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E-WMS SKU Management: an introduction



This document describes the basics of E-WMS SKU Management, as available per product update 407.



SKU (Stock Keeping Units) Management enables you to tag any stock unit in your warehouse with a unique number, a 'license plate'. Throughout the WMS processes, this license plate can be scanned to identify the already known content of that stock unit. Instead of scanning warehouse, location, item, batch- or serial number and quantity you only have to scan the unique number. This unique number is a SSCC (18-digit) number, generated and label printed by WMS in WMS stock receipt processes. This guarantees unique and consistent numbering throughout your warehouse. The SKU stock unit can be any logistical unit (pallet, bag, box) on which you can apply a barcode label and needs to be handled in your warehouse.

SKU management is different from E-WMS SSCC.

A SSCC number is created only during the sales order fulfilment issuing process, where SSCC numbers are linked to fulfilment lines. This offers the possibility to communicate the SSCC numbers of a shipment to a customer (EDI delivery note message).  This means these SSCC numbers are not used in internal warehouse processes. SSCC supports 'mixed' pallets (different items and/or batches on one SSCC).

A SKU number is created during a (WMS) stock receipt process, where the details of the SKU stock are registered and saved within E-WMS. After that, it suffices to scan this SKU number in other WMS processes. SKU management does not support mixed pallets.


SKU Management is general available from product update 403 for license E-WMS II (SE1381).



SKU Management will give you the following general benefits:

  • higher efficiency and accuracy in logistical processes by scanning just the SKU number in issuing processes, transfers and counts. One scan is much more efficient and gives less chance of scan failures.
    note: using EAN128 bar codes gives almost the same advantage, but requires additional input of warehouse code and warehouse location code.
  • additional FIFO/LIFO picking advice possibilities for non-serial/batch items; based on the SKU receipt date
  • possibility to advice 'full pallets' directly from bulk locations (overruling location advice policy) for order picking, so picking locations can be used for smaller quantities only
  • avoid breaking up pallets on locations which are not reachable for an order picker ('allow breaking' configurable per SKU/item configuration or per location type)
  • additional tracking and tracing possibilities: SKU transaction history is saved; you are able to report warehouse history on several key fields,
    for example transactions on a specific location or for a specific SKU during a date range
  • Directed Put Away offers a calculated location advice based on SKU properties (dimensions) on the hand terminal during transfers
  • More structured storage in your warehouse; WMS Location Types allow you to define storage rules based on SKU properties for a range of warehouse locations


Following prerequisites apply to using E-WMS SKU Management:

  • License requirements:
    • SE1380 E-WMS I
    • SE1381 E-WMS II
    • SE1311 E-Warehouse Management
    • SE1312 E-Warehouse Locations
  • usage of communication type 'Scanner - ASP'
  • usage of Exact Globe Next 'warehouse locations' enabled
  • E-WMS 'picking advice' enabled for all guided picking processes
  • SKU Management only supports working in sales units (not in purchase units)
  • a properly configured installation of a registered version of BarTender labeling software. BarTender is not an Exact product


Supported WMS processes

SKU Management supports following WMS processes:

  • WMS Purchase Receipts
  • WMS Inventory
  • WMS Transfers
  • WMS Route Optimizing for Sales Order Fulfillment, Replenishment and Production Issues
  • WMS Sales Order Fulfillment
  • WMS Stock Transactions
  • WMS Replenishment (limited as to calculation of the target location)
  • WMS Production Receipts
  • WMS Production Issues
  • WMS Cross docking
  • WMS Pick&Pack

The following WMS processes do not support SKU numbers (SKU stock):

  • Mobile Sales Entry
  • WMS Purchase Entry
  • Intercompany Logistics (ICL)
  • Keyboard Wedge Scanning

These processes will still work within a SKU database but only in 'sales units', and do not support or recognize SKU numbers.


Usage of SKU Management will have following consequences:

  • in WMS receipt processes, extra labeling and registration actions are required
  • All Exact Globe Next functions for receipts, issues or any other stock transaction can not be used for SKU items. E-WMS has to be used for all logistical transactions for SKU stock.
  • When starting with SKU Management you will probably have to do a WMS Inventory, including SKU label printing, for all SKU items, to create a starting position including SKU numbers


SKU Management functionality and rules

SKU Management offers the following functionality.

