Putaway Strategies - SAP WM

Putaway strategies that are used by WM are used to optimize the storage of goods in the warehouse.

Overview of Putaway Strategies in WM

To configure WM to use putaway strategies for your warehousing complex, see the corresponding sections under Strategies in the Warehouse Management IMG documentation.

Putaways
The system gets the information for the source and destination storage bins for a transfer into the warehouse as illustrated below.

Overview of Putaway Strategies in WM

Overview of Putaway Strategies in WM

Information About Putaways
When stock is put away in the warehouse, it generally is transferred from the interim storage area for goods receipts. Information about the source (interim storage type, interim storage section, and interim storage bin) is recorded in the transfer requirement or the system determines it from the WM movement type.

Storage Type Search
The system must now determine in which storage type the material should be put away. You define this information in the storage type search table. To make entries in this table, see the section on defining the storage type search sequence under Strategies in the Warehouse Management IMG documentation.

In the storage type search table, you can define a search sequence with up to ten storage types.(Make sure that you enter an Efor putaway in the column Activity). This means that the system uses the search sequence for searching for a destination storage type. The storage type list is set up in a hierarchical form, that is, the system first searches for empty bins in the first storage type, then in the second storage type, and so on. The table entries that the system uses for this search depend on the movement type and/or the material being put away.

You can also group materials together by the storage type indicator so that the system uses the same search sequence and stores the group of materials in the same storage type or types. To implement this you define a:

  • Storage type indicator in the material master record (the Putaway field)
  • Storage type indicator in the storage type search table (in the TyInd field)

Reference to Movement Type
Entries in the Ref column of the storage type search table influence storage type search according to movement type. To link specific movement types to reference column entries in the storage type search table, see the section on Defining movement type references under Strategies Activate storage type search in the Warehouse Management IMG.

To link a movement type to a storage type search sequence, you enter a reference number in the Reference Type Search column of the table displayed. This same number will also appear in the Reference storage type search field for each movement type selected.

Access Optimization for Storage Type Search Strategies
When storage type indicators are used and several materials with different stock categories (such as special stock) exist, the number of entries in the storage type search table can become very large. To decrease the number of these entries, you can define an access strategy for the storage type search table using the access strategy table.

To define access strategies for the storage type search table, choose Access Optimization for Storage Type Search from the list of objects under Strategies Storage type search in the Warehouse Management Implementation Guide (IMG). For instructions on how to use this table, select online help for any of the fields displayed.

Hazardous Materials
You can also influence storage type search according to hazardous material storage classes and water pollution classes.

Storage Bin Search
Once the storage type has been determined, the system then searches within the storage type to find an appropriate storage bin in which the material can be put away. To find a storage bin, the system uses a search strategy that has been defined for the storage type. For each storage type you can define a putaway strategy.

Regardless of the putaway strategy, there are two other factors that affect how the system searches for empty storage bins:

  • The storage section
  • The storage bin type

Both of these factors are independent of the strategy that is used for stock putaway. Both can be used with all putaway strategies with the exception of fixed bin strategy, for which storage sections cannot be used.

Storage Section Search
You can divide a storage type into several storage sections in which various materials can be stored. You can use these storage sections, for example, to ensure that frequently used materials ("fast-moving" items) are stored in the front of the warehouse while seldom used materials ("slow-moving" items) are stored in the back of the warehouse. A storage type is divided into storage sections on the basis of storage bins. When you create a storage bin, you assign it to a storage section. To set up the strategy for storage sections, see the section on activating storage section searches under Strategies in the Warehouse Management IMG documentation.

If storage section checking is active for the storage type, then the system searches in the storage type only for those empty storage bins in storage sections that have been allowed for the material being put away. When you are creating a transfer order and manually enter a storage bin, then the system checks whether the bin is in a storage section that is allowed for the material. You can also make an entry in customizing that permits you to override the section check for manual entries.

Storage Bin Type Search
In one storage type you may have storage bins of different sizes. The system then searches for a suitable bin that will accommodate a specific storage unit type for putaway. When you create a storage bin, you assign it to a storage bin type.

To set up the strategy for storage bin types, see the section Activating Storage Bin Type Search under Strategies in the Warehouse Management IMG documentation. In the table for assigning storage unit types to storage types, you can define up to ten storage unit types that can be accommodated in each storage type.

