Master Data in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Warehouse Management (WM)
The difference between configuration and actual master data in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Warehouse Management are actually fluent. Most of the settings and data has to be maintained in the configuration settings described in the previouse lessons. However some of the data (here considered as master data) or some assignments (mostly bin assignments) are done in the user menu in the group/ space Warehouse Setup (WM).
This includes the following activities:
- (Mass) creation and change or upload of storage bins
- Assignment of fixed bins for fixed bin storage types
- Maintenance of verification fields for storage bins
- Setup of staging area determination
- Work Center determination and configuration
- Maintenance of tolerance groups for physical inventory
- Resource Maintenance
- Maintenance of product master data for the warehouse
- Activities related to the RF (radio frequency) environment
The smallest spatial unit in a physical warehouse is a storage bin. Storage bins represent the exact storage position of a product. A storage bin can be referred to as a coordinate (not to be confused with the geo-coordinate of the bin, which is also available in SAP EWM) because the address of a storage bin is often derived from a coordinate system,. For example, the coordinate 01-02-03 could be a storage bin in aisle 01, stack 02, and level 03. In SAP S/4HANA Cloud Warehouse Management, the bin coordinate is up to 18 characters in length and must be unique within the warehouse.
Storage bins are located within a storage type. The storage type represents a physical area in the warehouse, and controls how products are placed in and removed from the storage bins that are assigned to the storage type. The storage type may also be divided into storage sections due to handling and/or storage requirements of the products. Therefore, in Warehouse Management, the system represents the location of a product in a warehouse movement as a combination of the storage type, storage section, and bin.
Storage Bin Data
To each storage bin, you assign the warehouse number in which the storage bin is located, and a storage type. Note that the bin coordinate assigned to a storage bin must be unique within the warehouse.
You can also define the following additional attributes for a storage bin:
- Storage bin type: used to indicate relative size of bin and/or actual bin dimensions
- Storage section
- Bin access type: used to control how the bin is accessed by resources
- Verification: used to store the bin coordinate-related data used in RF scanning or for Pick-by-voice to verify that the correct bin is being accessed
- Geo-coordinates of storage bin: used by SAP EWM to compute distances between the bins in goods movements
- Capacity checking attributes (max weight, volume, total capacity): used to control the amount of product assigned to a bin
Storage Bin generation
In the configuration, you define the storage bin coordinate structure by assigning, first of all, a unique identifier to represent each of the following components of the bin coordinate:
- Bin subdivision
- Bin depth
You then use these identifiers to create a template used to generate the storage bin master record automatically. Only when using the identifiers properly, the aisle / stack / level information in the bin is correctly filed. The storage bin generation structure is shown in the following figure:
With the field Template you define which parts of the bin name are:
- N - numeric character
- A - alphabetic letter
- C - Constant characters (this includes also spaces)
The field Structure is for the identifiers above.
Bin x/ y/ z coordinates
The geo-coordinates of the bins are used to calculate the travel distances of resources and are an important part of the overall time calculation in warehouse orders. Defining the coordinates takes a little bit of effort when doing it for the first time. One thing is important to know for the coordinates as well as for the aisle / stack / level information defined by the identifiers: there are no mass maintenance transactions for these fields, only through the generation of the bins using a template this information is entered automatically correctly. When using the upload function for bins this information can be contained here as well, but especially defining the geo-coordinates is not simpler in a spreadsheet.
The coordinate of the bin is always a corner of the bin, the alignment describes how the bin is oriented around this corner. In the standard we assume that the coordinate is always the lower left corner of the bin, in that case the alignment is zero.
Upload of storage bins and manual creation
Alternatively to the mass creation of storage bins using templates you can also use the available migration tools in SAP S/4HANA to upload storage bins to the system. It is also possible to create storage bins manually, which might be useful for the creation of storage bins for work centers or staging areas. It is not recommended to crete storage bins for standard storage types manually.
Product and Warehouse Product
SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Warehouse Management refers to all materials as Products like all other SAP S/4HANA Cloud applications based on Supply Chain Management. The term can be used as synonym to the term Materials in SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Whenever you create a material master, a product master is created automatically as well.
If you want to maintain your product specifically for your warehouse, you have to create a Warehouse Product. The warehouse product is only valid for a certain warehouse and controls the determination of the warehouse processes and strategies, for example it can influence the putaway and removal strategy by assignment of putaway control indicators and removal control indicators.
A resource is an entity representing a user or equipment that can execute work in the warehouse.
It can log on to a radio frequency (RF) or non-RF environment. Once the resource is logged on to the system, it can receive work for execution and it can be tracked and displayed in the warehouse management monitor.
A resource belongs to a resource type (a grouping of resources with similar technical or physical qualifications) and a resource group (a grouping of resources for queue assignment purposes).
Resource management maximizes the efficiency of warehouse processes by:
- Facilitating the management and distribution of work using queues
- Enabling the execution of work by resources in an RF and non-RF environment
- Optimizing the selection of warehouse orders for resources requesting work
- Enabling effective monitoring and controlling of resources
Assignment of Warehouse Orders to a Resource
Warehouse Orders (WOs) can be assigned to resources in RF and non-RF environments.
In an RF environment, WOs can be assigned manually or automatically. In a non-RF environment, WOs are assigned manually.
For automatic WO assignment to a resource, the WOs must belong to a queue to which the resource is assigned.
A queue is a logical file to which warehouse orders for processing are assigned. Queues define movements by which work in the warehouse is managed and assigned.
The management and distribution of work in the warehouse is accomplished by the assignment of resources and WOs to queues. In addition, a resource working within a particular operating environment may execute only those WOs that belong to a queue in the same operating environment.
Assignment to Queues
You can assign a resource to a specific queue, or assign its resource group to a sequence of allowed queues. WO selection is performed first according to the resource’s assigned queue, and, in the absence of an assigned queue, according to the resource group’s queue sequence.
When the system creates a warehouse task, it searches for an appropriate queue to assign to it, based on the following warehouse task parameters:
- Source activity area
- Destination activity area
- Bin access type
- Warehouse process type
Resource Type and Resource Group
A resource type is a grouping of resources with similar technical or physical qualifications.
The resource type determines the following for its corresponding resources:
Applicability of position management :
Position management enables an RF device user to validate HUs by their position number, rather than by their HU number. This is particularly useful when the HU number tags are not readily accessible, such as when the HUs are stacked on top of each other.
- Qualifications and preferences (reflected by priority values) regarding bin access typesand HU type groups.
A resource group is a grouping of resources for queue assignment purposes. The resource group determines the sequence of allowed queues for its corresponding resources, which can influence which warehouse orders are selected for a resource.
To use system-guided processing, the queues must be assigned to the resource groups in the desired sequence. As the WOs are selected from the queues according to the queue sequences, this represents a prioritization of the WOs for this resource type.