How to Integrate Warehouse Processes with SAP TM for a Shipper Scenario

  • by Indrani Basak, Freelance SAP SCM Consultant
  • January 27, 2016
Learn how to set up the integration between SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM), SAP ERP Central Component (ECC), and SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM). When a customer places an order to transport a product with pickup from a warehouse, end-to-end process integration between warehouse operations and execution, transportation planning, and the freight settlement (based on actual goods issued from a warehouse) is essential. This end-to-end integration between the logistics transportation process and warehousing is achieved via a direct interface between SAP TM and EWM.
Learning Objectives

After reading this article, you’ll learn how to:

  • Complete the configuration required to set up the process flow between SAP ERP Central Component (ECC), SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM), and SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM)
  • Set up the interface between the warehouse and logistics process for a shipper scenario
Key Concept

A stock transport order (STO) is used in inbound scenarios. This document type is used when one plant (receiving) requests a material transfer from another plant (supplying) within the same company code.

With the release of SAP Transportation Management (SAP TM) 9.0, transportation management was integrated extensively with SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) for shipper scenarios. This facilitated the integration of transportation planning (in SAP TM) with the SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) delivery and shipment process cycle and warehouse planning and execution (within EWM). I highlight all the details (including configuration and master data) required to set up the integration between SAP TM, ECC, and EWM.

SAP TM is widely used in various shipper scenarios for transportation planning, monitoring, execution, and settlement across multiple modes of transport. The transportation planner, based on various transportation requirements, executes transportation planning and execution in SAP TM in the transportation cockpit. The transportation cockpit is the central planning tool for the transportation planner to plan the shipment. It allows for optimization of transportation handling cost and effort. Those requirements include order requirements and sales orders for outbound processes, purchase orders, and stock transfer orders (STOs) for inbound processes, and delivery integration for outbound and inbound deliveries. From the perspective of cargo or product handling from one location to another, SAP TM has a direct impact on warehouse management in terms of logistics and operations.

To summarize the process, SAP TM sends delivery proposals to ECC based on various order requirement documents. Outbound or inbound deliveries are created in ECC, and they create a delivery-based transportation requirement (DTR) in SAP TM. Deliveries are created in ECC based on dates and quantities according to transportation planning results. SAP TM considers transportation execution constraints such as resource availability and capacity and transportation duration. After the transportation planner creates a freight order in SAP TM, a shipment document is created in ECC and a transportation unit is created in EWM. In the warehouse goods are picked in waves and then placed in handling units (HUs) — for example, pallets. Then the HUs are loaded onto a truck before a goods issue is posted. After the post goods issue (PGI) is updated, deliveries are also updated in ECC for billing updates. In parallel, a freight order in SAP TM is updated, which impacts the freight cost settlement process.

In the above process flow, the integration between SAP TM-EWM is triggered based on the outbound delivery. Whether it is necessary to distribute this document to a decentralized EWM system depends on the warehouse number that is allocated under a picking tab in the delivery document at an item level. Thus, if the system validates that an outbound delivery is relevant to processing in EWM, an outbound delivery request is created in the SAP system.

For SAP ECC, the outbound delivery process begins with goods picking from the warehouse and shipment of the goods to the ship-to party. When this document is replicated to EWM, the outbound delivery request document created in EWM has the identical information and structure as the outbound delivery in ECC. The system ultimately creates an outbound delivery order in EWM. The delivery order created has all the information and data required for the execution and monitoring of outbound delivery process. The HU concept is especially used in warehouses. This HU object constitutes a packaging material and the product it contains. Thus, before goods are picked up and loaded onto trucks, they need to be packed and handled on pallets that are represented by HUs. The components (i.e., the product plus packaging material) have an identification number. In EWM, some of the important packaging materials are crates, boxes, and containers.

After materials are packed and loaded on transportation units, the goods issue process is initiated from the warehouse. Using various master data setups, the system can also determine the staging area and door for the goods issue in advance. Based on the goods issue (GI) quantity, EWM sends a message to inventory management modules about the decrease in stock quantities.

A transportation unit represents a truck or trailer used for shipping products.

Figure 1 shows the process flow for the integration of EWM transportation execution to SAP TM.

Indrani Basak

Indrani Basak is a freelance SAP SCM consultant who has worked in various SCM projects in the areas of logistics, transportation management, and transportation planning. Indrani also has worked in implementation and support projects.

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