Next you must assign the storage bin type to each storage unit type. In the storage bin type search table, you can define up to ten storage bin types that can be used for each storage unit type in a storage type.

As a final step, you must activate the storage unit type checking for a storage type.
The connection between a material and storage unit type checking is made in the material master record. You can define up to three different palletization suggestions (storage unit type and number of units of material per storage unit type) for a material.

If storage unit type checking is active for the storage type, the system first determines if the storage unit type for the material can be put away in the storage type. Next the system searches for an empty storage bin in the first storage bin type that can accommodate the storage unit type. If the system does not find a suitable storage bin, it then looks in the second storage bin type, and so on. When you are creating a transfer order and manually enter a storage bin, then the system checks whether the bin belongs to one of the allowed storage bin types.

Customer-Defined Strategies
To use customer-defined strategies, you must select the User exit active field in the Putaway Control section of the appropriate storage type record. For instructions, see the section on Developing function extensions in the Warehouse Management IMG documentation.

Strategy Used for Storage Unit Management
Strategy Q is used in warehouses that are managed for storage units.

Manual Entry
Use
The system does not use a strategy to search for a storage bin. The user enters the destination storage bin when the transfer order is created. This procedure is used if the search for a storage bin is done on-site by the warehouse worker. First the warehouse worker searches for the appropriate storage bin. Then the data about the storage bin (for example, storage type and coordinates) is entered into the transfer order.

We recommend that you use "manual entry" for mixed storage and interim storage types.

Prerequisites
Since no strategy is used, you leave the Putaway strategy field blankin the storage type record.

Strategy F: Fixed Bin Storage
Use
This putaway strategy is used when a material is to be stored in a fixed bin in a storage type.This strategy is used primarily in storage types from which picking is done manually. You define the fixed bin in the material master record (the warehouse view).

The following is an example of the fixed bin strategy.

Strategy F: Fixed Bin Storage

Prerequisites
When you define the storage type record to use this strategy,

  • Enter f in the Putaway strategy field.
  • Enter x in the Addition to stock field to allow for addition to existing stock.
  • Enter a numeric code for the type of checking in the Capacity check method field to activate capacity checking.

If you try to transfer a material without a fixed storage bin into a storage type that has a fixed bin strategy, the system issues an error message. Therefore when you create the warehouse data view for the material master record, you must enter a fixed bin storage type in the organization level window. When you enter the storage type at this level, the system displays data fields specifically for the storage bin on the WM data entry screen. Be sure to enter a fixed storage bin in the Storage bin field.

Strategy C: Open Storage
Use
The system uses this putaway strategy to find the storage bin in an open storage section. Open storage is a type of warehouse organization in which you define a single storage bin for a storage section. The quants in the storage bin can also be in the form of mixed storage. The following figure illustrates open storage.

Strategy C: Open Storage

Prerequisites
When you define the storage type record to use this strategy

  • Enter c in the Putaway strategy field.
  • Enter x in the Mixed storage field.

For each storage type you can define one or more open storage sections. Then for each open storage section you define a single storage bin.

Strategy I: Addition to Existing Stock
Use
When addition to existing stock has been defined as a putaway strategy for a storage type, the system places goods in storage bins that already contain the same material. With this strategy, the system searches for a storage bin in which the material is already being stored. A prerequisite for addition to existing stock is that sufficient capacity still exists in the respective storage bin. If the system cannot find a storage bin with the same material or the capacity of the storage bin will not allow additional quants to be stored, the system switches to the "next empty bin" strategy, that is, it searches for the next available empty storage bin.

The FIFO principle is violated with this strategy; therefore, you should use this strategy when warehouse space is limited. The strategy for adding to existing stock is illustrated below.

Addition to Existing Stock

Prerequisites
There are two ways to define addition to existing stock.

  • You use the "addition to existing stock" placement strategy for the storage type.
  • Set the additional stock indicator (Addn to Stock) in the storage type record itself. To change the storage type, see the appropriate section on defining a storage type under Master data in the Warehouse Management IMG documentation.

When you define the storage type record to use this strategy

  1. Enter i in the Putaway strategy field.
  2. Enter x or m in the Addition to stock field to allow for addition to existing stock.
  3. You set the indicator in the storage type record with an
    - x if you want addition to existing stock generally allowed
    - m if you want addition to stock based on the indicator in the material master record.

    If you enter m then you must set the addition to stock indicator in the material master record. You can set the indicator with an x if addition to existing stock is allowed. If you leave the indicator blank, then additional stock is not allowed for the material.

