Master Barcode Labeling from SAP S/4HANA, SAP ECC and SAP EWM

Thank you for registering for this live Q&A on how SAP customers use Enterprise Labeling Solutions. Please find the transcript below.

Matthew Shea: Hello and welcome to today’s SAPinsider live Q&A. We will be discussing how SAP customers that use SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC), SAP S/4HANA, and SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) rely on a certified integrated enterprise labeling solution. I am joined by three panelists from Loftware who are experts in labeling best practices to keep up with changing customer demands, comply with regulatory requirements, and fulfill business-to-business (B2B) and emerging business-to-consumer (B2C) distribution channels.

Please welcome our panelists:

  • John Kelser — Director, Solutions Architect
  • John MacDonald — Manager, Technical Training
  • Lori Thorp — Product Manager

To begin, the panelists will share details on Loftware and enterprise labeling before answering the first user questions. To start out, who is Loftware?

John MacDonald: Hundreds of global leading companies that run their businesses with SAP software use Loftware’s enterprise labeling solutions to drive label printing throughout their global supply chain. Loftware’s certified SAP labeling solutions are specifically designed to integrate with SAP ECC, SAP Business Suite on HANA, SAP Warehouse Management (SAP WM), SAP EWM, and SAP S/4HANA. Loftware is the global market leader in enterprise labeling and artwork management solutions with over 30 years in the industry and 5,000 customers in over 100 countries. We have skilled experts trained in developing and delivering solutions across all industries, including highly regulated industries.

Matthew Shea: What is enterprise labeling?

Lori Thorp: Enterprise Labeling is the systematic process of creating labels to convey information throughout your complex global supply chain. It enables customers to automate and integrate labeling directly with SAP applications and their existing business processes. This configurable approach to labeling supports high-volume global printing. It also offers customers dynamic, data-driven printing to address labeling variability when producing barcode labels and documents.

Matthew Shea: How are customers using your solution?

Lori Thorp: Customers use Loftware to manage all their supply chain labels on a global scale. Each of our customers uses our enterprise labeling solutions a little differently. Each solution is configured to meet the demands of your business. We integrate with your existing business process to meet the demands of your supply chain. We have customers such as Harley-Davidson using our enterprise labeling solutions throughout production, while other customers such as Givaudan are using a highly configured solution throughout their SAP Competency Centers.

Comment From Robert: Which labeling solution does SAP advise companies to use? Or in general should we prefer SAP Smart Forms or Adobe Forms (and why)? And what is the future vision for either of the previously mentioned solutions?

John Kelser: Loftware fully supports integration via SAP Smart Forms and Adobe Forms. Either one works for labeling via Loftware, so the decision on which one to use is for the business to make.

Comment From Moniva: Are there differences in printing performance in SAP EWM on SAP S/4HANA compared with SAP ECC WM that motivate companies to want SAP EWM?

John MacDonald: We are SAP platform agnostic. We print the same way regardless of what the application is. That is more of a question for an SAP representative.

Comment From Jonas: What kind of response times can we expect from when an activity is triggered until printing is complete (for example, if you have an SAP EWM sidecar triggering output via a cloud service like this)? If this were used in a production facility where the output needs to be available more or less instantly, what would such architecture look like?

John Kelser: The response time from when you hit go to when the label comes out depends on a bunch of things within your instance, including the complexity of the label printing. Our overlapping technologies with integration, business rules, layers, native drivers, and native cues are all used to generate labeling performance that does not interrupt production processes. The more decisions we can make upstream, the faster the print response will be.

Comment From jgrass: We use GS1 to generate and organize barcodes. Currently our barcodes and the codes from vendor products are entered manually into our SAP ECC system. I am curious to see what others are doing and how we can improve.

John MacDonald: We can certainly help you with your questions. We would like to have one of our experts reach out to you to learn more.

Comment From Tarasa: How does this solution integrate with SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori?

John Kelser: We integrated via the Output Management System (OMS) for certified bidirectional labeling.

Comment From Tim C: SAP has its Global Label Management solution. How is Loftware’s solution different? Why would I want to use Loftware instead of an SAP-provided solution?

Lori Thorp: Loftware has true global label management. To Loftware this means we can take a simplistic request from an SAP system and supplement the request using powerful business logic triggered by data in the request. This business logic is easily configured in Loftware without requiring SAP resources. This functionality allows you to react quickly to changes.

Comment From Ranjit: Do you offer SAP-certified integrated solutions?

