The SAP EWM application provides several warehousing solutions for put away, picking, packing, internal movement within the warehouse, etc. These are very useful in managing a high volume of goods movements in and out of the warehouse. This document explains in detail the SAP EWM picking process, which is removing the product from the storage bin and moving it to the staging area for an outbound shipment.
The SAP EWM Picking Process
The process in which the system determines the source bin within a storage type (or group of storage types) from where the stock is removed based on the stock removal rules in the outbound Goods Issue process, is called the picking process in EWM.
In the below diagram, the stock is removed from the warehouse bin and moved to the Goods Issue staging area for shipment to the customer. This picking bin is determined based on the stock removal strategies set up in SAP EWM.
Outbound Process in SAP EWM
The Outbound process starts with the creation of an outbound delivery in the below business processes, which is initiated in the ERP.
- Customer Sales Order – An outbound delivery is created with reference to the sales order for which picking from a warehouse bin, packing the picked products, and goods issue is done for shipment to the customer.
- Stock Transport Orders – Moving the product within an organization where the supplying plant (manufacturer) issues it and the receiving side posts a receipt. The outbound delivery is created at the supplying plant, which is picked from a warehouse bin, packed, and the goods are issued for outbound shipment.
- Vendor Returns Order – The returns order is created in the ERP if the products received from a vendor does not meet expectations. Such products are returned to the vendor from a warehouse bin.
- Production Staging Process – For the production process, the appropriate raw materials are picked from a warehouse bin based on the picking strategies and moved to the production supply area.
All the above processes are illustrated in the flow diagram below.
The picking is done from the storage bin as per the configured picking strategies. The picked products are packed and moved to the Good Issue Zone for customer shipment or the production supply area for consumption in the production process.
SAP EWM Documents Generated During the Picking Process
Outbound Delivery Order (Warehouse Request)
The warehouse request is the source document that initiates the picking activity for a specific product by creating a warehouse task.
The warehouse task is a document that contains details such as the source bin, destination bin, quantity, batch, etc., to execute goods movements for picking.
The warehouse orders are documents assigned to a warehouse employee to execute the picking tasks within a specific time. It consists of one or more warehouse tasks based on the warehouse order creation rules.
Storage Bin Determination in SAP EWM Picking Process
The various steps in the EWM picking process are explained below:
Step 1. Storage type determination in the SAP EWM picking process.
The first step in the EWM picking process is to determine the storage type from where the stock can be removed.
The storage type or group of storage types are configured in the Storage Type search sequence under the goods issue section. This configuration determines the storage type based on several parameters such as the warehouse process type, stock removal control indicator (maintained in the product master), and packaging specifications. The system first determines the warehouse process type in the outbound delivery order based on attributes as shown in the figure below.
Step 2. Stock Removal Rule Determination in the SAP EWM Picking Process.
The next step is to determine the Stock Removal Rule. Based on this, the system looks for a suitable storage bin within the storage type or group of storage types from where the stock can be picked. The stock removal rule is also determined based on the same attributes as that of storage type in step 1.
The determination process is shown in the diagram below.
Stock Removal Rules for Storage Bin Determination in SAP EWM Picking Process
A Stock Removal Rule is a technique used to determine a suitable bin/s to pick the product as per the required quantity. This process happens after the storage type is determined by the system relative to the storage type search process as explained above. The search for a bin occurs within a storage type or a group of storage types.
The following stock removal rules are available in the SAP EWM picking process:
FIFO (First In, First Out)
The removal rule FIFO is based on the goods receipt date. The stock which is received first in the system is will also be removed first. The system looks for such stock across all the bins within the same storage type and picks up that stock from a suitable bin.
The Stringent FIFO removal rule is also based on the goods receipt date. The difference as compared to FIFO is that here, the system searches across multiple storage types (instead of a single storage type in FIFO) and picks up the stock which was received first.
LIFO (Last In, First Out)
The LIFO removal rule is also based on the goods receipt date. Here, the stock which is received last in the system is removed first. The system looks for such stock across all the bins within the storage type and picks up that stock from a suitable bin.
Partial Quantities First
With this rule, the system picks the stock in partial handling units first. This strategy keeps the number of partial handling units to a minimum in a storage type to optimize the stock management in the warehouse.
With this stock removal rule, the system picks the stock based on quantity size. For example, the system looks for a stock in storage type 1 if small quantities (in cartons) are required, and storage type 2 if large quantities (on pallets) are required.
With the fixed bin strategy, the system searches for the storage bins within a storage type that are maintained in the /SCWM/BINMAT.
Shelf-Life Expiration Date
With this rule, the system looks for the products with the shortest shelf-life expiration date. Thus, the stock nearing its expiration date is first removed to prevent the batches from the risk of expiry.
The SAP EWM picking processes outlined has very important roles in the warehouse inventory management and movement. One of the key success factors is to appropriately pick the products from a suitable bin in the warehouse for an efficient outbound process.
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