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Migrating Your SAP Warehouse Module to S/4Hana – Part One

I frequently receive questions about the conversion of SAP WM to S/4HANA, especially when SAP WM is in use. Below I have compiled an overview of the most frequently asked questions that are closely linked to Stock Room Management.

Is there also an SAP WM under S/4HANA?

Yes, if you migrate from SAP ECC with a WM to S/4HANA, the WM will be migrated automatically. As a rule, no major conversions are required. However, you can continue to use the WM on S/4HANA without restrictions until probably 2025.


How long can I continue to use my current central WM?

If you are using WM on SAP ECC, you can continue to use it as long as you are running SAP ECC. However, the maintenance costs for SAP ECC are expected to increase from 2027.


If you have migrated from SAP ECC to S/4HANA, you may only operate WM without restrictions until 31.12.2025. After this date, you may continue to operate it with limited functionality under the name Stock Room Management. You will probably not be allowed to continue using the following functions on S/4HANA after 2025:


· Task & Resource Management (TRM), which is partly used as a forklift control system and for controlling automated warehouses

· WM-LSR interface, which is often used to connect automated warehouses with a subordinate MFR of the FT manufacturer

· Additional logistics services (LZL), rarely used

· Yard Management (WM-YM), has hardly been implemented to date, as it could only be used for one warehouse number

· Cross Docking (WM-CD), was also rarely used

· Wave Management (WM-TFM-CP)


This is not for technical reasons but solely for licensing reasons.


Do I need to migrate from WM to Stock Room Management?

No. A technical migration from SAP WM to the new Stock Room Management is not necessary. You can simply continue to run SAP WM without conversion. The only thing that will change is the name and the associated license conditions, which will probably prohibit the use of some functionalities after 2025.


Do I have to pay for additional licenses for Stock Room Management?

No. The user licenses are required as with WM and you will usually already have these. No additional licenses are required. The same also applies to embedded EWM if you only use the basic functions, which are like those of Stock Room Management.


Which warehouses is Stock Room Management intended for?

Stock Room Management is intended for small and manual warehouses. This can already be seen from the functionalities that will probably no longer be allowed to be used after 2025. These are generally irrelevant for small manual warehouses.


SAP has recognized that many customers and consulting firms would not have the time to convert the many thousands of WM installations for small and manual warehouses to embedded EWM by 2025. Some customers even wanted to suspend their migration to S/4HANA for this reason. With Stock Room Management, this is no longer necessary, so SAP has made a very good move towards its customers here.


However, SAP has hardly suffered any disadvantages because of this concession. Since the use of embedded EWM for such warehouses would generally not result in EWM licenses anyway, SAP has hardly any disadvantages from Stock Room Management in terms of license revenue, which is the actual motivation for SAP EWM.


I have S/4HANA and need a WMS for a new, very simple warehouse. Can I use Stock Room Management for this?

Yes, SAP allows this. However, whether this makes sense is another question. In cases where a simple warehouse is only operated temporarily, Stock Room Management is definitely an alternative because the implementation is somewhat faster and cheaper than with an embedded EWM. In other cases, a simple embedded EWM is usually the better solution in view of possible new functional requirements that may arise in the future.


In terms of license costs, in both cases only the user licenses are usually required, so the two solutions do not differ in this respect.


I have a WM with many additional developments running on SAP ECC. What do I do if I want to switch to S/4 HANA?

This question concerns two very important aspects, namely the functional and the licensing aspects.


Let's start with the functional aspect. Many customers have spent a lot of time and money over the years developing optimized dialogs and strategies to operate their warehouse as efficiently as possible. Naturally, they are reluctant to give up these optimizations.


It is undisputed that an EWM has much better functionality than a WM; however, as a rule, no warehouse management system in the world has such individual optimizations as standard, and neither does the EWM. When switching to EWM, these optimizations would have to be redeveloped. The pure user interface of the dialogs could even be adopted in parts, as it is the same programming language. However, as all tables and data structures in EWM differ from WM, the effort required for the necessary adaptations is very high. It is not uncommon to optimize processes when switching from WM to EWM, so that some dialogs or strategies no longer fit.


Could and should you continue to use these additional developments with Stock Room Management in such cases?

Yes, this is - at least as things stand today - permitted under licensing law, regardless of the size of the add-on or additional development. There are currently no licensing restrictions on the part of SAP for such additional developments. And SAP has not announced that this will change. Technically, you can continue to use the additional developments without any problems, as nothing changes technically in Stock Room Management compared to WM, i.e. the additional developments access the same data structures as in WM.


However, it is important to check whether, in such cases, one of the functions that will probably no longer be allowed to be used after 2025 is being used. This is often the case. And then it gets complicated.


At Körber Supply Chain, we have implemented a complete material flow control system without task & resource management in many projects and have also gone to the PLC level with the WM. We therefore do not have a WM-LSR interface in use, nor do we have any of the other functionalities that can no longer be used. In such a case, the WM with all add-ons and additional developments can probably continue to be operated under Stock Room Management even after 2025.


However, the decision is not easy in these cases either. SAP EWM offers significantly more functionality than WM. This applies, for example, to integration with SAP PP (production), SAP QM but also with SAP TM (transportation management) or event management. If you want to take advantage of these benefits, you must switch to SAP EWM, even if this is a major project and costs money. In terms of futureproofing, you are on the safe side with EWM.


To summarize, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and each individual case should be looked at carefully. Sometimes, in such cases, a switch to SAP EWM can be cleverly combined with an expansion and other major changes in the warehouse.


This article is part one of a series written by Körber’s SAP expert, Dr. Karten Fuchs, on the topic of migrating your SAP warehouse module to S/4HANA. Read Part Two and Part Three on the Körber blog.

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