What is IWM?
http://vedantaiowa.org/?makrosyt=hook-up-locations&f46=80 Interactive WM is a cutting-edge system designed to connect today’s latest mobile technology with the SAP® Warehouse Management system.
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InteractiveWM was created by a group of Senior SAP Warehouse Management consultants averaging 18+ years of experience. Tired of implementing the same limited transactions using outdated software and hardware, our team was inspired to not only improve the offerings in the realm of SAP Warehouse Mobility, but to revolutionize how the average Supply Chain worker interacts with SAP.
No more complex transactions with repetitive and unnecessary fields.
No more tiny screens with nothing more than a beep to tell you there is a problem.
No more days or weeks or months to develop a new transaction or workflow.
InteractiveWM ushers in a new era of SAP ease-of-use, flexibility and feature-packed software that presents information to your workforce in a way that allows them to reach their fullest potential. Never again lack vital information at the time or place when or where it is needed.
InteractiveWM communicates in real time to SAP.
InteractiveWM shows pictures, videos, PDF files and even a map of your warehouse.
Our mission is to revolutionize the SAP Supply Chain by providing more and better information along the way. By increasing accuracy, improving efficiency and reducing costs our customers can fully leverage their significant investment in SAP and truly harness the full power of information they envisioned when they chose SAP to be the backbone of their business.
At InteractiveWM we are not satisfied with the past or the present so we continually look to the future. Our Design Lab is currently exploring the use of Augmented Reality (think indoor 3D mapping), Google Glass, iBeacons, Vuzix, GPS and a host of other future tech that might be utilized to streamline the Supply Chain going forward. Our R&D investment now is a down payment on the future.
Q. How does InteractiveWM communicate with SAP?
A. InteractiveWM connects to SAP via the standard RFC (Remote Function Call) gateway. Most likely your SAP system already accepts RFC connections with no changes required to connect IWM to your SAP system.
Q. How does InteractiveWM handle SAP security roles?
A. The short answer is, whatever a user can perform in SAP they can perform in IWM. IWM logs into SAP using the actual user’s SAP ID and password (encrypted of course), just as if the user was actually performing the transaction via SAPGUI.
Q. I have heard a lot recently about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) where companies allow users to connect personal phones/tablets to the corporate network. How does InteractiveWM incorporate BYOD?
A. InteractiveWM is fully compatible with MDM (Mobile Device Management) providers such as AirWatch, meaning your IT group can push the IWM app, updates and even block users devices to the corporate network from a centralized dashboard.
Q. What is the system architecture of InteractiveWM?
A. IWM basically follows an architecture similar to SAPConsole. Our software is installed on a centralized server at your company. This server basically acts as a webserver and centralized database and it is this server that connects to SAP (thus the server is normally installed within a corporate firewall). Android devices and iOS devices then either install an App that connects to the server, or it is possible to use a Chrome browser (no need to install any App) to connect to the server. We find that many users even access IWM from their regular desktop workstations because the transactions are so much more user friendly than the SAP standard transactions.
Q. Phones and tablets normally do not have built-in barcode scanners, so how can I use one of these devices in the warehouse?
A. Nearly all phones and tablets today have Bluetooth and nearly every leading barcode scanner manufacturer (Symbol, Motorola, etc.) produce Bluetooth scanners. Some of the scanners have Long-Range scan engines (the ones that can scan from 30-40 feet away). By de-coupling the display (phone/tablet) from the data collection (scanner or even headset) you can choose a combination of devices that is certainly more flexible from the old-school handheld scanners with the tiny text displays. You will also most likely save significant amounts of capital on the initial hardware purchase and repair costs.
Q. I would like my supervisors and managers to be able to walk out into the warehouse and perform some inquiries (bin contents, stock overview, etc.). My supervisors would have only their cellphone but it is not practical for them to carry a barcode scanner around all the time. Can I still utilize IWM without a barcode scanner?
A. Yes, in addition to scanning a bin or material label barcode with a scanner, you could always type the field or even use the device’s built-in camera to scan the barcode. IWM also has very capable voice recognition so speaking a field value is another potential option.
Q. My SAP group and ABAP programmers in particular have very little bandwidth to take on new projects. How much time and effort will be required by these groups to implement InteractiveWM?
A. When a new clients asks us how long it takes to implement InteractiveWM we don’t look at the calendar, we look at our watch! But seriously, IWM normally requires ZERO changes to your existing SAP system. There is no ABAP, no transports and no configuration required within SAP. We provide the transactions to your specifications. Realistically a timeframe for a project would be one day to install software on server (1-2 hours work that we can do for you or your local IT can usually do with little effort) and maybe 1 day budgeted for each transaction you require. Inquiry transactions would be just a few hours. We already have common inquiries like stock inquiry, bin inquiry, handling unit inquiry, serial number inquiry, material master inquiry, transfer order history, material document history.
Q. Is InteractiveWM only for Warehouse Management transactions?
A. The short answer is no. Theoretically InteractiveWM can execute any SAP transaction. We already use InteractiveWM to perform Production Order Confirmations (CO11), Purchase Order Creation (ME21) and Storage Location Moves (MB1B/MIGO). Through a combination of transaction recordings and BAPIs we can perform nearly any transaction.
Q. Can I create my own transactions in InteractiveWM?
A. Yes, and quite easily. Creating new transactions in IWM requires no coding. We describe it as a combination of configuration and field mapping. You will need some knowledge of where SAP stores data and a background in recording transactions is also useful. So someone who knows SAP transactions SE16 and LSMW/CATT would not have any problems creating new basic transactions. ABAP technical skills are definitely not required, but certainly a programming mindset is helpful.
Q. We would like to make some information in SAP available to field sales reps (enter new order, check a price), field repair techs (ordering spare parts, reporting material consumption) and even customers (view stock levels, review my previous sales orders)…is this possible? These users do not necessarily have an SAP User ID and they normally would not be on our corporate network. They could quite possibly be using a cellular data connection.
A. InteractiveWM is quite flexible when providing solutions to scenarios such as these. The real issue will be how comfortable your IT security group is with different remote access approaches when the user is not on the corporate network. Certainly VPN on sales reps and service techs’ phones is a possibility, and this approach will work fine over a cellular data connection. For customers it is certainly possible to place the IWM server outside of the firewall so it is publically accessible. Obviously this “portal” approach requires a thorough understanding of web security.
Q. Our Company is a global company with employees that speak many different languages. Do we need different versions of the transactions to work in different countries?
A. IWM centralizes all text (whether displayed on screen or spoken) in a repository that is easily customized for each company. So if we design all of your transaction in English and you want to later add Spanish or German or Japanese, you basically just need to add the translations into the Texts table. A few hours work at most and no changes are required to the transactions or menu structure. You can even change our standard descriptions of you like. For example we may have designed a stock overview transaction with an entry field called MATERIAL, if you want something different (like ITEM, UPC, SKU, PART#, etc.) you can just go to the Texts table and change MATERIAL to PART#, it is that easy. Repeat for each language.