John Kelser: Yes, we have a certified SAP system integration that provides bidirectional support, so the result is that the user does not need to leave the SAP system for the print status.

Comment From Kimberly: We send XML code packets to the Loftware print server. This is mostly SAP EWM, but one site uses SAP ECC/SAP Materials Management Inventory Management (SAP MM-IM). We have frequent issues with connectivity going down. It seems to time out. Do you have any suggestions?

John MacDonald: There are a lot of factors that can go into communications, but generally speaking, if one system is working, then both should be working, provided that the systems have a solid communications framework. You might want to ask our support team if they can assist in determining where along the line the issue is occurring.

Comment From MattiK: How easy is setting up the Zebra mobile printers in an SAP S/4HANA and SAP EWM implementation?

John Kelser: Loftware uses the OMS layer for certified integration. Once configured, the IP address needs to be entered into the Loftware solution. It is a very straightforward process.

Comment From Xinpu: How can enterprise labeling help us stay agile?

Lori Thorp: Being able to react quickly to changing requirements is fundamental to Loftware solutions. Our business logic allows you to quickly add data to print requests based off other data in the request. We can also dynamically change printers depending on data in the print request. We can set a target printer based off a number of factors, such as username, location, data in the print request, and so on. You can take a look at our Cott Webinar if you are interested in learning more.

Comment From Dan: Have you seen lots of companies moving to SAP EWM, and how have their labels been affected?

John MacDonald: Yes, we have. And when it does happen it’s been a trigger point for them. When that move does happen, the need for enterprise labeling increases because the master data needed for labeling is still in the ERP system. Most key execution data comes from the SAP EWM/SAP WM systems.

Comment From Stephan: What can I do to reduce the amount of time it takes to respond to customers’ label demands?

John MacDonald: The best approach is to have a data-rich default label to see if it will support the customers’ demands. It also acts like a good template to drive and start the discussion with the customers regarding their needs. In the end of the day, the customer wins.

Comment From Kimberly: I want to respond to Tim C about why you would not use an SAP solution for labeling. My company decided not to because every new label is a development effort. We implemented two years ago and have added over 30 label formats since our implementation. We have a few Z tables in SAP EWM to trigger print jobs. My team and I were able to create new formats and update the tables to fulfill business requirements without a lot of development in the SAP system.

Lori Thorp: Thank you, Kimberly. When you manage your labels in Loftware, there is no development effort whatsoever in the SAP system.

Comment From Anya: What is the best approach to standardize labeling while moving to SAP EWM?

John MacDonald: Template rationalization is key, with an eye toward data-driven label content and template selection.

John Kelser: Template rationalization is a process where we reduce the number of templates by generalizing the template and leveraging data-driven rules for label production.

Comment From Mary: Is there a webinar available on enterprise labeling solutions?

Jessica Hutter: We have several webinars on our enterprise labeling solutions. Here is one with our SAP customer, Cott:  http://resources.loftware.com/How-Cott-International-Optimized-Labeling-SAP-S4HANA.html

Comment From Nurcin: Are we able to get partners and suppliers to use our label with the correct product information?

Lori Thorp: Absolutely. Loftware Spectrum allows you to configure access for remote users who are outside of your wide area network (WAN). Because Loftware Spectrum is entirely web based, all printing is managed and secured based on the user’s roles and permissions. Your third-party logistics solutions (3PLs) print the labels that you allow them to print.

Comment From Laurie: How can I minimize the number of label templates to reduce overhead and maintenance?

John Kelser: Template rationalization is a process where we reduce the number of templates by generalizing the template and leveraging data-driven rules for label production. The fewer templates, the better; the data you have paid for already drives the output.

Comment From armand: Is there a naming convention to labeling the bins in a warehouse?

Lori Thorp: There is no standard that I am aware of. It’s whatever works for your process.

Comment From Raj Mehta: We completed the Stock Transfer Purchase Order (STPO) outbound process  and the merged handling unit (HU) is not transferred in the destination. Could you confirm why the HU was not transferred?

John MacDonald: These are good questions, but our integration stops at the OMS layer. These questions could be better answered by your SAP representative.

Comment From Liz: Is there a difference in configuration between SAP EWM, SAP WM, SAP ECC, and SAP S/4HANA?

John MacDonald: There is no difference from the Loftware side.

Comment From Jackie: How does your solution integrate with an SAP system?

Lori Thorp: Loftware offers many integration options, including multiple SAP-certified integrations. Loftware partners with our prospects and customers to understand their needs and leverages our labeling expertise to recommend the most optimal SAP integration. Specifically, we can integrate via Remote Function Call (RFC) or External Output Management (BC-XOM).

