Eliminate Inventory Inefficiencies by Ditching LSMW

By Clinton Jones on Jan 25, 2017

In the world of Lean, Six Sigma and Kaizen – waste is considered evil, and Tim Woods is the one to blame.

Tim Woods is a mnemonic memory acronym designed to help you remember the concept of eliminating waste:

  • T – Transport – the movement of people, products & information.
  • I – Inventory – the storage of parts, pieces and preliminary documentation.
  • M – Movement – the activity needed in the process.
  • W – Waiting – waiting for parts, information, instructions and equipment.
  • O – Over production – (of finished items or parts).
  • O – Over processing – excessive tolerances or unnecessarily high standards.
  • D – Defects –  the rework, scrap, or inappropriateness of documentation.
  • S – Skills –  underutilization of capabilities, and delegation of tasks with inadequate training.

Anyone who works with LSMW can pick out a number of items on the list above that resonate. In this post, I’m going to review the topic of inventory, and explain where Winshuttle can help eliminate inefficiencies in that aspect of data management when working with SAP.

I is for Inventory

LSMW inventory managementWhen you create LSMW scripts in SAP, they’re usually stored in the system as projects. While you may view objects created by you, the general approach to managing LSMW automations is to have open and accessible objects. LSMW was designed to be used by IT. BASIS administrators and ABAP developers will have access to assist in migrating data from legacy systems to a new SAP implementation or a new piece of SAP functionality that has been activated.

The fastest way to get up and running with your new SAP implementation or configuration is to bring in data from an external source or an existing SAP system. Since most veteran SAP developers and administrators are quite familiar with the way LSMW works, it’s often  the default choice for loading data – but is cumbersome and can be fraught with risk. Not only is managing  the inventory of automation objects slow and manual, it can also be inconsistent  across the development, quality, pre-production and production environments. This is often due to the complexity involved in moving automation objects between systems.

Automation governance

Winshuttle’s approach to inventory automations is different from LSMW in a number of ways. With Winshuttle Studio, automation scripts can be based on a transaction recording,  BAPI or query, and the script is not resident on the system that it was based on. It is a portable XML object. The automation is stored as a QsQ or a TxR on the Windows file system, and the file can be emailed or shared via a network drive or distributed as embedded integration logic in an Excel workbook. When you consider these scripts with User Governance, you have the option of version management and controlled distribution.

Winshuttle Foundation uses the underlying architecture of the Microsoft SharePoint document management system, allowing you to group and annotate scripts in a way that gives you a richer understanding of the purpose and relevance of the scripts. Scripts can be grouped, through a multi-script check-in process and also be classified using additional meta data attributes in Foundation. Script check-in processes can be as elaborately or simplistically documented as you’d like. There are some recommended approaches to improve the automation inventory management and make using Winshuttle products more straightforward in SAP application data management.
LSMW white paperLearn more about how you can use Winshuttle Studio and Foundation instead of LSMW by downloading the Winshuttle white paper entitled The Benefits of a Lean Approach to Data Governance

Don’t miss the other posts in this series:

Tim Woods Series: Reduce Waste With a Leaner Alternative to LSMW

About the author

The Winshuttle blog is written by professional thought leaders who are dedicated to providing content on a variety of topics, including industry news, best practices, software updates, continued education, tips and techniques, and much more.

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