SAP WM org structure elements – tutorial

Let us understand what are the different elements of SAP WM org stucture.

Before configuration of your Warehouse in SAP, we must understand what are the different SAP WM org structure elements.

1.Warehouse Number – top most SAP WM org structure element in hierarchy.

Definition

In Warehouse Management (WM), a complete physical warehouse is defined under a single warehouse number. Using the warehouse number, you can manage several individual warehouse buildings that, together, form a complete warehouse complex.

Use

The warehouse number encompasses the organizational and physical aspects of a warehousing complex as a single concept.

It is recommend using one warehouse number for each group of storage areas or buildings (warehousing complex) in the same geographical area. If your warehousing facilities are located in different cities or are physically separated by a longer distance, it is appropriate to assign a separate warehouse number to each warehouse complex.

Storage Type 

Definition

A storage type is a storage area, warehouse facility, or a warehouse zone that you define in Warehouse Management (WM) for a warehouse number. This is a physical or logical subdivision of a warehouse complex that is characterized by its warehouse technique, the space used, its organizational form, or its function. A storage bin consists of one or several storage bins.

You can also define storage types in WM that are shared by both the Inventory Management (IM) and Warehouse Management (WM) application components. These are called interim storage areas and include the following: Some of these include

  • Goods receipt area
  • Goods issue area
  • Interim storage area for differences
  • Posting change zone

Use

These storage types make up the warehousing complex and can be located in one or several buildings. They are all managed using a single warehouse number.

You can use these standard storage types as a basis for your own individual settings, or you can create different storage types to meet the requirements of your company.

Definition of Control Parameters in the Storage Type

You need to define important control indicators at the storage type level that determine the material flow (putaway and picking activities) and the way inventory is handled in each storage type.

Integration

The Inventory Management (IM) application component communicates with the Warehouse Management component through interim storage types. Goods receipts and issues posted in IM are automatically updated in WM in these interim storage types.

These storage types can have characteristics that are not normally defined in purely physical storage types. For example, they can have negative stock; no capacity check is required and no putaway or picking strategies are defined for interim storage areas.

Storage Section 

Definition

In Warehouse Management (WM), a storage section is an organizational subdivision of a storage type that groups together storage bins with similar features for the purpose of putting away stock. The criteria for grouping bins can be defined on a user-individual basis, for example, heavy parts, bulky materials, fast-moving items, slow-moving items.

Use

The storage section can serve as an organizational aid for putting away goods in the warehouse. If you decide on using storage types and storage sections, you must define your organizational goals. Here the physical location is often a decisive organizational factor. It is not absolutely mandatory that you subdivide a storage type into two or more storage sections. However, you must create at least one storage section for each storage type.

Example

High rack storage areas frequently consist of many storage bins that vary in size. For example, in many such storage areas, the bins in the lower level are larger for especially large and heavy parts, while those in the upper levels are smaller. Often, a high rack storage area is separated into two storage sections. The front section is for fast moving items and the rear section is used for materials with a slower rate of turnover. This is depicted in the graphic below.

SAP WM Storage section in storage type

Storage Bin 

Definition

A storage type generally contains several storage spaces or slots. These are called storage bins in Warehouse Management (WM). The storage bin is the smallest available unit of space in a warehouse. The storage bin therefore describes the position in the warehouse where the goods can be stored.

Since the address of a storage bin is frequently derived from a coordinate system, a storage bin is often referred to as a coordinate. The coordinate 01-02-03 for example, can refer to a storage bin in row 1, stack 2, and level 3.

Structure

Generally speaking, you can use any combination of letters and numbers for a storage bin coordinate with the exception of certain alphanumeric characters that are used for stock placement strategy P (according to pallet or storage unit type).

Interim Storage Bins 

When you define the interim storage area, you also specify the type of coordinate that will be used to identify the storage bins within the interim storage area. Storage bins for an interim storage area can have:

  • Predefined coordinates
  • Dynamic coordinates
  • Fixed coordinates

The following graphic illustrates the use of all three types of interim storage bins.

SAP WM interim storage bins

Predefined Coordinates

For each interim storage area, you can define one or several storage bins with fixed coordinates. For example, for the goods receipt area, you can create a fixed storage bin with the coordinates GR-AREA. You then assign a separate movement type to each storage bin in the interim storage area. You do this by entering the storage bin coordinates into the movement type record when you define the movement type. Before you can post stock movements using movement types containing storage bin coordinates, you must first create the corresponding interim storage bin in WM.

When you post a goods receipt in the IM component, the system uses the movement type to select which interim storage bin will receive the stock quantity in the interim storage area. On the other hand, when you post a goods issue, the system uses the movement type to determine from which storage bin in the interim storage area the stock will be removed.

Dynamic Coordinates

When you define a movement type, you can set up the system to create dynamic storage bins in the assigned interim storage area. In this case, the system uses the document number which triggered the stock movement as the coordinates for the interim storage bin. For example, for a goods receipt, you can set up the system to use the purchase order number as the storage bin coordinates in the interim storage area for goods receipts.

These coordinates only exist as long as the quant is in the interim storage bin; afterwards, they are deleted.

Advantage of using Dynamic Coordinates

The advantage of using dynamic coordinates for goods receipts for purchase orders is that when several goods receipts are posted, these postings then create separate quant which can be differentiated using the purchase order numbers as coordinates.

If predefined coordinates are used, only the total quantity of the material in the interim storage area is visible.

Fixed Bin Coordinates

For a movement type, you can also assign a fixed storage bin that has been defined in the WM view of the material master record. You enter this storage bin coordinate in the Storage bin field in the storage bin stock section in the material master at the storage type organizational level. In this case, when you define the movement type you have to enter the storage type from the material master as an interim storage area in which the fixed bin has been defined. When the material is received in the warehouse, it is then posted directly to the assigned fixed bin. For the goods receipt posting, the system does not create a transfer requirement. In this case, none is required.

Quant -lower most SAP WM org structure element in hierarchy.

Definition

Stock is managed in the SAP Warehouse Management system in quant — separate identifiable quantities of material — that are stored in the warehouse.

SAP WM Quants

The following graphic illustrates how quant are used in storage bins:

From left to right:

  • The first storage bin has two quant, a single quant for material 1 and a single quant for material 2.
  • The second bin contains 2 quant of material 3, each with a separate batch number.
  • The third bin has a single quant of material 4.
  • The fourth bin has 2 quant of material 5. The first quant is quality inspection stock with a stock category of “Q”. The second quant of material 5 has been released from inspection and is now “unrestricted” stock that is available for use.

The amount of material in a quant can be increased by adding material to existing stock

When you store goods in an empty storage bin in WM, the system creates the quant in the bin. This means that the system issues a quant number and, when the quantity of material is picked, the quant number is automatically deleted again.

This number has no significant meaning for your company and is used for management purposes in WM.

I hope now you are clear on the SAP WM org structure elements.

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