SU-managed Bulk Storage - SAP WM

SU-managed bulk storage is defined as a bulk storage area in which stock is managed at the storage unit level. In bulk storage, several storage units fit into a single storage bin (one row in a block of rows).

Why use SU-managed bulk storage?

  • The goods receipt date can be managed at the storage unit level.
  • You can pick storage units from bulk storage containing materials that belong to more than one batch.
  • It is not possible to determine the storage unit until confirmation.

In SU-managed bulk storage, you can:

  • Manage partial quantities
  • Manage all combinations of mixed storage
  • Store both homogeneous and mixed storage units in a storage bin
  • Allow mixed storage without any restrictions whatsoever
  • Select preferences when storing materials in bulk storage that:
  • Forbid mixed storage entirely (only one material number and storage units with only one quant is allowed)
  • Allow several materials in a storage bin, but only one material on an individual storage unit with different batches
  • Allow only one material in a storage bin, but with different baches in both the bin and in the storage unit
  • Allow only one material number in a storage bin with different batches, but with only one batch in a storage unit

These features can be selected in Customizing when you define the parameters for SU Management. This below illustrates an SU-managed bulk storage area with storage bins that are occupied.


One of the primary characteristics of SU-managed bulk storage is that the system does not keep a record of the exact location of a particular storage unit in a bin. Because of this, the system does not know which storage units are located in the "front" of a bin making them accessible for picking.

Identification of Storage Units in Bulk storage
For stock removals, this characteristic presents a problem. Since the system does not have a record of the actual structure of the storage units in a block, it cannot recommend specific storage units for order picking.

Consequently, a stock removal is initially "neutral" as far as storage units are concerned. When you create a transfer order, there can be no reference to specific storage unit numbers, because the system cannot identify which storage units are picked until they are physically removed from a storage bin. The SU numbers that you select must then be communicated to the system when you confirm the transfer orders. Afterwards, the system can make the appropriate updates.

System Controls
As in other SU-managed storage types, you manage stock in bulk storage at the storage unit level. Since you cannot determine which storage units will be selected for order picking, you can create transfer orders for stock removals without identifying storage unit numbers. Consequently, you initially create transfer order items which specify only a requirement (not to be confused with a transfer requirement) to pick a certain quantity of material from a designated block or storage bin in bulk storage. For this purpose several system controls are provided for bulk storage.

Partial Picking
Using this parameter, you can control whether partial pallets are allowed in a storage type. A partial pallet is a pallet whose quantity is not the same as the standard quantity defined in the material master record. You can activate partial pallet management independently from the mixed storage parameter.
This indicator mustbe selected when you use mixed storage indicators “B” (several batches per bin and storage unit) and “X” (unrestricted mixed storage). You can also configure Customizing using the switch complete stock removal so that you can pick only full pallets even when partial quantities are allowed.

Total Quant Count
Since the system cannot identify specific SU numbers for stock removals, an availability control is implemented to prevent the system from attempting to remove too many storage units from individual blocks. This problem is resolved in WM by the so-calledtotal quantcount.

In bulk storage, the total quant count is the sum total of all stock (for each material and batch) in a storage bin. Information about stock stored in each bin is maintained in the same manner as without SU management. However, the system additionally keeps track of the total stock that has accumulated in the entire storage bin. The table below illustrates how the system calculates the total quant count.

Total Quant Count Calculation

Total Quant Count Calculation

The total quant count always represents the total stock situation in a storage bin in bulk storage.

Stock Placement
When you place storage units into bulk storage, both individual quants and the total quant count are updated immediately. For example, if you add another storage unit to the storage bin illustrated in the above table, a normal quant is added and the total quant count is increased accordingly.

Stock Placement Checks
When you putaway storage units, the system checks the mixed storage indicator to ensure that storage units are stored properly.

Stock Removal
When the system creates the transfer order item for a stock removal, it does not create it for a specific quant or storage unit. (The exception to this is when you manually request a specific storage unit or quant for picking. In this case, the sytem creates a normal transfer order item.)

