NTT DATA Business Solutions
Mersun Sezer | July 11, 2019

Like a Phoenix from the Ashes - Stock Room Management from SAP

Or just a lame duck after all? SAP AG has surprised us with Stock Room Management and is offering another way to map intralogistical processing for warehousing within the system in the near future.

The graphic shows WM processes in SAP S/4HANA, together with stock room management and embedded EWM.Why Has Stock Room Management Come about Now?

According to SAP, it should help customers that already use SAP ECC installations including SAP Warehouse Management (WM) warehouse numbers – and also need or want to continue using these warehouse numbers after switching to S/4 HANA. In other words, those customers that have multiple or many warehouses with SAP WM in their companies. Precisely these customers have regularly stumbled over the discontinuation of the classic SAP WM application in planning for S/4 HANA and were thus significantly impeded in terms of opportunities for action for their strategy.


What Can Stock Room Management Do?

Ultimately, it is a classic WM application without Task Resource Management, without Value Added Services, without Cross-Docking, without Yard Management, without Wave Management, without the option of using it as a decentralized WM application and without an LSR interface. So what is left over? In particular, the fact that the interface is “missing” leads back to the same issue as at the beginning. How and when do customers now have to switch from a classic SAP WM application to an embedded Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) application for their S/4 strategies?


For Whom Is Stock Room Management Now Suitable?

The target customers are clearly those customers that already actively use an SAP WM application today and also have no further requirements for a larger functional diversity in warehouse logistics after switching to S/4HANA. However, you can easily see customers that also need extended functions and would be curtailed by the limitations of Stock Room Management using embedded EWM. For them, Stock Room Management is at best an intermediate step on the journey to completely mapping the digital supply chain at their companies. The plan behind the release 1909 is to launch this option on the market.

For new SAP customers, this means that the Stock Room Management function would be useful for them too. But for new customers, you have to honestly ask who even wants that. The solution is based on the classic data model, and there are no plans to develop it further, either. This offers far fewer possibilities than embedded EWM and, from my experience, would be a bad solution for you.

In SAP’s opinion, the strategic and recommended solution for new customers is embedded EWM. Would you buy a new car today and have the navigation data from 2006 implemented? This would practically guarantee you having to search for the right way.


What Is the Difference between Stock Room Management and Embedded EWM?

The first thing to mention is that embedded EWM is being developed further and that all new functions can be found only in this solution. The extended possibilities in the Radio Frequency (RF) environment, for the management of serial numbers, Handling Unit (HU) management and the possibilities in production supply can be found only in embedded EWM. However, the greatest advantage is the scalability of the process and function environment. This allows the embedded EWM system to grow with your requirements at any time.


How Will This New Option Make an Impact?

Fundamentally, it is a further strategic building block for our customers who are busy with the changeover from ECC to S/4HANA – an opportunity to slacken the roadmap in the key areas, if necessary, and thus make the switch “easier”. However, here too you must always critically question whether you want to or should use the new functions and solutions with the new system as well. The same applies to existing customers and new customers alike here – who wants to spend time looking for the way? Especially if there is an opportunity to replace third-party systems.

We offer you the necessary support for decision-making in various forms. You have to be sure of your decision and of the path you are taking. After all, regardless of the decision you make, it flows into activities that tie up resources that must have only one goal – and that is to supply the right material, in the right quantity, with the right quality at the right time and place.