Adds capabilities for yard management, cross docking and value-added services
Chicago September 19, 2003 German software company SAP this week unveiled new warehouse management capabilities in mySAP Supply Chain Management (mySAP SCM), addressing the areas of yard management, cross docking and value-added services with the goal of helping companies create more efficient and adaptive supply chains.
SAP said that, with the warehouse management extensions, companies will also be able to tap the full potential of their warehouse management operations with a number of additional features, including leveraging radio frequency identification technology (RFID), enhanced task and resource management (TRM) and the integration of handling unit management (HUM) and quality management (QM).
The new functionality for yard management provides customers with a starting point for extending warehouse management and control beyond the traditional "four walls" of the warehouse, a step toward creating more supply chain visibility and building adaptive supply chain networks, according to SAP.
Yard management links inbound/outbound transportation functions with the distribution center (DC) to optimize the flow of goods into and out of the DC. The new functionality aims to accelerate the total supply chain by reducing storage requirements and helping companies to optimize their door and dock utilization.
Companies can also benefit from the integration to functionalities such as cross docking, value-added services and HUM, according to SAP. Features of yard management include delivery/shipment check-in and checkout, arrival/departure verification procedures, move instructions for yard personnel and yard stock visibility.
Aligned with yard management is the new cross-docking functionality in SAP's warehouse management extension. Cross docking describes the strategy of processing incoming goods and issuing them without the intermediate step of storage. The new functionality supports both planned and opportunistic cross docking, helping to accelerate the flow of goods through the facility, reduce cycle times and optimize goods flow.
One of SAP's customers already benefiting from the warehouse management extensions is Whirlpool Corp., headquartered in Benton Harbor, Mich.
"We chose SAP's warehouse management solution to leverage the integration of the warehouse management functions with SAP's shipping and delivery functions as part of our new application strategy reducing the total time and cost to serve our customers," said Jim Shimp, director of global supply chain at Whirlpool. "We are also looking to build even better supply chain processes by utilizing the new cross-docking and trailer yard management functions based on our cooperative development efforts with SAP. Capitalizing on SAP's [enterprise resource planning (ERP)] and decentralized warehouse capabilities was the most cost effective solution available to us here at Whirlpool."
SAP said that the enhanced functionality of value-added services (VAS) describes operations performed in the warehouse to increase the value of goods. Examples of such activities include hanger insertion, price marking, tagging and packaging and labeling. VAS functionality is provided to create, monitor and invoice for VAS activities in the warehouse. VAS is interconnected to yard management and cross docking, since the direct flow of goods through a warehouse without intermediate storage often requires additional repacking or other value-added services.
Additional functionality in SAP's warehouse management extension includes the extended integration of HUM and QM to improve usability and logistical handling of pallets and cases, as well as enhancements in TRM to help optimize workflow and reduce resources needed.
The solution also provides functionality for radio frequency supported dynamic cycle counting, enabling the user to count physical inventory at storage bin and material levels without blocking storage bins, thus helping to ensure continuous warehouse operation during cycle counting.