What is SAP SCM EWM?

  • by Chris Moose, Partner, IBM Global Business Services
  • April 15, 2008
SAP SCM Enhanced Warehouse Management provides incremental functionality over previous SAP Warehouse Management releases. Find out about four examples of this: labor management, slotting, receipt deconsolidation, and wave management/picking task generation.
Key Concept
SAP SCM Extended Warehouse Management (SAP SCM EWM) addresses the demands of more complex facilities and offers new functionality compared to previous versions. Built on new code, SAP SCM EWM takes a new approach to warehouse management by considering the needs of the warehouse and the business.

Just a few years ago well over 30 warehouse management vendors provided software, leading to a fairly fragmented marketplace. This was a challenge for many companies trying to establish a technology direction. Some of the optimal functionality that business users demand, such as labor management or cross docking, seemed to come from smaller companies that differentiate themselves by intensely focusing on the evolving demands of the warehouse.

However, this led to a disconnect between what the business wanted (the perfect vendor for a specific business need, regardless of how many vendors that required) and what the technology department wanted (one vendor to manage and one set of skills to develop). Additionally, over the past 24 months, the consolidation trends within the enterprise software market started to reach the warehouse management market. As software companies discover scale matters and acquire each other, product lines begin to overlap, forcing companies to discontinue products, often eliminating upgrade paths. As continued consolidation is likely, businesses are starting to seek companies with scale and a product line that is likely to be stable for many years to come.

It is in this industry environment that SAP launched SAP SCM Extended Warehouse Management (SAP SCM EWM). This step forward in functionality has attracted attention from companies that previously believed that only niche, standalone warehouse management vendors understood their needs and provided appropriate software solutions.

I have helped numerous clients explore the functionality surrounding SAP’s newest offering and have active implementations underway. Drawing from that experience, I’ll provide a high-level overview of SAP SCM EWM and explain some key capabilities that it provides. Also, I’ll differentiate SAP SCM EWM from prior releases so companies can better understand which version best suits their needs. Finally, I’ll end with some important things to consider before you decide to implement SAP SCM EWM. Subsequent articles will further detail specific features and functions within this new release.

Chris Moose

Chris Moose is a partner in IBM's Global Business Services organization where he is the sponsor of SAP warehouse management and transportation management offerings. With worldwide responsibility for these offerings, he has helped expand IBM's delivery capabilities globally and has personally delivered projects on four different continents. His specific interests include the use of technology to address the historical fixed cost nature of supply chains enabling flexibility and then quantifying that business value with a benefits realization focus. In addition to his practice management and delivery focus, Chris is a frequent speaker at industry events as well as an author for industry magazines.

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