Comment From Gonzalo F.: Loftware uses the same rules as GS1?

John MacDonald: Loftware is a certified GS1 solution provider and a GS1 partner. Yes, we follow the same rules. We can help our customers to be GS1 compliant.

Comment From MattiK: What about International Article Number (EAN) codes? We have SAP EWM on SAP S/4HANA 1709.

John MacDonald: We also support EAN barcodes.

Comment From Brian: What sorts of disaster recovery plans do you have?

Lori Thorp: Loftware has full disaster recovery, load balancing, and failover as part of its enterprise-class labeling solution. We advise our customers how to achieve sufficient backup and failover strategies as part of our deployment methodology.

Comment From Shreyash: Can items be tracked through RFID on Loftware?

John Kelser: Loftware can create and fill in RFID tags. The tracking is typically done in another system.

Comment From Sandro: I have Zebra and Intermec printers. Is Loftware compatible with those?

John MacDonald: Yes, our solutions are compatible with all the major printer vendors. We have native driver technology for Zebra, Intermec, cab, Epson, SATO, and all major printer vendors. For the full list of printers we work with, go to Loftware.com.

Comment From Gonzalo F.: Does Loftware use an interface with an SAP system or do you need to integrate an SAP system with Loftware after an implementation?

Lori Thorp: All Instances of Loftware products can integrate with an SAP system. The product is installed, and then the integration is configured. In Loftware Spectrum, all integrations are configured in an easy-to-use interface. There are some settings in an SAP system and configuration in Loftware that allow the systems to talk to each other.

Comment From MattiK: We have also RFID, serial shipping container code (SSCC), EAN, and GS1 in SAP EWM. Does Loftware support these formats?

John MacDonald: Our labels are data driven, and as an enterprise labeling solution provider, we support all those formats for barcodes as well as media formats, including RFID.

Comment From Feifan: Do you integrate with data sources outside of an SAP system?

Lori Thorp: Absolutely. If you’re referring to triggering print requests from another resource, as long as your system can produce an XML file, we can integrate with it. If you’re referring to adding data to a print request, we can go out to other sources of data using Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), web services, files, Java Message Service (JMS) queue, and so on.

Comment From Gary: I want to centralize labeling across the organization, but still empower remote sites to manage label printing locally. How can you help?

Lori Thorp: Loftware’s enterprise labeling solution is ideal for multi-site deployments where you can control labeling centrally yet give local sites the ability to manage labels, even when the network goes down or is intermittent.

Comment From MattiK: We also use Zebra products, such as PDA devices, tablets, and printers. What are the best possibilities to use?

John MacDonald: We support products that use the standard Zebra language as well as a wide range of integrations from many different technologies. For specific solutions, you can contact our account team to discuss which solution would be best for you.

Comment From Paul: We do a lot of on-demand labeling outside of the SAP system. How do you support that?

Lori Thorp: Even though you are triggering labeling from an SAP system, we allow you to concurrently do any type of on-demand printing. This is the norm for a majority of our customers using our SAP system integration. We have thousands of customers printing on demand daily.

Comment From Galina: We’re just about ready to move to SAP S/4HANA. Any success stories you can share in migrating labeling at the same time?

John Kelser: Yes, many of our customers are developing their roadmaps to SAP S/4HANA, while some others, including Versum, Delta Faucet, and MilliporeSigma, have deployed SAP S/4HANA. Recently, Cott Beverages presented its journey with SAP and Loftware.

Comment From David: What if I want to trigger label printing in Loftware, but my data is in an SAP system?

Lori Thorp: Loftware can trigger a call back into the SAP system to gather additional data, using JDBC or a web service as part of our standard printing process.

Comment From Mark: Do I have to configure every printer I print to in an SAP system and Loftware?

John MacDonald: No, you can configure one printer in the SAP system to use as a default printer. Business logic in Loftware can use the data presented to determine the exact printer to use.

Comment From Jack: What if my SAP system integration goes down? Do you support load balancing?

Lori Thorp: Professional Services will make recommendations to ensure your environment is accurately protected in the event of a system or network failure. Our SAP system integration does allow for disaster recovery and/or the connection to be load balanced.

Comment From Tomas: Today, we trigger our labels and pick lists from SAP system transactions such as Transfer Orders. What would change by using your solutions?

John MacDonald: A few settings would need to be changed, but nothing significant.

Comment From Ryan: Sometimes, we need the ability to manually request a label by scanning or entering the work order (production order). Can your solution support this type of label printing?

