Warehouse Management Best Practices
In these ever-changing times, it becomes increasingly imperative to track material movement, maximize utilization of warehouse space and streamline picking and put away processes. Utilizing SAP Warehouse Management (WM) and Extended Warehouse Management (EWM), SAP’s upgraded version of warehouse management standard in S/4HANA, empowers organizations to effectively respond to fluctuations in demand requirements, improve supply chain agility, view realtime inventory positions and keep customer promises.
It doesn’t matter if you have the most contemporary and advanced warehouse unless it is operating in the most efficient manner.
Through effective Warehouse Management, organizations can properly plan labor to volume, automate and control material movements, trust the accuracy of their inventory, and be proactive to avoid potential supply chain disruptions. SAP offers standard out of the box tools with no customization necessary to achieve all of these benefits and more.
What Effective Warehouse Management Looks Like
Effective warehouse management starts with optimized rules (master data) managing bin capacities, storage units, picking and put away strategies, FIFO/LIFO rules, shelf life, and more. Combining the rules with a warehouse staff that trusts the data and manages by exception, material is received, put away, picked and staged to meet optimally meet demand requirements.
Both WM and EWM, offers tremendous potential to automate and streamline processes, be agile and prepared for fluctuating demand, and in the best of times, seize a leadership advantage with end-to-end visibility. Reveal’s oVo® methodology helps organizations reveal this potential educating on how to leverage system capabilities, optimize master data, utilize the Warehouse Monitor to help manage and respond to exceptions, automate processes and establish KPIs to monitor and improve warehouse performance.
Challenges in Warehouse Management
If your warehouse experiences manual processes where employees on the floor determine where to put away and pick materials vs. the system, or if materials are in incorrect bins vs. what SAP shows, and finally the classic example of SAP providing a location for put away but the material cannot physically fit unless sticking out in the aisle, you are not alone. These symptoms contribute to frustrated employees working hard but blindly fighting the system, inventory easter egg hunts, lost customers and excess inventory levels. SAP is not broken but the way it is being utilized may be or perhaps your operation has expanded beyond what was initially configured during the initial implementation.
The root cause of these inefficiencies in most cases are traced back to misaligned rules (master data settings), lack of understanding of how to use the system and behaviors not following business processes. The result is higher-than-necessary operating costs, a low profit margin and failure to meet service levels.
At a time when customers expect goods faster than ever before, periods of disruption can become an obstacle to fulfilling world-class Available to Promise (ATP) service levels.
Warehouse Management has tremendous hidden potential to streamline processes if utilized correctly and the possibilities only multiply when moving to Extended Warehouse Management.
The time is now to carve the path forward, know what functionalities are moving, understand what new capabilities are coming down the pipeline, and start preparing. By doing so, you will be positioning your organization to transform and sustain enduring supply chain improvements.
Whether it’s optimizing warehouse performance or implementing WM/EWM functionality, Reveal helps organizations improve internal business processes, educate users and deploy the smart use of SAP to achieve sustainable, tangible value. By challenging organizations to move away from being transactionally driven and move towards information-users that manage the process and apply knowledge, improvements in agility, service, cost, and inventory performance are achieved.