Extended Warehouse Management
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The new advanced logistics solutions in SAP
The increasing complexity of sales channels reappear in the processes of distribution and of internal logistics of the companies requiring fast adjustments to market needs. On one hand you have to optimize in order to increase efficiency and to maintain consistent quality, on the other hand you have to differentiate according to the market channels.
Besides the multi-channel aspects driven by the different marketing approaches (e-commerce, franchising, private labels, etc.) which require a differentiation in the logistic flow, at present you can find the omni-channel aspects which imply, on the contrary, a partial integration of the same flows. A typical example is the e-commerce channel which was enriched giving the option to ship goods to the sales point.
The complexity has been pushing the companies to outsource the logistic processes for all the new channels, but this solution is interesting only until they represent a minor percentage of the total business and until they guarantee a consistent quality, which is a strategic part of the image of products and of the company.
IT integration, proper planning, activities prediction, service customization, quality, automation, variable costs management etc. : these are few examples of the key knots the companies have to solve to establish a new efficient logistic system.
In this scenario logistic processes and IT solutions need continuous reconfiguration and innovation, maintaining efficiency and effectiveness.
To react to these requirements and to offer a adequate solution to the market, SAP has been investing in these years in the logistic components of its software and released in 2006 the Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) application software, providing the advanced functions related to production and distribution processes, replacing the previous LE-WM module.
Today EWM is one of the leaders in the magic quadrant of Gartner and is considered the most complete WMS in the international scenario.
EWM represents the evolution of the previous SAP offer, having own specific WMS new aspects:
- Process oriented: it covers and supports all internal logistic processes, including integrated planning, optimization and utilization of all the resources in the warehouse (manpower, machines, spaces, services ), respecting the differences of the distribution channels.
- Oriented to internal Integration and to external collaboration: EWM acts as the brain and as the hub of warehouse management, overcoming the limitations of the company through the digital collaboration with external world as well as through the native integration with the core ECC or S4HANA.
- Industry 4.0: EWM includes the MFS (Material Flow System) application which talks with intelligent machines and logistic systems. It enables a real time alignment with physical changes in the execution of each mission, collecting data and planning optimized reactions. EWM is de-facto the brain of Industry 4.0 in production and in materials flow through the plants.
ETHICA Group, with ICM.S and its Partners, can capitalize cross competences and experiences in information technology applied to different industrial sectors, designing and delivering hand to hand solutions for the logistic processes in the enterprise.
The configuration of the logistic flow in EWM starts from the requirements of sales department, designed according to the client needs, coming from applications like the CEC (Customer Engagement & Commerce) of SAP Hybris, which generate the demand for the product and for the related logistics.
In the same way the physical flow of materials is integrated with the production process of ECC or S4HANA, with the data collection from the shop-floor control systems, with the fulfillment of the production lines and with the materials tracking in the plant provided by SAP ME (Manufacturing Execution).
The EWM Competence Center of ICM.S enables the access to the excellence of Warehouse Management Systems in the market, but also to the best integration with upstream and downstream logistic processes, providing flexibility and reactivity to the changes coming from sales and production world.