  • create SKU types
  • it is possible to use 'single-layer' configuration (just a pallet number), or a two-layer configuration (pallet has SKU number and all boxes on that pallet also have a unique SKU number).
    It is advised to only use two-layer SKU when strictly required, otherwise it is more practical to use single-layer configurations.
  • create one or more SKU per item configurations with specific SKU properties
    • You are able to define a SKU item as:
      • outer SKU only (sales units on a pallet)
      • inner SKU only (sales units in a box)
      • two-layer SKU type (sales units in boxes on pallets)
  • Configure specific SKU properties per item:
    • configure per item whether a SKU number is mandatory in receipt processes, or that stock can also exist in 'sales units' for that SKU item
    • configure a default SKU configuration for an item, related to Autoreceive
  • generate SKU numbers and label printing from the hand terminal in E-WMS receipts processes and counts
  • define the 18 digit SSCC number structure: GS1 company code and GS1 prefix, with separate numbering ranges for outer and inner SKUs
  • possibility to scan 'external' SKU/SSCC numbers, instead of generating and printing from an E-WMS hand terminal
  • able to scan and register SKU numbers per receipt line in above mentioned WMS processes
  • able to automatically receive a range of SKU numbers (Autoreceive)
  • you can use DPA (Directed Put-Away) advice in WMS Transfers, for SKU stock or for sales units stock
  • A Route Optimizing picking advice can be based on a SKU receipt date (FIFO or LIFO) for non-batch items.
  • you have the possibility to advice a 'full pallet' directly from a bulk type location, overruling the general 'location advice' policy
  • you have the possibility to generate a picking advice specified by SKU number, or without specific SKU numbers ('just pick any SKU for that item from that location')
  • you have the possibility to split a picking advice to different hand terminals based on advised unit type:
    • sales unit (pick loose units, or units from a pallet)
    • outer SKU (pick whole pallet)
    • inner SKU (pick whole box)
  • you are able to configure that your customer will only accept one specific SKU type, so only stock on that SKU type will be advised for that customer
  • you are able to scan a SKU number in the warehouse or warehouse location field in stock issuing processes, this will pre-fill all required data
  • a SKU item can have 'SKU stock' or 'sales unit' stock (units without a SKU number)
  • you can define whether it is mandatory to scan a SKU number in stock receipt functions
  • you are able to replenish stock, by transferring a whole SKU, instead of breaking up a SKU to pick what you need
  • report on SKU transaction history
  • report on SKU stock positions
  • 'WMS Item/Stock view' provides information of stock on SKU level per item
  • consistency diagnose on WMS SKU stock versus Exact Globe Next stock with quick repair (407)
  • 'incomplete' SKUs are supported: it is possible to receive less on a SKU than the default SKU quantity
  • 'broken' SKUs are supported, it is possible to have less sales units in a SKU than default configured, depending on the 'allow breaking' property
  • 'overfull' SKUs are supported, it is possible to have more sales units on a SKU than the default configuration allows, depending on the 'No maximum quantity' property
  • WMS will perform stock validations on scanner and in the WMS Control Centers to guarantee SKU stock consistency
  • Cross docking with SKU: receipt lines are split per cross docking advice line (put away advice per sales order per item), with optional scanning (creating) a SKU number per advice line
  • E-WMS Inventory allows scanning the SKU number and 'assume' the content of the SKU. In combination with general scanner setting 'Focus to next field' enabled, you can still confirm the pre-filled fields
  • Scanning sales- or purchase returns (regular orders with negative quantities, not RMA or RTV) is supported for SKU items, in sales units

Following rules apply to SKU Management:

  • Since E-WMS uses it's own stock tables, only WMSclient can be used to register stock receipts or issues for SKU stock
  • a SKU can contain:
    • one item code
    • one batch
    • or: multiple serial numbers  (for one item code)
  • an item is a SKU item, when it has one or more SKU configurations defined
  • SKU scanning functionality is only triggered when SKU Management is enabled and when the item is a SKU item
  • SKU numbers are 18-digit SSCC numbers according to the GS1 standard, both for E-WMS SKU numbers or 'external' SKU numbers
  • an 'inner' SKU remains an inner SKU type, whether it is part of an outer SKU, or not.
  • all Exact Globe Next locations can basically hold SKU item sales units stock and/or SKU stock - unit storage restrictions can be defined in Location Types
  • when transferring a SKU item to a 'location type' which only allows sales units, a SKU will be automatically broken down into sales units (without specific notice on the hand terminal)
  • scanning WMS scan codes can not be used in combination with scanning SKUs, because of conflicting factors
  • Pivot point is not supported for SKU items
  • the E-WMS Control Center reports do not show SKU information, except for specific error messages
  • creating SKUs (or repacking) can only be done on a hand terminal (not in E-WMS control centers)
  • 'Repacking' always means building a new SKU
  • SKU Management is enabled by one general setting. When disabled, no SKU fields or information will be shown.
  • changing SKU configuration options of a SKU item (like 'breaking up' allowed) does NOT change the properties of the existing SKUs on stock, but only of SKUs created after this configuration change.
  • when SKU Management is enabled, WMS transfer menu 'Transfer to one' is not available, instead 'Repack to' is available

SKU changes per product update

Points of attention

  • it is not possible to store multiple batches or multiple item codes on one SKU
  • when printing a SKU label from the hand terminal: the serial/batch number cannot be included (yet) on the label; because label printing is done prior to the actual receipt (and batch registration). It is however possible to preprint labels with actual quantity (print remainder quantity on last label).
  • the calculation of a replenishment target location does not support all SKU- or location type restrictions. E-WMS Replenishment is based on replenishing sales units on picking locations and is not based on replenishing SKUs. Please see this document for supported scenarios.
  • it is not possible to just add stock to an existing SKU (after the initial SKU receipt has been processed). Instead, WMS repacking has to be started, which means building a new SKU
  • you cannot directly select a specific printer when printing SKU labels from a hand terminal. The printer configured in the BarTender layout, or else the printer saved with the label layout, will always be used. You may bypass this by creating multiple labels for the same step, and using different SQL views with specific selections (per warehouse or per order picker for example). E-WMS will always evaluate all labels linked to one 'application' but only print the labels where the view would return one or more records.
  • When using order fulfillment 'inner SSCC' ('box number') registration and picking a two-layer SKU while you have configured to copy SKU numbers as SSCC numbers: the 'inner' SKU numbers are not automatically copied as 'inner SSCC' (box) numbers
  • When generating a SKU picking advice without specific SKU number you may have to also enable 'Advice collection' when the SKUs on the same location hold different quantities. Otherwise you may encounter somewhat illogical behavior on the scanner.

Getting started

Please refer to following documents to get started with SKU Management:

  • Exact Video: introduction to SKU Management (English or Dutch)

 Main Category: Support Product Know How  Document Type: Support - On-line help
 Category: On-line help files  Security  level: All - 0
 Sub category: Details  Document ID: 22.165.638
 Assortment:  Date: 30-05-2017
 Release:  Attachment: