Consolidate Warehouse Operations of Multiple Companies in a 3PL Model

  • by Ram Angara, IT Director
  • February 28, 2011
In eight steps, learn about extending SAP warehouse management functionality to more than one company, the related design of interfaces from a non-SAP ERP system, and the process flow of inbound/outbound processes.
Key Concept
To run common warehouse processes in a third-party-logistics-like environment, interfaces with non-SAP ERP systems have to be robust, ensuring integrity of data across all the systems involved. The mapping of data elements among these systems, as well as the data transformations to a standard set of codes on the SAP side, requires a thorough understanding of all the systems involved. SAP ERP comes with a number of BAPIs and intermediate documents that provide a solid foundation for the design of interfaces with external systems.

In a previous article, I noted that there may be situations in which it is cheaper for a company to execute a third-party logistics (3PL) provider model in-house rather than through outsourcing. I discussed a scenario in which a warehouse consisted of one plant and one storage location, and I showed you how to set up handling unit management to work with SAP warehouse management (SAP WM). I also covered the related inbound and outbound processes.

Now, let’s go through the steps to extend the warehouse to handle the materials from a different legal entity or company, which runs a non-SAP ERP system. All the financial postings occur in this system; SAP WM is only required to account for all of the physical movements and quantities of the materials within the company.

Ram Angara

Ram Angara is an IT director responsible for enterprise level business systems at a large CPG company. He has more than 20 years of experience in the areas of business and information systems, including 12 years of hands-on SAP functional and technical experience. He has successfully managed and implemented large SAP projects in MM, WM, FI/CO, PP, and BI, including multiple SAP upgrades. Prior to this role, he worked as a consulting manager at BearingPoint in its SAP practice. He has a master’s degree in industrial management, a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, and SAP certification.

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