Integrating the Inbound Process with Packing across ECC, SNC, and EWM
- by V. Krishna Anaparthi, Process Architect, SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd.
- M. Shilpa Reddy, Senior Quality Engineer, SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd.
- June 2, 2014
Learn about an enhancement in SAP Supply Network Collaboration (SNC) that performs the automatic packing of products. It is done at the time of advanced shipping notification (ASN) creation by the supplier through a file upload and is based on specifications defined in the system.
By reading this article you will learn how to:
- Automate the inbound process with packing
- Set up the new process flow for automating inbound packing using SAP Supply Network Collaboration (SNC), ERP Central Component (ECC), and extended Warehouse Management (EWM)
Packing the goods into handling units is an important step during the inbound process when the goods duly packed are shipped from the supplier and received at the plant.
Across all major industries the normal business practice is to have goods properly packed during delivery stages from the receipt of raw materials to the issue of finished goods. Often, the goods received from a supplier are packed physically. However, the information obtained through a business-to-business (B2B) or Web interface often doesn’t provide an easy way to adapt this packing information into the inbound business process.
Consider SAP Supply Network Collaboration (SNC), in which the packing functionality is not supported during the file upload. Suppliers use file uploads primarily to create a huge number of advanced shipping notifications (ASNs) for informing the business of the upcoming shipment. Although the option is available for users to perform the packing on an SNC Web user interface (UI), it’s often tedious and involves multiple clicks per item to perform either the manual or automatic packing operation.
In industries such as high-tech and pharmaceuticals, we have observed that suppliers play a pivotal role and that collaboration is critical. At the same time, the supplier collaboration needs to be easy on either side for the benefit of both parties. We have come across use cases in which suppliers declined to perform the packing operation on the SNC Web UI, considering the time it takes (including UI screen navigation, button clicks, and publishing) when dealing with multiple ASNs. Therefore, the company has to perform this operation upon receiving the shipment. This can be severely taxing on the company’s employees when dealing with a huge number of ASNs. Hence, there is a need to automate this process.
This article requires an understanding of the basic concepts and the standard processes of purchase orders (PO), goods receipt, and ASN creation.
The Standard Process
Figure 1 shows the standard manual inbound process running across multiple systems (e.g., SNC, ERP Central Component [ECC]), and extended Warehouse Management [EWM]). We have worked across multiple customer sites in which such a landscape exists. Many businesses adopted this approach to implement best practices across supplier collaboration and warehouse management practices to boost productivity.
Options of performing packing in a standard inbound process using SNC, ECC, and EWM
Would you like to see this full item?