Warehouse Structure in the Warehouse Management System.
Before you implement the application component Warehouse Management (Warehouse Management System) you must first define the structure, that is, the physical structure, of your warehouse or warehouse complex and depict it in the system.
As Warehouse management is used in integration with other core modules of SAP R/3 like Materials management & the Sales & Distribution. We should have the organisation structure of these modules configured in the system to proceed with the warehouse management configuration.
Warehouse Structure without WMS
If you are not using the Warehouse Management System, the storage location is the lowest level of inventory management in the system. In the Inventory Management (IM) component, the storage location is defined as the location of physical stock in a plant. If you are using Inventory Management without WMS, you can assign one or several physical storage locations to each plant.
In this example, storage locations are assigned to two plants. The first plant has two storage locations: storage location 0001 (for example, high-rack storage) and storage location 0002 (for example, bulk storage). The second plant has three storage locations: storage location 0001 (for example, high-rack storage), storage location 0002 (for example, bulk storage), and storage location 0003 (for example, picking area).
In this case, Inventory Management supplies information on the stock quantities at storage location level in the form of quantity totals.
Warehouse Structure with WMS
When you implement the Warehouse Management System (WMS) in a plant, you define the individual warehouses (high-rack storage, block storage, picking area, and so on) as storage types within a warehouse complex and group them together under a warehouse number. As a rule, it is not necessary to define several storage locations for a plant since you assign the WMS warehouse number to a storage location from Inventory Management (IM).
It is appropriate to define further storage locations for a plant if other warehouses (storage types) exist within a plant that is not managed using WMS but with Lean WM, for example.
In WMS you define storage bins for each of the storage types. In this way, WMS manages stock information on all materials in the warehouse at storage bin level. In addition, the stock quantities of the material are managed in Inventory Management (MM-IM) at storage location level. In order to link the information at storage location level with the information from the storage bin, assign a warehouse number to the storage location.
This figure depicts two plants that each manages a storage location using WMS.
- Warehouse number 001 is assigned to storage location 0088 in the first plant. In warehouse complex 001 there are two storage types.
- Warehouse number 001 is assigned to storage location 0088 in the first plant. In warehouse complex 002, there are three storage types.
You can also manage stock for several plants in the same warehouse at the same time. In this case, the same warehouse number is assigned to the storage locations for these plants.
As a rule, it is a good idea to manage only the stocks of one storage location and the same plant within a warehouse number. However, you can also manage several storage locations of one and the same plant within a warehouse number.
The system uses the links that you create(through Enterprise Structure) to Inventory Management (IM) to ensure that certain processes in Quality Management (QM), Product Planning (PP), and Sales and Distribution (SD) are carried out in the Warehouse Management System (WMS) for the appropriate warehouse number.
Depiction of the Physical Warehouse in WMS
The warehouse structure in Warehouse Management is hierarchical and consists of the following elements:
- The Warehouse Number
You can define an entire physical warehouse complex in WM using a single warehouse number.
- The Storage Type
Each of the warehouse facilities or areas that make up the warehouse complex can be defined as a type of storage area or “storage type” on the basis of its spatial, technical, and organizational characteristics.
Each storage type is divided into storage sections. A storage section generally includes all bins that have certain characteristics in common, such as bins for “fast-moving items” near a goods issue area.
- The Storage Bin
Each storage type and storage section consists of a row of storage spaces that are referred to in WMS as storage bins. The coordinates of the bins indicate the exact position in the warehouse where goods can be stored.
- The Quant
The quant serves to perform inventory management of a material at the storage bin.