk select inbound deliveries by ASN document number and assign all the deliveries/HU’s into a TU and post Goods receipt. Behind the scene the application determine the intermediate staging and final put-away storage. bin.

Also some DC’s can de-consolidate vendor Pallets into Case and semi case handling units. Large size DC’s may some times had two internal stages before final putaway.

Outbound Goods Issue:

A distributed workload over the working hours by grouping deliveries according to their planned time of leaving the distribution center. A Retail DC typically runs 2 to 3 shifts in a day. So grouping deliveries one shift per picking wave.

A Wave release would create orders for Case pick and Eatch pick orders. The case picks with handling unit can directly staged into conveyor. Conveyor scanner reads handling unit and diverts to right ship lane with a dock stop. Here workers would palletize handling units. On the other side Each pick or less than case pick quantity will be staged at pack stations for consolidating of multiple SKU’s going to same store/consolidation group. These handling units are again staged to conveyor and finally goes to right shiplane

After pallets are closed then worker load pallets into Trucks and prepare for bill of lading and Goods issue.

SAP EWM Retail

See below diagram illustrates Distribution center and Warehouse process


A planned distribution of products from vendor pallets to loading into a store trucks in a DC. This is called product driven-flow through. Right after goods receipt the Handling units will be putaway into a flow through area with where a planned SAP EWM orders will be picks for stores and staged in a goods issue stag area. Unlike the normal storage in a bin, the Pallets will be staged and consolidated in an area close to shipping lanes. So this will save the time of putaway and pick a product HU from a bin.


In Retail DC’s SAP EWM can offer two Cross dock processes. 1) MEDI and 2) TCD.

Merchandise cross dock:

Distribution of prepacked pallets from vendor to store via Distribution center. Worker unload vendor pallets and transport to goods issue area. In large DC’s it can be configured to stag pallets in to conveyer that can directly goes to right ship lanes.

Transportation cross dock:

Cross docking of handling units between distribution centers in order to save transportation costs. This is a planned stock transfer orders between DC-to DC. The handling units will reached to final destination via several distribution centers.

All the cross dock functionalities will be explained in a future blog post.

Unit of measure is very important for Retails DC’s where you receive SKU’s (product) from different vendors in different pallets quantities. Here enabling stock keeping unit of measure or prefer unit of measure is important. From SAP EWM9.0 on wards we can enable stock keeping unit of measure right from inbound delivery quantity and after putaway you can see in a bin with alternative unit of measure. Even when outbound delivery created you can see alternative unit of measure.

Performance of SAP EWM system is very important for all the Retail DC processes. Please see below important key factors considered by SAP.

Revealing Performance Benefits of SAP EWM

The tests proved the scalability and robustness of SAP EWM and showed the ability of SAP EWM to fully process
420,000 outbound delivery items in a 10-hour business day. Stress tests on the crucial outbound picking transaction
showed that even 180,000 items per hour could be picked. All heavily used mobile UI transaction steps had average
response times below 900 ms. Moreover,the creation of 420,000 delivery items and their assignment to 10 created
picking waves took less than 1.5 hours.The simultaneous inbound and outbound scenario mix successfully simulated a
productive system.

SAP EWM performance

Also proving below some of the important links from SAP WIKI

Please see below SAP RDS EWM Retail information from SAP portal.

SAP Extended Warehouse Management for Retail rapid-deployment solution
Global, For SAP Extended Warehouse Management 9.0

Solution scope items

Name Description
The distribution center (DC) orders goods that are delivered to the DC on pallets. The pallets are checked, counted, and put away in the warehouse.
The distribution center (DC) receives ordered goods with several articles on one pallet with or without packing information from the vendor. Distributed put-away for fixed bins uses the pick path.
Preconfigured internal process of warehousing with all settings required to carry out an automatic replenishment run for establishing the stock variance situation and stock threshold reconciliation.
The distribution center (DC) delivers goods to stores from stock. Waves are used to ship at a predefined time, ordered by route. A customer-preferred packaging material should be chosen. The required number of handling units (HU) is to be determined by cartonization planning up front.
The distribution center (DC) orders goods, and the inbound delivery contains the unit of measure (UoM), which is available in SAP ERP and distributed with the delivery to SAP EWM. In SAP EWM, the UoM is saved with the corresponding quantity and visible in the software consistently. For outbound delivery, goods with the nonpreferred UoM are picked before the preferred ones.
For the corresponding product, the base unit of measure is used, which represents weight (kg, for example). With the inbound delivery, the corresponding valuation is saved. During goods issue, the corresponding weight must be entered after entering the quantity so that it can be used for invoicing later.
During inbound delivery, the best-before date is entered at the unloading step. It is later available for the quantity and visible in the software. For outbound delivery, the stock with the earliest expiration date (first expired, first out: FEFO) is picked first.
Planned cross-docking based on stock transfer order: The distribution center (DC) orders goods via collective purchase orders and receives prepacked pallets that are routed from goods receipt (GR) directly to goods issue (GI) without put-away or unpacking.
The distribution center (DC) orders goods and receives inbound deliveries with articles. After goods receipt (GR), the goods issue (GI) pallets are filled per store with articles.
Physical inventory (PI) documents for a selected number of storage bins or products are created on a regular basis to spread the workload for physical inventory across the year.
Cycle counting is a product-specific physical inventory (PI) procedure to perform at regular intervals to ensure inventory accuracy and meet legal requirements. The intervals depend on the cycle counting indicator of a product.
 Also I am proving the SAP link on RDS solutions 
If would like to explore SAP Best Practices then click here

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