Initially, the system only reduces the available quantity of stock in the total quant count. No other updates are possible, because the system does not know at this point which storage units will be picked. The parameter “complete removal” determines the actual quantity that is removed from the total quant count. Therefore, if you have defined complete stock removal for the storage type, the available quantity in the total quant count is reduced accordingly based on the standard amount defined in the material master for the pallet type. Complete stock removal is automatically active when partial pallets are not allowed. If complete stock removal is not active, the system reduces the total quant count by the exact amount that is requested.

When you confirm transfer order items for stock removals from bulk storage, you communicate the storage unit numbers that were actually picked to the system. The system updates the storage unit and quant information.

Processing Remaining Quantities
The processing of remaining quantities depends on whether you have entered a pick point storage type in the storage type record. Remaining quantities occur during confirmation when the requested quantity is smaller than the quantity contained in the storage unit that was picked. This means that the processing of remaining quantities does not take place until you confirm a transfer order.

If you have defined a pick point for the storage type, the storage unit is transferred to the pick point. If it is a mixed storage unit, the system also posts any other materials in that storage unit to the pick point. If there no pick point defined for the storage type, the remaining quantity stays with the storage unit in the same storage bin.

When you confirm the transfer order, the same thing happens that would normally happen when you remove a storage unit that was picked from any SU-managed storage type for which "complete removal" is defined. Partial pallets that exist as a result of stock removals from bulk storage are posted to a pick point and, subsequently, are placed into a storage type where partial storage units are allowed.

Transfer Order Processing for Stock Removals
When you create a transfer order to pick a certain material from SU-managed bulk storage, a normal transfer order item is created. As mentioned previously, this transfer order item is "neutral" with respect to storage units because the individual SU numbers have not yet been identified by the system. In the system, this initial transfer order item behaves more like a transfer requirement item, since it neither updates the actual stock nor the storage unit(s) required.

What happens when you communicate to the system the storage units that were actually picked from bulk storage?

1. First, the "neutral" transfer order item data is updated. This means that, for this item, the confirmed quantity is increased accordingly.
2. Secondly, items are added to the transfer order based on the storage units that were actually picked from the bulk storage bin for this movement.
3. Once the stock removal for a bulk storage bin has been completed, the "neutral" transfer order item is deleted.

Confirming SU-Neutral Transfer Order Items
Processing Stock Removals from Bulk storage
There are many variations to the following example and the screens that appear depend upon settings in Customizing, the menus you select and the entries you make on subsequent screens. The following is a typical example.

Let’s assume that you want to remove 450 boxes of material TESTMAT from bulk storage. If there are 100 boxes of TESTMAT in each storage unit, the system will create a transfer order to remove 5 storage units from SU-managed bulk storage. The transfer order will initially contain only one "neutral" transfer order item indicating that 450 boxes of material TESTMAT are to be picked from bulk storage.

To confirm the transfer order in the example, a possible manual procedure is as follows:

  1. Choose Logistics Logistics Execution Internal Whse Processes Stock Transfer Confirm Transfer Order Single Document In One Step from the SAP menu.
  2. Enter the transfer order number and warehouse number in the appropriate data fields and choose ENTER. The system displays the transfer order overview screen with four tabstrip folders.
  3. Select the transfer order item in the Active work list that removes the 5 storage units and choose Confirm internally from the application toolbar.
  4. On the storage unit number entry screen, enter the SU numbers for the storage units picked in the Storage unit column (or scan them for picking) and choose ENTER.
  5. The system suggests the available quantity as the pick quantity. For one of the storage units, enter only 50 boxes as the quantity to be picked. Depending on the Customizing settings, the system will post the remaining 50 boxes to the pick point storage type.

    You can change the pick quantity or enter a difference quantity. You cannot enter the remaining quantity. Instead, the system calculates the remaining quantity from the available quantity and the difference quantity. If you reduce the pick quantity to 0, it is the same as not picking the storage unit.

    If the quantity of the first SU you enter exceeds the pick quantity, the system automatically suggests the removal quantity (the quantity required in the transfer order item) as the Pick quantity and calculates the Remaining quantity. If you decide not to process a remaining quantity the system will confirm the transfer order with an overdelivery. If the Confirmation field in the "End of confirmation" section of the screen is selected, the system will carry out the confirmation and ignore any differences in the transfer order.

