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.
Learning Objectives

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)
Key Concept
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.

Figure 1
Options of performing packing in a standard inbound process using SNC, ECC, and EWM

V. Krishna Anaparthi

V. Krishna Anaparthi has vast experience in the field of enterprise consulting. Playing the roles of project manager and solution architect, he is instrumental in the successful implementation of multiple SAP projects across the consumer goods, pharmaceutical, and high-tech industries. He is currently serving as the process architect at SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd. and is a part of the SAP Business By Design development team.

Krishna holds an MBA from NITIE, Mumbai, India. He has PMP, CPIM, and CSCP certifications and is proficient in supply chain and project management processes.

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M. Shilpa Reddy

M. Shilpa Reddy is a senior quality engineer at SAP Labs India Pvt. Ltd. She has been working in the field of SAP SNC for the past seven years along with other key modules, such as SAP MDG. She is a part of the STC team and is instrumental in ensuring the quality of SAP products before they are released to the market.

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8/1/2017 11:51:35 PM


I am having two question,

1 in figure 9 , can i use external number range instead of internal numbre range?

2. Can i use one vendor can use automatic packing and other vendor can use file upload functionality ?

Thanks ,

3/21/2017 1:29:39 AM

I have some question,
1. In Figure 7, it is mention that " SNC: After the file is downloaded, it needs to be modified by providing the required entries to create an ASN (e.g., ASN number, ASN quantity, delivery date, ship date) " , however ASN Number is internally generated , how do we find which number should be entered for ASN, as there are multiple Vendors are using ASN and updating system ?
2. We have scenario where we need to use case 1 , however in few scenario we need to use Case 2 ( With different Vendor ) , Can we do both ?

Thanks In Advance.

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