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The Yard and Storage Management Processes ES bundle allows maintenance, storage and evaluation of master and transaction data referring to yard objects, such as vehicles, transportation units, yard bins, yard docks, and so on. A yard is an area outside a warehouse facility or other facility where transportation units are parked and prepared for shipping and receiving. Physically, the Yard is an area, close to a Warehouse, where goods and transportation units are stored for a short or medium time.

The point of time for this period which could be: the beginning (e.g. outbound process), middle (e.g. cross-docking process) or end (e.g. inbound process) of the transportation chain. Physically and logically the yard can be divided into multiple parking lots, where certain transportation units can be parked. The yard represents the logical interface between the transportation and the warehouse. Loading/unloading of transportation units is the main function, which can take place on the yard.

This ES bundle offers the opportunity to connect an external application to graphically display vehicles and transportation units in the yard and at warehouse doors and to execute processes such as check-in and appointment maintenance. Furthermore, it enables access to yard and warehouse information for visibility of stock.

Implementation of the enterprise services in the Yard and Storage Management Processes ES bundle allows manufacturers, retailers and logistics service providers to create their own visualization or optimization applications or use them with other packages, such as graphical depictions of transportation units in yard and at doors, support complex optimization of door appointment and transportation unit appointments and visibility to warehouse entities such as pallets, staging areas and work centers to view or optimize yard activities.

Yard and Storage Management Processes (click to enlarge)







Audience

The target audience for this bundle are customers identified using EWM who would benefit from connecting applications for greater visibility and/or optimization of yard processes such as door and appointment scheduling. The services are also of interest to customers wanting visibility to delivery processes.

For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.


How To Use This ES Bundle

Use Case 1: Integration of External Door Schedule Optimization Application

A planner for a retail warehouse uses a graphical application to modify appointments for inbound transportation units. Later, he or she schedules warehouse doors. An optimization program is used to create an efficient door schedule. All information is transferred and appropriate door appointments are created in Extended Warehouse Management (EWM). 

This use case offers the following advantages: It allows for product-based optimization of dock determination. Also, docks can be balanced so that certain docks/areas aren't overloaded. This could encompass both optimizing appointments and optimizing docks. Dock assignment can influence staging area and is then incorporated into process-oriented storage control.
The external dock schedule optimization application needs to read and write information via the enterprise services from / into SAP EWM. Let's see the details in an example.

Preparation: First a planner wants to see the vehicles that are scheduled for the next day. Hence he executes the "Find Vehicle Appointment by Elements" service with the date of tomorrow as search criteria. He gets back a list of the vehicles scheduled for tomorrow and also a list of the IDs of assigned transportation units which are modeled as Transportation Units.  With the "Find Transportation Unit Appointment by Elements" service he can now get the information on all the found transportation units, e.g. assigned deliveries, see whether dock appointments already exist etc. Similarly the planner can get a listing of the dock appointments that are scheduled for tomorrow via the "Find Dock Appointment by Elements" service. All these service are synchronous.

To give the customers and partners a choice on the realization of the dock scheduling the services needed for the next steps (e.g. actual creation, changing, cancelling of appointments) are offered both asynchronous and synchronous.