  4. Enter a numeric code for the type of checking in the Capacity check method field to activate capacity checking.
  5. Leave the Mixed storage field blank. Mixed storage is not allowed.

Strategy L: Next Empty Storage Bin
Use
For this putaway strategy, the system proposes the next empty bin. Randomly organized warehouses are supported with this strategy, whereby materials are stored in separate storage sections. This strategy is especially suited for high rack storage and shelf storage.

Prerequisites
When you define the storage type record to use this strategy, enter L in the Putaway strategy field. The sort order of the storage bins, which influences how the next empty storage bin is found, can be changed.

Strategy K: Putaway near Picking Bin
Use
This putaway strategy is used when a material is to be placed in a reserve storage area. The system does not search to see whether a fixed storage bin is available. You can configure the system so that fixed bin assignment is carried out first and if no empty bin is found, the system then uses the strategy to search for a reserve storage area that is as close as possible to the fixed storage area of the material. This strategy can also be used on its own.

The system first attempts to find a reserve storage area in the stack where the fixed storage bin is located, whereby it starts from the lowest level and works its way up. If no empty storage bin is found, it searches to the right of the fixed bin and then to the left in the same aisle and then in the adjoining aisles. It always searches from bottom to top.

Setting up the Strategy
When you define the storage type record to use this strategy, enter K in the Putaway strategy field.

Strategy P: Storage Unit Type
Use
Using this putaway strategy, the system processes different storage unit types (for example, pallets) and allocates them to the appropriate section. Often, one storage bin is divided into several smaller sections. Typically, only the same storage unit types can be placed into a storage bin at one time.

Explanation of the Strategy
High rack storage is frequently designed so that a storage bin can accommodate several different storage unit types. For example a storage bin can accommodate a number of pallets depending on the size of the pallet, such as three standard pallets (80 x 120) or two industrial pallets (100 x 120). A storage bin may be able to accommodate a single oversized pallet or several very narrow pallets. Putaway by storage unit type is illustrated below.

Explanation of the Strategy

For this strategy, you define the maximum number of quants for each combination of storage bin type and storage unit type. The first time goods are transferred into the storage bin, the system determines what type of bin sectioning is assigned to the storage bin. The system also determines which and how many storage units can be transferred into the storage bins.

Prerequisites
When you define the storage type record to use this strategy

  1. Enter p in the Putaway strategy field.
  2. Select the SUT check active field to activate checking of the storage unit type.
  3. Enter x in the Mixed storage field. Mixed storage is allowed.

Without Storage Unit Management only one quant exists for each item. When SUManagement is active, only one storage unit (SU) exists for each item. With indicator a (in the Mixed storage field) the SU has only one quant. With indicator x the SU can have more than one quant.

Defining Bin Sections
The table below defines the number of sections the storage bin can be divided into. That is, it controls the number of quants that can occupy a storage bin.

number of sections the storage bin can be divided

Section Key
The section key decides which storage unit types and how many storage units of each type can be put into a bin. The sectioning is determined dynamically in the storage bin by the first storage unit placed in the bin. The sectioning is deleted as soon as the last storage unit has been removed from the bin.

Position Identification Codes
To identify each section of a storage bin you enter a one- or two-character code (for example A1, BB, 12) in one of the columns numbered from 1 to 99 under the heading Sections. In the Number of Sections field the system displays the total number of sections that you have defined.

This code is appended to the storage bin coordinate and separated from it by a slash (/). For example, using the sections defined for warehouse 001 and storage type 007 (illustrated in the following table) and assuming the storage bin has the coordinate 02-10-01, the three sections of the bin are identified as follows:

02-10-01/1 02-10-01/2 02-10-01/3

Once you have defined all the storage bin sections that are required for the storage type, these values cannot be changed.

Assignment of storage bins and storage unit types
For each storage type, you assign the appropriate bin sectioning to each allowed combination of storage bin type (the Bin Type field) and storage unit type (the SUT field).

Assignment of storage bins and storage unit types

See The Storage Bin for information about creating and maintaining storage bins. If you transfer goods into the storage type for which bin sectioning has been defined, you must enter the storage unit type in the preparation screen of the transfer order. Based on the storage unit type you enter, the system searches for suitable empty storage bins. The system ensures that only a single type of storage unit is stored in a storage bin at the same time.

