Managing a fast-paced and high-volume warehouse while implementing complicated supply chain logistics is a wild ride. With this complex process in mind, adopting SAP EWM may be in your near future to assist in automating end-to-end logistics. The great thing about taking on SAP EWM is that it will help to optimize quality, production, and distribution operations.
Here are the top 5 lessons learned from integrating shipping within SAP EWM:
If an extension is required, make sure that your business meets the following criteria:
- The extension is a mandatory requirement and no process change can be put into place to avoid this enhancement.
- Quantify the costs and benefits of acquiring the enhancement against the effort spent in developing and maintaining the system.
- Ensure that the solution is compatible with upgrades that the company may need in the future.
- Use automated shipping services to make sure that it creates carrier compliant labels.
1. Use Standard Functionality as Much as Possible
When mapping your business process to SAP EWM, leverage the standard business scenarios and configurations offered by SAP and perform enhancements only when it is vital to supply chain and business success.
For a successful project deployment, we need to have a clear view of which metrics should be used. Define the following critical metrics at the beginning of the project and track them throughout the duration and end of the project:
2. Define and Track your Metrics
- Numeric Metrics – Compare current vs future volume, packages shipped per day,
totalcost of current solution ownership vs SAP EWM ownership, and downtime improvements.
- Strategic Metrics – Improvements in visibility on the supply chain process and cost reductions on the freight cost due to process simplifications and shipping integration.
3. Prepare for Change Management
If you are moving from a mainframe process to SAP EWM there is a vast process change, and users need to be prepared upfront on the requirements on the new system. Train end users accordingly and engage with key stakeholders at each stage of the project. This practice will ensure that they know what is coming so that they can prepare for potential activities; this process leads to a smoother transition.
4. Choose your Partners Wisely
Creating a selection strategy to acquire the right partner for the SAP EWM deployment project is crucial to your EWM success. Furthermore, selecting the best partner will reduce your implementation turmoil. The selection strategy should evaluate the partners on their track record on EWM deployments on your industry, their implementation approach, as well as their leadership and change management strategies. You may apply the same criteria for additional shipping services when selecting partners for shipping conveyor solutions, voice automation, etc.
5. Automate as Much as Possible
SAP EWM provides a variety of standard automation functionalities such as wave picking, RF functionalities, voice picking, etc. With that said, automate where ever possible to ensure less manual intervention and errors. Label creation, print and apply solutions, hazardous material documentation can be automated. In turn, automation will reduce user errors, leading to increased efficiency and profits. Furthermore, it replaces tribal knowledge with system driven data.
This article was written by Leo Gift.