Planning: With the available data the planner can now do his work possibly with the support of the schedule optimization application. The optimization application might suggest to "Create Dock Appointment"(sync) / "Create Dock Appointment"(async)* for a transportation unit (scheduled for the early morning) that brings a bulky machine to warehouse door number 1, which is already equipped with special machinery for the unloading - hence moving it to another door in the warehouse can be omitted. With the creation he also types in the start time, the expected duration the reference to the transportation unit etc. In order to do the creation the planner has to first "Cancel Dock Appointment" (sync) / "Cancel Dock Appointment" (async) * that was scheduled to the door number 1 before. As a next step the planner updates the transportation unit appointment and the vehicle appointment with the new information (Remark: of course the dock schedule optimization application can help here by doing some of the changes automatically after the planner entered the information on the dock, vehicle, and transportation unit. Additionally it is possible that the optimization application already had constraints and algorithms maintained so that it does the planning independently). For this update the planner executes the "Change Vehicle Appointment" (sync) / "Change Vehicle Appointment" (async) * and the "Change Transportation Unit Appointment" (sync) / "Change Transportation Unit Appointment" (async) *. If the vehicle that should be unloaded at door 1 has several transportation units, the planner can also schedule a "Disconnect Vehicle Appointment" (sync) / "Disconnect Vehicle Appointment" (async) *, and start planning the unloading of the next transportation unit at a different warehouse door. In another case where the planner optimizes the dock appointments for a vehicle with several transportation units to leave the yard he can make use of the "Connect Vehicle Appointment" (sync) / "Connect Vehicle Appointment" (async) * service.
*For all the asynchronous service operations mentioned in this use case there are also the proper confirmation messages that the SAP EWM system can send back to the dock scheduling optimization application:
- Confirm Change Transportation Unit Appointment
- Confirm Change Vehicle Appointment
- Confirm Connect Vehicle Appointment
- Confirm Disconnect Vehicle Appointment
- Confirm Cancel Dock Appointment
- Confirm Create Dock Appointment
Services around the appointment objects are configurable in IMG Customizing under EWM Interfaces -> Enterprise Services -> Yard Management "Sender Relevance of Messages for Vehicles and TUs".
In addition please also check use case 4 as the services there can also be used to return the yard structure, not just the warehouse layout within the building.

Step

Enterprise Service Invoked

Step 1: A planner wants to see the vehicles that are scheduled for the next day

Find Vehicle Appointment by Elements

Step 2: To get information about the found transportation units

Find Transportation Unit Appointment by Elements

Step 3: To get a listing of the dock appointments that are scheduled for tomorrow

Find Dock Appointment by Elements

Step 4: To create an appointment for a transportation unit

Create Dock Appointment (sync) and
Create Dock Appointment (async)

Step 5: To cancel an appointment

Cancel Dock Appointment (sync) and
Cancel Dock Appointment (async)

Step 6: To update the information

Change Vehicle Appointment (sync) and
Change Vehicle Appointment (async) and
Change Transportation Unit Appointment (sync) and
Change Transportation Unit Appointment (async)

Step 7: If a vehicle has several transportation units, the planner can disconnect the vehicle appointment

Disconnect Vehicle Appointment (sync) and
Disconnect Vehicle Appointment (async)

Step 8: If the planner optimizes the dock appointments for a vehicle with several transportation units to leave the yard, he or she can connect the vehicle appointment

Connect Vehicle Appointment (sync) and
Connect Vehicle Appointment (async)


Use Case 2: Integration of External Loading Optimization Application

In the focus of this use case is an external optimization application that plans how the planned deliveries should be stacked into the transportation unit, "optimizing each cubic centimeter" of the transportation unit. For this of course the application needs to get the information on the transportation unit appointment.
Hence Data concerning a transportation unit appointment is sent from EWM to a loading optimization application, including e.g. the assigned handling units, the assigned outbound deliveries and of all objects the dimensions, volumes, and weight details. This happens via the asynchronous operation Notify of Transportation Unit Appointment Loading Advanced.
The application then plans how the transportation unit is to be loaded to meet regulatory and weight distribution requirements. It then provides a graphical or printed depiction of how the transportation unit is to be loaded.
This scenario also has applications for industries handling dangerous goods, or loading transportation units with fresh and frozen sections requiring baffles. However please note that for this no read services exist yet to read the product details on the dangerous goods.
In this scenario the service Notify of Transportation Unit Appointment Loading Advanced is available for disposal.
Services around the appointment objects are configurable in IMG Customizing under EWM Interfaces -> Enterprise Services -> Yard Management "Sender Relevance of Messages for Vehicles and TUs".

Closing Remark: To allow for further flexibility in the loading optimization application that is connected to SAP EWM there is an additional set of services to pass useful information to the application. For example the application can call the "Read Handling Unit" service to find out additional details on the handling unit. Or it can search for additional outbound deliveries via "Find Outbound Delivery by Elements" (in rare cases it might be possible to stack more into the transportation unit and hence the application might check whether there is additional outgoing deliveries. Of course instead of such a synchronous query the application could also subscribe to receiving information of all outbound deliveries via the "Inform of Outbound Delivery" enterprise service.

