In the following blog article, we would like to give our readers a project insight into one of the worldwide biggest implementations of Business Warehouse on SAP HANA®. The implementation was made for a globally acting chemical and pharmacy corporation in the area of warehouse management. INKUBIT was responsible for the conception and implementation of the warehouse management processes and a reporting based on these new processes for the special departments and the management level.
The warehouse management topics we were working on were following:
- Interface to an O365 database, to analyze data from external and not SAP® managed warehouses
- Integration of crucial warehouse data like stock, stock movement and inventory
- Prediction of incoming and outgoing goods, to make assumptions about the future warehouse utilization
Deployed was a performant Business Warehouse on SAP HANA® 7.5. The modelling took place primarily in SAP HANA® Studio. As programming language was ABAP® OO in use.
Warehouses not managed by SAP®
Due to different reasons (e.g. costs or human resources) the majority of warehouses are managed and operated by external logistics providers like DHL. These externally managed warehouses in many cases don’t use the same warehouse management system as their client does, but their own system, or even sometimes just simple excel spreadsheets. Goal of the project was to create a uniform interface and provide a global reporting for special departments and the management.
In alliance with a partner specialized in Microsoft SharePoint, an O365 database with an appealing and intuitive interface was created for the input of the required warehouse key figures (costs per pallet, warehouse capacities, etc.) as well as the master data by the responsible warehouse manager. Followingly the data was extracted and moved to a data model to a Business Warehouse on SAP HANA® 7.5. Within the business warehouse data model derivations and currency exchange calculations took place, to meet the requirements of the reporting. The data were available for the special departments and the management, presented in an Analysis for Office Report and in an interactive dashboard.
Integration of SAP® Warehouse Management
Self-managed warehouses use the warehouse management module of SAP SE. The essential information of a warehouse such as master data, stocks, movements and inventories are maintained and stored there. As part of the project, this data was transferred to BW on SAP HANA® and made analyzable for the special department.
Using generic DataSources, the data from different tables in the WM system is extracted and transferred to the new BW data model. These include inventory (table: LQUA, LEIN), stocks movements (table: LTAK, LTAP) and physical inventories (table: LINK, LINV) as well as various master data. During loading, additional fields are derived, the worldwide time zones are taken into account with regard to the calculation of date fields, and currencies are converted. A corresponding AO workbook is created for the department that contains different queries for the different evaluation areas.
Based on the warehouse management data, a portfolio of different evaluation methods is necessary for the department and the management. The underlying data model is implemented as well.
- Storage Space Utilization
The total storage places available in the warehouse are determined and the number of currently used storage places is compared with the help of the current stocks. The aim here is to see how the storage space utilization for individual storage areas is for the current day.
- Pallets Capacity
The total pallet capacity of a warehouse is determined and the current number of pallets in the warehouse is compared. This is relevant to control possible incoming and outgoing goods and to avoid over- or under-coverage with pallets. In order to achieve this, a pallet conversion is also implemented, which calculates the number of pallets from the quantities in the base unit of measure.
- Warehouse Prediction
For this analysis requirement, the future incoming and outgoing goods are registered and calculated in the unit “pallet” from the source systems APO, production planning (material and components), procurement and sales. With the help of the maximum pallet capacity and the free capacity for each warehouse area as well as the assignment of new movements to possible warehouse areas, the future incoming and outgoing goods are forecasted for the next 365 days. The aim of this analysis is, for example, to predict possible over- and under-supply in the future, to control deliveries and goods receipts and to distribute goods between the warehouses.