Additional Option
If you assign the same bin type and a different storage unit type to the same section key, is also possible for you to putaway more than one type of pallet into the same storage bin.

Assign Bin and Storage Unit Types

Assign Bin and Storage Unit Types

If you set up the table as shown above, you can place an industrial pallet (IP) into the first section of a storage bin and an E2 storage unit type into the second section of the storage bin.

Example: Optional SUT Check When Creating a TO
The system can only find the appropriate storage bins for a storage unit type (SUT) when creating transfer orders if the SUT check is activated. There is a restriction of 10 allowed SUTs per storage type. You can enter *** as an allowed SUT in this table. This entry means that all the SUTs in this storage type are allowed. The system then searches for a suitable storage bin for the SUT based on the allowed bin types per SUT.

Before implementing this optional SUT check, you should examine the table parameters closely since problems with performance can arise if the configuration settings are not optimal. The following example outlines the performance problems associated with the optional storage unit type check and their solutions:

  • For SUT E1, bin types P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 are allowed. They are to be stored in storage type 001. However, only storage bins of the type P0 exist here.
  • SUT type E1 would not normally be allowed in storage type 001. An efficient system recognizes this (in that it can access a completely buffered table) and continues the search for a place in the next storage type.
  • During the optional SUT check, the database is accessed 5 times unsuccessfully. This number increases correspondingly if you work with different storage sections.

It is relatively simple for you to check the customizing settings by viewing the log for the storage bin search. The more unsuccessful attempts made, the more ineffective the process becomes. The number of attempts must be reduced by optimizing the storage type search.

Strategy B: Bulk Storage
Materials that occur in large quantities and generally take up a lot of space in storage (for example tires, glass products and beverages) are often stored in bulk storage. The advantages of bulk storage include:

  • Reduced need for physical storage bins
  • Fast access to the trading units
  • Clear structuring of the warehouse (into blocks and rows)

This putaway strategy searches for storage bins in bulk storage.

Use
bulk storage in WMS shows below.

Strategy-B-Bulk-Storage

The most important features of bulk storage processing include:

  • Freely-defined coordinate structure
    When you define the storage bins in bulk storage, you do not have to adhere to the technical requirements of the system. The warehouse is divided into blocks, which in turn are divided into individual rows.
  • One storage bin per row
    In practice, a row is treated as the control unit in bulk storage. In WMS a row is created and managed as a storage bin. The storage bins (rows) are classified according to storage bin types.
  • For example, rows 2 and 3 in block A05 can hold up to 16 pallets. However the 4th row can hold a maximum of 12 pallets, due to the location of a structural column in the row. You can record this fact (reduction in the capacity of a row) in WMS when you define the block structure (see step 4 in "Setting up the Strategy" below).

  • Different storage unit types
    Bulk storage is often used to manage different types of storage units with different dimensions, for example standard pallets and industrial pallets with clip-on mounts. WMS supports the management of different storage unit types in bulk storage.
  • Mixed storage
    Storage units for different materials are generally not stored in the same row. However, in WMS, all combinations of mixed storage are allowed in bulk storage. You can also require that the material in the storage bin must be from the same batch.
  • Different storage unit types per material
    Within bulk storage you can store a specific material in a maximum of three different storage unit types. In the material master record you can define storage unit types and the number of quantity units, such as bottles or liters, per storage unit type for each material.
  • Automatic blocking per row
    To optimize the transfer of goods into and from the storage bins in bulk storage, you can set a blocking indicator for each row separately.

Prerequisites
When you define the storage type record to use this strategy

  1. Enter b in the Putaway strategy field.
  2. Enter x in the Addition to stock field to allow for addition to existing stock.
  3. Leave the Capacity check method and SUT check active fields blank. Capacity checking and storage unit type (SUT) checking are not necessary in bulk storage since an internal check is carried out based on the block structure definition.
  4. Enter the appropriate indicator in the Mixed storage field. For a description of the different variations that are allowed, see the F1 help information in the storage type record.

When defining the storage type control for this strategy, there are several indicators that you must take into consideration to control the movement of goods into bulk storage. These include:

  • Combined Putaway
  • Partial Quantities
  • Block Transfer into the Row
  • Time Limit for Blocking
  • Total
  • Round Off

Definition of Bulk storage Indicators
For this strategy, you can define bulk storage indicators together with a descriptive text. Using the bulk storage indicator, you can specify how a particular material is to be stored in bulk storage. To do this, you enter the bulk storage indicator into the material master record and again into the bulk storage sectioning table when defining the structure of a block.