Use Case 3: Integration of External Yard Management Application

A company uses an external yard management application. The application queries transportation unit information and deliveries contained therein to track the progress of loading/unloading and to direct and inform yard personnel as well as third party logistic providers or customers. The external software may or may not have persistent data. Let's have a look into a possible Yard scenario and which services would need to be called by the yard management application at each step of the process.
Remark: in some cases alternatively synchronous and asynchronous services are offered by EWM, so the designers of the Yard application can choose how they want to implement. This is always marked in below steps.

Step 1) Identify arriving vehicle
Initially a vehicle approaches the guard at the entry of the yard. He looks at a monitor which was filled in the morning with a list of all vehicles and all connected transportation units or transportation units that are expected for this day. This was done by the software via the synchronous queries "Find Transportation Unit Appointment by Elements" and "Find Vehicle Appointment by Elements" to the EWM backend with input field date filled. On the screen the guard can see all the details of the vehicles and transportation units that are supposed to pass his gate today, e.g. the deliveries that will be fulfilled by the vehicles, the license plate of the vehicles or the carrier company. In case the vehicles is not on the monitor of the checkpoint guard he can certainly query for the related vehicle appointments, e.g. via the license plates or by the carrier data using the same "Find Vehicle Appointment by Elements" service operation. Upon verifying the papers there might be some questions on a delivery which is included in one of the transportation units. For this the checkpoint guard can have a look at the entire delivery details by calling the service "Find Inbound Delivery by Elements" and either enter the ID if available through the information attached to the transportation unit or enter e.g. the date and the carrier information.

Step 2) Perform Check In
As a next step the checkpoint guard verifies for the transportation unit and the vehicle appointments whether dock appointments exist. As the related dock appointments are also shown with the above described two query operations the guard can have this immediately displayed on his monitor without the yard management application needing to call another service operation. In case no dock appointment is associated, of course the yard management application could check for verification via the "Find Dock Appointment by Elements" service. In case the dock appointment is really not existing the yard management application can make use of the "Create Dock Appointment"(sync) / "Create Dock Appointment"(async)  service to create one.
In some cases there might be no dock available and the guard wants to advise the driver to leave a transportation unit on a parking slot within the yard. As long as the parking slots are maintained in the EWM system as yard bins, the guard can use the "Change Transportation Unit Appointment" (sync) / "Change Transportation Unit Appointment" (async) service to model this instead of creating a dock appointment.
Then the checkpoint guard can perform the check in for the vehicle or transportation unit, which results in the "Check In Vehicle Unit Appointment" (sync) / "Check In Vehicle Unit Appointment" (async)  services or the "Check In Transportation Unit Appointment" (sync) / "Check In Transportation Unit Appointment" (async) services being called.
In case of any problems the guard checkpoint can also perform a cancellation of the Check In via:
- Cancel Check In Vehicle Unit Appointment (sync)
- Cancel Check In Vehicle Unit Appointment (async)
- Cancel Check In Transportation Unit Appointment (sync)
- Cancel Check In Transportation Unit Appointment (async)
For the asynchronous services EWM offers also the asynchronous confirmations, which will be sent to the yard management application
- Confirm Change Transportation Unit Appointment
- Confirm Create Dock Appointment
- Confirm Check In Vehicle Appointment (used for both Check In and Cancel Check In)
- Confirm Check In Transportation Unit (used for both Check In and Cancel Check In)
After the check in is completed the EWM system understands that the vehicle or transportation unit is on the yard and hence the EWM is setting the expected appointments to active/in execution.

