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

Switching to EWM, but when and how? You are using a WM or proprietary WMS and want to switch to EWM. When is the right time to do this?

When should I switch my warehouse management system with WM or with a proprietary WMS to EWM regarding S/4HANA?


With a proprietary WMS, the timing is usually determined by the end of maintenance by the WMS supplier, although there is often some leeway here that can be used. Expansions to the warehouse or new functional requirements for the warehouse can also necessitate a switch to EWM. This also applies to the use of SAP LE-WM.


There are various scenarios for SAP LE-WM:


If they remain on SAP ECC, they can simply continue to use the LE-WM module. If you switch to S/4HANA, you can continue to run SAP LE-WM in compatibility mode without restrictions until the end of 2025, after which you can only use it with functional restrictions as Stock Room Management


If you want/need to switch to EWM, the timing still depends on whether you want to use an embedded EWM solution or a decentralized EWM. With an embedded EWM, you will inevitably have to wait until S/4HANA is available and only then can you "embed" the EWM in S/4HANA.


A decentralized EWM solution, which is mainly used for complex and automated warehouses, can be implemented before or after the switch to S/4HANA: Implement S/4HANA first, continue to run LE-WM on S/4HANA in compatibility mode first and switch to SAP EWM later.


If you introduce the decentralized EWM before the S/4HANA migration, it is first connected to the existing SAP ECC. Once SAP ECC has been migrated to S/4HANA, EWM can be connected to S/4HANA without any problems. From an EWM perspective, the interface to SAP ECC is the same as to S/4HANA.


What EWM variants are available for S/4HANA and what are the license costs?


If you introduce EWM today, there are three variants:


  • Embedded EWM, which runs on SAP ERP S/4HANA, as Basic EWM, i.e. without an "Enhanced Feature". There are no additional license costs for SAP EWM.
  • The embedded EWM as Advanced EWM, with at least one "Enhanced Feature". The full EWM license costs are incurred here. We will explain what these "enhanced features" are at the end of the blog.
  • Decentralized EWM on S/4HANA always incurs the full EWM license costs, regardless of which functionalities are used. Decentralized EWM on the S/4HANA platform can be connected to both SAP ECC and S/4HANA. It therefore makes no difference whether you are already on S/4HANA with the SAP ERP system or still on SAP ECC.


The decentralized variant is typically used when guaranteed, short response times are required, as is usually the case when using conveyor technology, or for complex manual warehouses with a high throughput. Other criteria, such as release and performance independence from the ERP system, can also be decisive.


If the EWM license costs are always incurred with a decentralized EWM, this is only the case with an embedded EWM if "enhanced features" are used. These include the following functionalities:


  • Material flow system (EWM-MFS)
  • Shaft management
  • Additional logistics services (VAS)Transport units / Yard Management
  • TM integration
  • Kit formation (Kitting)
  • Labor Management Warehouse
  • Billing (Warehouse Billing)
  • Cross Docking
  • Dock Appointment Scheduling (DAS)
  • Storage scheduling (Slotting)
  • Cartonization planning


In contrast to initial statements, the connection of an external MFS (material flow system for conveyor technology) is no longer an "enhanced feature". You can find out how high the license costs are from the SAP price list. Ultimately, however, this is always a matter of negotiation, so we cannot and must not make any statement on the amount.


I want to introduce a decentralized EWM. Should I use EWM on the SCM basis or on S/4HANA?


Decentralized EWM on the SCM platform is no longer being developed by SAP. Therefore, the only serious option is decentralized EWM on S/4HANA. As decentralized EWM on S/4HANA can be connected to both SAP ECC and S4/HANA, it doesn't matter which SAP ERP system you have. At most, if an EWM template exists for the SCM platform and you need to carry out a quick rollout, decentralized EWM on the SCM platform could still make sense. However, such a case will always be an exception.


How easy is it to migrate from a decentralized EWM on the SCM platform to a decentralized EWM on S/4HANA?


If you have already introduced a decentralized EWM on the SCM platform in recent years, as many of our customers have done, because EWM on S/4HANA did not yet exist at that time, you have an EWM that is still supported by SAP but is no longer being further developed. So, the question is when and how do I migrate my EWM to S/4HANA?


As far as the timing is concerned, there is no need to rush. It is best to do this when you have time and there is little contact with other projects. However, the switch can also be triggered by the fact that you want to use new functionalities that are only available in EWM on S/4HANA.


The switch to EWM on S/4HANA is primarily a technical migration. SAP made the corresponding migration tools available at the end of 2019. The migration is therefore not comparable with the migration from WM to EWM, which is practically like a new project. There is still a lack of experience to say conclusively how well the migration tools work. We assume that this can be done with a manageable amount of effort.


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 S4/HANA. Read Part One and Part Two (insert hyperlink) on the Körber blog.

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