Best Practices for Integrating Warehouse Automation and SAP WM

  • by Bryan Fricke, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM’s Global Business Services
  • October 15, 2008
SAP Warehouse Management’s (SAP WM’s) continued growth, coupled with advances in warehouse automation, has led more companies to try to improve efficiencies by integrating SAP WM with warehouse automation. Find out some best practices for the integration process.
Key Concept
To improve efficiencies in the warehouse, companies often turn to automation. Warehouse automation comes in a wide variety of forms including powered conveyor storage/sortation systems, automatic storage and retrieval systems, and automatic case or item pick systems. Typically, the business justification for one of these systems is a reduction in direct labor, better space utilization, or improved throughput.

Whether you are evaluating the need for warehouse automation or already have it in place, understanding how SAP Warehouse Management (SAP WM) can integrate with automation will help you take full advantage of your investment in automation and SAP WM’s capabilities.

I’ll cover the different roles SAP WM and warehouse automation play in a typical distribution environment. I’ll present some benefits you can achieve through a robust interface design and guide you through a recent case study of a successful SAP WM implementation with a large scale mezzanine conveyor storage/sortation system. Then, I’ll present some key considerations and pitfalls to watch for when integrating SAP WM with automation.

Bryan Fricke

Bryan Fricke is a senior managing consultant with IBM’s Global Business Services. He works on supply chain management challenges with an emphasis on warehouse operations/warehouse management solutions. He has implemented both SAP and non-SAP warehousing systems. You may email Bryan at

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