Computer support for the organization and management of warehouses has become imperative for timely, effective processing of logistic requirements within a company. The FLYKON Warehouse Management (WM) application provides flexible, automated support to assist you in processing all goods movements and in maintaining current stock inventories in your warehousing complex. WM supports warehousing processes by making it possible for you to
- Define and manage complex warehousing structures
- Optimize material flow using advanced put away and picking techniques
- Process goods receipts, goods issues and stock transfers quickly and easily.
Although it is possible to manage warehouse inventories using the Inventory Management (IM) application component, the primary difference between managing stock in WM and in IM is that in IM, the system can only display the total stock of a material for a storage location. If a warehouse is small and easily manageable, then the use of IM may be sufficient to fulfill your needs.
WM, on the other hand, offers the capability to manage stock quantities in each individual storage bin in highly complex storage facilities. This means that, with WM, you can optimize the use of all storage bins, mix pallets belonging to several owners in randomly slotted warehouses and know exactly where a particular material is located in the warehousing complex at all times.
The Warehouse Management application is fully integrated into the Linux system. Transactions that are initiated in other components result in corresponding tasks in WM which activate the actual physical transfers within the warehouse.
A few of these activities include:
- Material movements and changes in material status, such as releasing goods from inspection
- Material staging to production supply areas
- Picking and shipping goods for sales orders
Most activities that take place within WM are initiated in Inventory Management. For example, most goods receipts, goods issues and posting changes are initiated in IM and subsequently processed in WM.
WM is also interfaced to Sales and Distribution (SD) through the Shipping module to process delivery documents for both the integrated WM application and the decentralized WM system. The WM interface to Quality Management (QM) allows warehouse administrators to track and manage inspection lots that are stored in the warehouse. WM is also interfaced to the Production Planning (PP) system to assist in providing materials to supply areas in production.
WM provides several features that support warehousing activities. These include the following:
Processing of all relevant warehousing activities, such as goods receipts, goods issues, deliveries, internal and external stock transfers, automatic replenishment of fixed bins, material staging to production areas and stock difference handling
- Utilization of random slotting for multiple owners of goods
- Implementation of a variety of put away and picking strategies including self-designed strategies
- Processing of multiple goods movements with transfer requirements and deliveries simultaneously
- Storage and retrieval of hazardous materials and all other goods that require special handling
- Setup of “forward pick” areas and production supply areas with automated replenishment from case or reserve storage when stock quantities reach a certain threshold.
- Optimization of capacity and material flow utilizing storage units in the warehouse
- Monitoring and display of stocks on hand and summary evaluations of all goods movements via warehouse controlling tasks
- Capability to maintain up-to-the-minute inventory records with the aid of stock transfer confirmation.
- Archiving of records of all goods movements and inventory activity
With its inventory functions, WM ensures that book inventories in Inventory Management match the stock in the warehouse at any time. Because FLYKON components are fully integrated, you do not need separate interface programs between IM and WM.
- Printing (of pallet slips, move orders, delivery slips, inventory documents, and so on) is available for all relevant transactions
Although it is possible to print material documents for each separate transaction in the warehouse, WM facilitates automatic flow through warehousing tasks that are virtually paperless.
Interface to External Systems
Support for the use of bar code scanners, RF technology.
This warehousing structure makes it possible to create transfer orders for deliveries when no storage bins are managed in the system.
For Lean WM, no goods receipts or goods issues are processed as a subsequent process in WM. This means that no bin data and no stock is updated at the storage bin level using quants. Instead, this transaction takes place at the storage location level. It is used primarily to handle pick orders for deliveries.
Warehouse Activity Monitor
The functions of the warehouse activity monitor are intended to assist warehouse administrators to oversee, plan and optimize work processes in the warehouse. It provides a means to notify responsible personnel in case there are delays or errors in the overall system. The warehouse activity monitor helps you to identify and correct warehousing errors or critical processes soon after they occur, thus enabling you to carry out warehousing transactions in a timely manner.