Step 3) Direct the vehicle to the proper dock / React on issues
As the checkpoint guard is connected to his yard management application which his company also programmed for graphical usage, he can directly see where the loading / unloading dock for the vehicle is located and either print this for the driver or mark it.
In special cases, e.g. the vehicle has two cooling transportation units and notifies at the gate that one of them seems to be defect, or in case the papers of the second transportation unit do not match the data in the system,  the guard checkpoint can immediately react. He can cancel the existing dock appointment via "Cancel Dock Appointment" (sync) / "Cancel Dock Appointment" (async) and create a new appointment on a special dock for repair / control using the above described create services. As a next step he can block the further transportation unit, so that none of the originally planned actions on this transportation unit can be executed, before the transportation unit is unblocked. For this the yard management application can call the "Block Transportation Unit Appointment" (sync) / "Block Execution Transportation Unit Appointment" (async) service.
Then the driver can take the transportation units to the respective docks and perform the unloading (+ possible reloading according to the dock appointments that the checkpoint guard handed to the driver)
In case a later check at the dock leads to the clarification of the original issue transportation unit can be unblocked via "Unblock Transportation Unit Appointment" (sync) / "Unblock Execution Transportation Unit Appointment" (async).
For the asynchronous services EWM offers also the asynchronous confirmations, which will be sent to the yard management application
- Confirm Block Transportation Unit Appointment
- Confirm Unblock Transportation Unit Appointment

Step 4) Leaving the Yard
When the vehicle has completed the dock appointments and heads back out he passes again the checkpoint guard, who performs the check out for the vehicle or transportation unit. This is necessary, e.g. to tell the EWM that the goods have finally left the yard and hence the affected deliveries can be set to confirmed in the EWM. To perform the check out the yard application can use the "Check Out Vehicle Appointment" (sync) / "Check Out Vehicle Appointment" (async) or the "Check Out Transportation Appointment" (sync) / "Check Out Transportation Appointment" (async) services.
In case of any problems the guard checkpoint can also perform a cancellation of the Check Out via:
- Cancel Check Out Transportation Unit  Appointment (sync)
- Cancel Check Out Transportation Unit  Appointment (async)
- Cancel Check Out Vehicle Appointment (sync)
- Cancel Check Out Vehicle Appointment (async)
For the asynchronous services EWM offers also the asynchronous confirmations, which will be sent to the yard management application:
- Confirm Check Out Transportation Unit Appointment (used for both Check Out and Cancel Check Out)
- Confirm Check Out Vehicle Appointment  (used for both Check Out and Cancel Check Out)

Additional services to support synchronization of external yard management application during steps 1-4
For a yard management application to run, it is not just necessary to have the right UIs built in this application and be able to perform direct access to the dock, vehicle and transportation unit appointments, but it is also necessary to keep the yard management application in sync with the EWM, in case the yard management application decides to persist some data itself. Also it needs to be ensured that just one of the two systems has the authorization to work on an object that is inside the yard. For this a whole set of services are available.
The following ones will asynchronously inform the yard management application on any changes, creations, cancellations of dock, vehicle or transportation unit appointments to allow the list appointments that are persisted in the yard management application to be updated asynchronously via:
- Notify of Dock Appointment Cancellation
- Notify of Dock Appointment Change
- Notify of Dock Appointment Creation
- Notify of Transportation Unit Appointment Cancellation
- Notify of Transportation Unit Appointment Change
- Notify of Transportation Unit Appointment Creation
- Notify of Vehicle Appointment Cancellation
- Notify of Vehicle Appointment Change
- Notify of Vehicle Appointment Creation

In addition EWM implemented a specific logic to allow the yard to lock the appointments for its usage - meaning a locked appointment cannot be manipulate by EWM - it is only the yard management application that can work with it. Normally the lock operation would be called upon doing the check in of the vehicle and the unlock during the check out procedure. Both of course can be programmed into the yard management application logic and do not need to be triggered by the user. They are offered asynchronously:
- External Lock (Vehicle Appointment)
- External Lock (Transportation Unit Appointment)
- External Lock (Dock Appointment)
- External Unlock (Vehicle Appointment)
- External Unlock (Transportation Unit Appointment)
- External Unlock (Dock Appointment)

Services around the appointment objects are configurable in IMG Customizing under EWM Interfaces -> Enterprise Services -> Yard Management "Sender Relevance of Messages for Vehicles and TUs".

In addition please also check use case 4 as the services there can also be used to return the yard structure, not just the warehouse layout within the building.