Structure Definition
You can also define storage bin types and storage unit types as well as other characteristics of bulk storage, such as the maximum number of stacks and the stacking height. When you define storage bins for bulk storage you are required to enter a storage bin type.

Miscellaneous Control Options
In the material master record (the warehouse data view), you can

  • Define up to three storage unit types
  • Set the bulk storage indicator
  • Set the indicator allowing addition to existing stock

Combined Placement
Field in bulk storage putaway definition. For putaways the system generates a transfer order item for each storage unit type. For an uncombined putaway, each transfer order item is saved individually in the data base. For a combined putaway, all transfer order items with the same storage bin are collected and saved as a single item in the data base. The advantage of combined putaway is the reduction in the number of transfer order items.

However, the system prints the transfer order as a single item. Furthermore, you cannot confirm the transfer order on the basis of the storage unit type. You can confirm only on the basis of the storage bin in which items for a specific storage unit type have been collected. If you want to carry out combined transfers to the storage bin in a form, select the Comb.Plcmt column.

Partial Quantities
Field in bulk storage putaway strategy definition. To allow the transfer of partial quantities, such as a partial pallet, into a storage bin (a row in bulk storage), select the Part column. After the partial quantity is transferred into the row, the system calculates the percentage of the quantity on the pallet and records this percentage in the quant.

Blocking Transfers into a Row
Field in bulk storage putaway strategy definition. If you set the Blocked field, the system automatically blocks the row (storage bin) when the first transfer is made from the row. This means that the row can be used only to issue goods. As long as the block is set, goods cannot be transferred into the row. The row stays blocked until it is empty. If you run out of storage space, you can cancel the block by:

  • Deselecting the Blocked column, so that no other block can be set
  • Deselecting the Placement block field in the blocking indicator section of the storage bin record, so that the blocked bin becomes unblocked

Defining Time Limits for Block
Use
In the bulk storage area, the date of the first putaway in the row is used as the goods receipt date of all subsequent putaways to this row. Therefore, it is a good idea to stop further putaways to the row after a certain number of days so that the FIFO principle is not violated. You can define a time limit by specifying the number of days after the first putaway in a row (that is, in the storage bin) when a putaway block should be set automatically.

Procedure
The time limit block must be set manually. For this purpose, choose the following path from the SAP Easy Access menu: Logistics Logistics Execution Master Data Storage Bin Block In Bulk Storage. To remove the block, that is, to unblock the blocked bins, choose Master Data Storage Bin Block Selectively.

Example
For example, storage bin A05-01 in bulk storage has a time block of five days. After the first putaway (January 1, 2000), the storage bin is blocked five days later for further putaways. All pallets have the same goods receipt date, although they were put away on different dates, as shown in the following table:

Time Limit for Putaway Block

Time Limit for Putaway Block

Total
Field in bulk storage putaway strategy definition. This is used to keep track of the total quant count when storage unit management is active in WM. Detailed information about the total quant count is provided in the sections on Storage Unit Management under System Controls and Partial Storage Unit Processing.

Round Off
Field in bulk storage putaway strategy definition. When you select the RoundOff data column, the system optimizes the removal of partial storage units.
The primary prerequisite is that you have defined the picking procedure in such a way that the system first selects a storage type for picking which is managed for large/small quantities and, afterwards, selects the bulk storage area. As a result, the system searches for a particular material first in a picking area (large/small strategy) and then in bulk storage.

Strategy Q: Dynamic Quant Number
Use
This putaway strategy allows you to better utilize warehouse capacity. You can use a dynamic storage bin coordinate to temporarily store the material that is to be put away in another location (such as the identification point, or ID point) if the putaway is going to take a long time.

Prerequisites
You can set up this strategy in Customizing for Warehouse Management by selecting Master Data → Define Storage Type and entering Q in the Putaway strategy field.

Features
By implementing this putaway strategy, you prevent the system from blocking the final storage bin during goods receipt for an extended length of time (until the goods arrive there). Instead, the system first creates a dynamic storage bin with the material’s quant number as the coordinate.

The system does not determine the final storage bin until you create the quant number of the goods that are to be put away at the ID point, effectively triggering the putaway to the final storage bin. This putaway strategy is especially useful for an ID point or pick point when the putaway process takes a long time.


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