The warehouse activity monitor provides
- Automatic monitoring of warehousing processes
- Automatic recognition and display of errors in the warehouse
- Support in the analysis of processes in which errors have occurred
- Support to error correction
Unconfirmed Transfer Orders
When you display the critical processes for this object, the system lists all open transfer orders that were created but have not been confirmed within the time parameters defined in the system.
The display of unconfirmed transfer orders is used to inform you in a timely manner whether transfer orders have not been confirmed or processed correctly. If desirable, you can then check these transfer orders. Since materials are not available in the system (or for shipment to customers) until the transfer order has been confirmed, it is important to identify unconfirmed transfer orders quickly.
Open Transfer Requirements
This object is used to inform you in a timely manner, that
- Goods have been received that have not yet been placed into stock.
- A goods issue was posted in IM that has not yet been posted in WM.
- Unprocessed replenishment requests for fixed bins exist.
- The staging of materials for production was planned but has not yet taken place
For this object, the warehouse activity monitor displays all WM-relevant deliveries for which not all items have been picked that meet one of the following conditions:
- The time requirements for staging were not met.
- The time deadline for loading the delivery was not met.
- The time period for the goods issue for the delivery was exceeded
This task is used to inform warehouse administrators in a timely manner whether deliveries have been processed on schedule. This makes it possible for you to take necessary measures to ensure on-time deliveries. This task also displays deliveries that may have been overlooked.
With this task, the warehouse activity monitor can display
- stock in an interim storage area
- negative stock
The display of critical stock in interim storage areas makes it possible for you to identify goods movements that have not been fully processed within an acceptable period of time.
Critical TRs for Production Supply
For this object, the warehouse activity monitor displays inconsistencies in stock quantities that are used for material staging to production. These critical processes can appear during the staging of materials for production orders for which fixed production bins have been defined in a control cycle. Inconsistencies can occur between the transfer requirements and the transfer requirement quantities that are updated in a reservation when
- Transfer requirements are created manually to supply materials to production storage bins
- Reservations are deleted without making necessary corrections to open transfer requirements in WM
The determination of such inconsistencies is important because they can lead to problems when creating transfer orders for the supply of necessary materials to production. The warehouse activity monitor is able to determine for which materials and storage bins inconsistencies exist, therefore, making it possible for you to take necessary measures to correct potential bottlenecks in production
Material Master Data
The material master record contains all information about the materials a company procures, manufactures, stores and ships. The data stored in the material master is not only used by Warehouse Management (WM), but also by other application components, such as Inventory Management (IM), Production Planning (PP), Quality Management (QM) and Shipping (SDSHP). The integration of all information about a material into a single record eliminates redundancy and makes it possible to store material data for all relevant system components in a single database.
The Quant and Stock Management in WM
Stock is managed in the FLYKON Warehouse Management system in quants — separate identifiable quantities of material — that are stored in the warehouse.
however, it is a quantity of material with similar characteristics in a single storage bin. Therefore, if there is a quantity of the same material in a bin that has two separate batch numbers, for example, there would be 2 quants in that bin.
Types of Stock
- Individual Customer (Sales Order) Stock
- Consignment Stock
- Returnable Transport Packaging (RTP) Vendor
- Project Stock
- Available Stock
- Inspection Stock
- Blocked Stock
- Blocked Stock Returns
Shelf Life Expiration Date
The shelf life expiration date (SLED) for warehouse stock is established when goods are received. This date is updated in the quant, where it can be viewed and changed if necessary.
When shelf life management is active for a particular material, you must enter the expiration date on the stock placement preparation screen when you create a transfer order. The system can then print the shelf life expiration date on pallet documents.
This data includes:
- Maximum time a material can be stored
- Minimum shelf life a material must have available to be accepted by the system
- Percentage of the total shelf life that must still be available if the goods are to be sent to another distribution point
- Time unit used for the shelf life data (days, weeks or years)
- Total number of days that the goods can be kept – from production to the shelf life expiration date
WM Interface to Inventory Management (IM)
The most important system component that is linked to WM is the Inventory Management (IM) application component. Most activities that take place within WM are initiated in IM.
Interim Storage Areas
The Inventory Management component communicates with WM through interim storage types.