Use Case 4: Yard+Warehouse Layout and Information

In order to understand the structure of a warehouse and the surrounding yard and possibly display it graphically an external application needs to be able to read all the necessary information out of EWM. For this purpose EWM offers a set of synchronous query services for all the key entities in a warehouse. The key is first the object Warehouse, which is normally the physical building, but some customers also use this to model their surrounding yard as an own warehouse.
The warehouse is divided into Warehouse Areas, which is in the SAP backend known as storage area or storage type. Such an area can be for example a goods receipt area or a high rack etc. Optionally such warehouse areas can be subdivided into warehouse sub areas, e.g. dividing a high rack into sections for slow movers and fast movers (to be stored allowing for for fast access).
The warehouse area or sub area is then divided into the actual storage bins in which the goods are stored. Many customers also model the parking lots within their yard as such storage bins.
In addition there are more specialized entities such as the warehouse door where the vehicles dock to for loading / unloading, or the Yard Checkpoint, which are the entry / exit points to the yard. Inside the warehouse there are Warehouse Staging Areas, where the items are collected for shipping after they have been packed or also Warehouse Work Stations which refers to work centers in the backend system, e.g. packing stations or deconsolidation stations.
For all the described entities EWM offers a generic query which returns all the entities for a specified warehouse and additionally a query which returns all the details for one specific instance. All those services are synchronous and can be called by external applications or user interfaces if interested in one specific entity:
- Find Subordinate Storage Bin by Warehouse
- Find Subordinate Warehouse Area by Warehouse
- Find Subordinate Warehouse Door by Warehouse
- Find Subordinate Warehouse Staging Area by Warehouse
- Find Subordinate Warehouse Sub Area by Warehouse
- Find Subordinate Warehouse Work Station by Warehouse
- Find Subordinate Yard Checkpoint by Warehouse
- Read Storage Bin
- Read Warehouse
- Read Warehouse Area
- Read Warehouse Door
- Read Warehouse Staging Area
- Read Warehouse Sub Area
- Read Warehouse Work Station
- Read Yard Checkpoint
In addition an end user can be interested in knowing the inventory situation e.g. for certain products within an area and certain stock categories. For this the service "Find Inventory by Elements" can be called.
Further information that EWM can distribute is e.g. about deliveries within the system.  For this the asynchronous services "Inform of Inbound Delivery" and "Inform of Outbound Delivery" are available. In addition especially for collaboration scenarios EWM offers the possibility to notify of already dispatched outbound deliveries via the asynchronous service "Notify of Outbound Delivery"

Use Case 5: Integration of External Yard Management Application

 By PINC Solutions

Description

The Yard Hound application provides its users with a graphical view of the yard along with the trailer positions in real time to monitor and manage trailers movements within the yard. A trailer is visible within the yard after the check-in process in both SAP EWM and Yard Hound. Yard Hound needs basic structural information (checkpoints) about the yard to perform the SAP EMW side of the check-in process. The subsequent movement of the trailers within the yard will be managed within the Yard Hound solution with reference to its mapping of the customers’ yard structure. The solution will also creates dock appointments for trailers if no suitable appointments were found at the time of check-in. Only the docking, unloading and undocking of transportation units will be performed internally within the EWM using warehouse tasks. After the unloading of the trailer is complete within SAP EWM the vehicle arrives at the gate for departure. Yard Hound then completes the check-out of the vehicle from both SAP EWM and Yard Hound.

Step 1: Establish the EWM structural components

This is a configuration step where the SAP customer integrating with the Yard Hound solution configures the ID of the warehouse in SAP EWM to be integrated with the external system. The Yard Hound solution uses this to check the validity of the warehouse in SAP EMW and then retrieves the available checkpoints and the doors in this warehouse. The checkpoints are used for the check-in process while the door information is used to synchronize SAP dock door data with Yard Hounds.

