Decentralized WMS Serves 24x7 Requirements
- by Ashish Saxena, Senior Manager, Supply Chain Execution, Amazon
- May 15, 2008
Identify the differences between centralized SAP Warehouse Management (SAP WM) and decentralized WM. Examine key considerations for implementing a decentralized warehouse management system for your company.
Traditionally, users implement SAP Warehouse Management (SAP WM) as part of SAP R/3 Release 4.5 and higher. The decentralized Warehouse Management system (decentralized WMS) provides the option to implement SAP WM as a standalone system integrated with either an SAP ERP system or a non-SAP ERP system.
As complex supply chains evolve, supply chain processes are becoming more integrated. Warehouse operations are
an essential part of this integrated supply chain. Companies aim to increase efficiency and responsiveness. As a
result, it is not uncommon to see 24x7 operations that require a reliable warehouse management system available at all
Although SAP Warehouse Management (SAP WM) has supported operational requirements for several years, you have
another option. As of R/3 4.5, you can run SAP WM as an independent system, referred to as decentralized Warehouse
Management (decentralized WMS). Decentralized WMS can accommodate these needs through faster processing, 24x7
operations, and compatibility with different ERP systems.
So, what does it mean to be an independent system? A separate server hosts decentralized WMS, unlike traditional
centralized SAP WM, which runs on the same server as the ERP system. The decentralized WMS executes warehouse processes
independently from ERP processes. These two systems have very distinct roles — ERP is the planning system and
decentralized WMS is the execution system. The ERP system carries out functions such as material planning, inventory
management, and sales and purchase orders processing, while the decentralized WMS performs the warehouse operations,
including stock management, goods receipt, goods issue, planning, and monitoring. I’ll discuss several functional
features available in the decentralized WMS and then provide helpful configuration advice.
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