  6. Choose Confirm in foreground or Confirm in background.
  7. How to Process Differences

  8. If there are differences, enter the difference in the Difference quantity field and choose ENTER. The system calaculates the remaining quantity. Choose Confirm internally.
  9. In the dialog box that appears, choose Confirm difference or cancel and correct your entries.
  10. To complete the transaction, choose Transfer order Post.

The system clears the "neutral" transfer order item and creates the transfer order items for each storage unit removed from bulk storage.

Displaying Transfer Orders after Confirmation
If you display the transfer order after it has been confirmed, item 1 (the neutral item) no longer exists and the individual storage units that were picked are added as separate items in the transfer order.

Partial Storage Unit Processing
When you remove part of the contents from a full homogeneous storage unit from bulk storage, you may want to store it in another storage type. To do this, you need to assign a pick point to SU-managed bulk storage when you define the storage type record. This is done using the same procedures as those used for other SU-managed storage types.

For bulk storage types in which partial pallets are allowed or in which mixed storage is allowed, the use of a pick point is not required. See Using a Pick Point for information on how to define storage types for this purpose.

Bulk storage Control Parameters
To insure that the proper amount of stock will be removed from storage, see the section Strategies Stock placement strategies Define strategy for bulk storage Define storagetype control in the Warehouse Management IMG. In Customizing you need to maintain two parameters, "Total" and "Round Off", for SU management in connection with the processing of partial storage units.

Level of Total Quant Count
The Total field is used for internal calculation of the total quant count for SU-managed bulk storage. This parameter influences both stock placements and stock removals.

Stock Placement
For putaways this parameter controls whether the system will automatically mix batches or not. If the parameter is set to “1” (batch neutral), the system looks for a storage bin where the material already exists. The batch number is not taken into consideration in this case. If the parameter is set to “2” (batch specific), the system looks for a storage bin where the batch of the material already exists and attempts to add the new stock to the existing stock. If that isn’t possible, the system looks for an empty storage bin.

Stock Removal
The parameters that influence picking include the “Complete removal requirement”, the “level of the total quant count” and whether or not a pick point is entered in the storage type record.

The level of the total quant count controls how the totals information is processed. The system calculates the total quant count separately for each storage bin and for each material that is in this storage bin in SU-managed bulk storage areas. Materials that require batches can also influence this level. If the parameter is set to “2” (batch specific), the system calculates a total quant count for each batch. If the parameter is set to “1” (batch neutral), all the batches of this material are added together.

For stock removals, when the total quant count has been calculated for batches, you must also specify the batch in the transfer order item to ensure that the quantity is subtracted from the corresponding total quant count. This means that the user may only pick from a storage unit that contains this batch.
When you confirm the transfer order, the system checks whether the storage unit entry also contains the corresponding batch.

Round off
When you choose RoundOff, you optimize the procedure for picking from SU-managed bulk storage areas. This function is explained in detail in the example.

Optimizing the Removal of Partial Storage Units
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 stock removal 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.

Example: Optimization in Bulk Storage
The following example illustrates how the optimization process works. The storage type search strategy is defined so that it searches for a material first in a picking area and afterwards in a bulk storage area in which full storage units with the same material are stored. For this example, 350 boxes of a material are to be picked. The material is stored on pallets which contain 100 boxes each.

What Happens in the System Without Optimization?
The system begins by looking for the material first in the picking area. Since the 350 boxes constitute too large an amount for the picking area (due to the control quantity definition in the material master), they are not removed from the picking area.

Next, the system searches for the 350 boxes in bulk storage and finds them there. Four full pallets with 100 boxes each are picked since complete removal is generally required for stock removals from bulk storage. As a result, a partial pallet now exists that contains 50 boxes of the material.

What Happens in the System With Optimization?
As in the previous case, the system first searches for the 350 boxes in the picking area but because of the large amount is "turned away". Next, the system searches for the materials in bulk storage. With optimization, the system rounds the required amount down to the next full storage unit. In this case, the system selects three full pallets with a total of 300 boxes (instead of four pallets to include all 350 boxes). For the remaining 50 boxes, the system "begins the search again" for the required materials.

Therefore, the system looks first in the picking area to see if the remaining 50 boxes are available there. This procedure prevents the system from creating partial pallets unnecessarily and provides optimal management of the picking area

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