Step

Description

Enterprise Service

A

Query the configured warehouse ID in Yard Hound for availability in the SAP EWM system

WarehouseByIDQueryResponse_In

B

If the configured warehouse is available in SAP EWM retrieve all the available checkpoint in the warehouse

SubordinateYardCheckpointByWarehouseQueryResponse_In

C

If the configured warehouse is available in SAP EWM retrieve all the available doors in the warehouse

SubordinateWarehouseDoorByWarehouseQueryResponse_In


Step 2: Identify arriving vehicles at the yard

The guard at the gate using the Yard Hound solution identifies the vehicle arriving at a yard based on a set of search criteria. The search criteria may include a date range for appointments, license plate number of the vehicle, trailer identification etc.

Step

Description

Enterprise Service

A

Query for vehicle appointments in the EWM system based on the entered selection criteria

VehicleAppointmentByElementsQueryResponse_In

B

Query for transportation unit appointments in the EWM system based on the entered selection criteria

TransportationUnitAppointmentByElementsQueryResponse_In

Step 3: Check-In vehicle into the yard

Once the guard has verified the vehicle arriving at the yard he will check-in the vehicle into the yard at one of the checkpoints determined in the first step.

Step

Description

Enterprise Service

A

Lock the vehicle appointment for exclusive access

VehicleAppointmentExternalLockRequestConfirmation_In

B

Check-In the vehicle appointment into the system

VehicleAppointmentCheckInRequestConfirmation_In

C

Unlock the vehicle appointment to enable others to change the appointment.

VehicleAppointmentExternalUnlockRequestConfirmation_In

Step 4: Create dock appointment for the transportation unit

The guard checks to see if there are dock appointments available for the transportation unit being checked in. If there are no dock appointments then a new dock appointment is created for the transportation unit.

Step

Description

Enterprise Service

A

Query docks appointments for a transportation unit

DockAppointmentByElementsQueryResponse_In

B

Lock the transportation unit appointment for exclusive access

TransportationUnitAppointmentExternalLockRequestConfirmation_In

C

Create a dock appointment for the transportation unit

DockAppointmentCreateRequestConfirmation_In

D

Unlock the transportation unit appointment to enable others to change the appointment.

TransportationUnitAppointmentExternalUnlockRequestConfirmation_In


Step 5: Check-out vehicle form the Yard

The SAP yard movement for docking at the designated door, unloading & yard movement for undocking are performed within the SAP EWM. The required ware house tasks for the same are created internally and confirmed within the SAP EWM. After this process when the vehicle arrives again at the Yard for departure the guard queries for existing outbound vehicle appointments. Once the vehicle is identified the check-out operation is performed.

Step

Description

Enterprise Service

A

Lock the vehicle appointment for exclusive access

VehicleAppointmentExternalLockRequestConfirmation_In

B

Check-Out the vehicle appointment from the system

VehicleAppointmentCheckOutRequestConfirmation_In

C

Unlock the vehicle appointment.

VehicleAppointmentExternalUnlockRequestConfirmation_In








System Requirements

  • Release SAP EWM 2007 (or SAP SCM 2007) or higher
  •  For all asynchronous services SAP NetWeaver PI is required (for synchronous services the services can be called as web services directly into the SAP backend systems.

End-to-end Processes Where This ES Bundle Is Used

Certified Partners

Partner Company

PINC Solutions

Name and Version of the Certified Product

YARD HOUND 3.0

Validity of the certification

May 26th 2014

Brief Description of the Certified Product

As an adjunct to SAP’s warehouse management platforms, Yard Hound improves warehouse performance by adding additional levels of visibility into the shipment of goods and materials before they reach the warehouse, enabling real-time scheduling and docking adjustments.

Implemented Use case(s)

Use Case 5: Integration of External Yard Management Application

SOA Homepage on SDN

2 Comments

  1. Unknown User (jaz5c7u)

    David,

     This is very useful information. In which version does this ERP-YM Enterprise Services bundle exists? Could you please let me know how one can avail the listed Yard and Storage Management Processes ES bundle  in ECC 6.0(with ERP-YM) if the ES are not already available in the sytem.

    Any kind of input  on this is much appreciated.

     Thank You

    Gisk

  2. Unknown User (z51rxv2)

    This bundle is not available in ERP Yard Management, but rather only in SCM Extended Warehouse Management. It is available as of release SCM 2007 (EWM 5.1).

     Best regards,

    Richard