When you process a goods receipt in IM that is posted to a WM-managed storage location, the quantity is automatically posted to an interim storage area (goods receipt area). When this happens, a quant is created in a storage bin in the interim storage area. Afterwards, WM posts the goods to a storage bin in the warehouse. This second step can take place automatically. This increases the total stock quantity in both IM and WM.
When you process a goods issue, the system posts a quantity to an interim storage area (goods issue area or shipping zone). This time, however, a quant with a negative quantity is created since the IM posting reduces the total stock quantity.
It is through the interim storage areas that the stock quantities remain constant in both IM and WM. The total sum of the stock of all the WM storage areas for a warehouse number, both physical and logical, should always be identical to the sum of the stock in the IM storage location.
Different Types of interim storage area:
- Goods receipt area
- Goods issue area
- Interim storage area for differences
- Posting change area
The interim storage area for differences manages stock differences that occur during stock movements. Data pertaining to stock differences (such as overages, shortages, and damages) is kept in the interim storage area until the conditions that led to the differences are resolved. Stock differences are cleared with a difference posting from the WM interim storage area to the IM component.
Additional Interim Storage Areas
- Goods receipt interim storage area for purchase orders
- Goods receipt interim storage area for production orders
- Goods issue interim storage area for delivery documents
WM Interface to Inventory Management (IM)
- Interim storage area for posting changes
- Goods issue interim storage area for cost centers
This would make it possible for you to keep a record of each of the different types of documents and compartments completely separate at the storage type level.
Several activities and key documents are included in the movement of goods in the warehouse. The most important of these activities are listed below. They include:
WM manages negative stock in interim storage areas. When movement transactions that require the use of interim storage areas take place, the stock balance between IM and WM must remain constant. The use of negative stock postings makes this possible.
For example, negative stock postings occur for a goods issue based on a transfer requirement (a negative quant is posted to the goods issue area) or when a goods receipt is posted in WM prior to the goods receipt posting in IM.
Performance data used in the Warehouse Management (WM) system is contained in the transfer order header and includes both planned and actual data.
Terminology that is used in conjunction with SAP’s Warehouse Management system includes the following:
Planned data is previously calculated target data that pertains to the processing of a WM transfer order. This data includes:
- Transfer order processing time
The planned TO processing time is the target time or the time that is expected (planned) for a worker to process an entire transfer order containing one or more items.
Actual data is the actual information about how a transfer order was processed.
This data includes:
- Worker (personnel number)
- Duration (actual time required to process the transfer order)
- Start date and time and end date and time
- TO processing comment code
Reserve storage areas are generally used to supply materials for goods issue. When you bypass the warehouse, the material is not removed from a reserve storage area. Instead, the material for a goods issue is taken directly from the goods receipt interim storage area. In this way you avoid transferring material from the goods receipt area into the warehouse and then from the warehouse to the goods issue interim storage area. As a result, the material reaches the goods issue area sooner.
Within WM, pre-allocated stock is typically material that is required for goods issue, for example backordered stock, material needed in production or material requested by a customer, which is not in the warehouse. When you create a transfer order to place material into stock, the system checks to see if the material is designated as “pre-allocated”. If so, the system displays a message identifying the goods as pre-allocated stock.
Strategy F: FIFO (First In, First Out)
With this picking strategy the system proposes the oldest quant in the storage type as the quant that should be transferred.
The system generally calculates the “age” (length of time in storage) of a quant on the basis of the goods receipt posting date from the Inventory Management (IM) application component. The system automatically sets the goods receipt date in the quant and in the transfer requirement for every goods receipt posting in IM. When the transfer order is created, this date is copied over to the quant record of the destination storage bin.
Strategy L: LIFO (Last In First Out)
For some warehouse organizations or sectors of industry, the FIFO principle cannot be used. For example, in the building material industry material that is being stored temporarily, that is, material that is going to be transferred immediately out of the warehouse, is stacked on material that is already in the warehouse. If the FIFO strategy is used during picking, the material lying on top must be moved so that the warehouse worker can reach the material with the oldest goods receipt date. The LIFO strategy is provided for such situations. When the system searches for a quant to remove from stock, it always selects the last quant that was placed into stock.