Lori Thorp: Yes, we can support on-demand printing using your SAP system’s data.

Comment From Shreyash: Do you have any examples of software that can be used to track RFID tags created in Loftware?

John MacDonald: Any software and hardware capable of reading an RFID tag scan be used with tags created in Loftware. We create industry-standard RFID output.

Comment From Alex: Our industry is highly regulated. Does your solution have the capability for electronic workflow and approval?

Lori Thorp: Yes, we have workflow and approvals built in to the solution to meet the needs of any highly regulated industry. We also have the ability to collect eSignatures https://www.loftware.com/sap-labeling-solutions.

Comment From Kunal: Does your solution support 21CFR Part 11?

John MacDonald: Yes, we fully support 21CFR Part 11 processes.

Comment From Barry: We are buying a company that’s not running any SAP solutions yet. How would this work with labeling?

John Kelser: The Loftware enterprise labeling solution provides the ability to trigger the same label from multiple systems gathering data from multiple systems. This enables you to push labeling out to the new company and give you more time for the integration efforts into an SAP system. Once in the SAP system, the normal process would flow.

Comment From MattiK: Could you give me three points why we should use SAP EWM and Loftware solutions?

Lori Thorp:

  1. Label management:  We provide secured access to label printing and design — even if your warehouse is outside of your WAN
  2. Data access: We allow you to query any number of sources to retrieve data to supplement the print request
  3. Traceability: Everything you do can be audited and recalled
  4. (You get another one for free.) Ease of use and a browser-based user interface

Comment From Guest: Do you have a customer using your product in container glass manufacturing? How do you complete a physical inventory count without doing physical movement in BLOCK structure type of storage?

Lori Thorp: The products you are producing or labeling are irrelevant to Loftware. It sounds as if you are asking an SAP MM-IM question. You may want to reach out to your SAP representative.

Comment From Kimberly: Where can I find more information on the workflow capabilities and electronic signatures?

Jessica Hutter: Hello, Kim. We will send you more information after the event. For now, here is a link to a section on our website that may help you:  https://www.loftware.com/products/spectrum/advanced-workflow-to-streamline-review-and-approval

Matthew Shea: Thank you to everyone who joined today and asked a question. Thanks, Lori, John, and John, for your insightful answers.

Thank you for registering for this live Q&A on how SAP customers use Enterprise Labeling Solutions. Please find the transcript below.

Matthew Shea: Hello and welcome to today’s SAPinsider live Q&A. We will be discussing how SAP customers that use SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC), SAP S/4HANA, and SAP Extended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) rely on a certified integrated enterprise labeling solution. I am joined by three panelists from Loftware who are experts in labeling best practices to keep up with changing customer demands, comply with regulatory requirements, and fulfill business-to-business (B2B) and emerging business-to-consumer (B2C) distribution channels.

Please welcome our panelists:

  • John Kelser — Director, Solutions Architect
  • John MacDonald — Manager, Technical Training
  • Lori Thorp — Product Manager

To begin, the panelists will share details on Loftware and enterprise labeling before answering the first user questions. To start out, who is Loftware?

John MacDonald: Hundreds of global leading companies that run their businesses with SAP software use Loftware’s enterprise labeling solutions to drive label printing throughout their global supply chain. Loftware’s certified SAP labeling solutions are specifically designed to integrate with SAP ECC, SAP Business Suite on HANA, SAP Warehouse Management (SAP WM), SAP EWM, and SAP S/4HANA. Loftware is the global market leader in enterprise labeling and artwork management solutions with over 30 years in the industry and 5,000 customers in over 100 countries. We have skilled experts trained in developing and delivering solutions across all industries, including highly regulated industries.

Matthew Shea: What is enterprise labeling?

Lori Thorp: Enterprise Labeling is the systematic process of creating labels to convey information throughout your complex global supply chain. It enables customers to automate and integrate labeling directly with SAP applications and their existing business processes. This configurable approach to labeling supports high-volume global printing. It also offers customers dynamic, data-driven printing to address labeling variability when producing barcode labels and documents.

Matthew Shea: How are customers using your solution?

Lori Thorp: Customers use Loftware to manage all their supply chain labels on a global scale. Each of our customers uses our enterprise labeling solutions a little differently. Each solution is configured to meet the demands of your business. We integrate with your existing business process to meet the demands of your supply chain. We have customers such as Harley-Davidson using our enterprise labeling solutions throughout production, while other customers such as Givaudan are using a highly configured solution throughout their SAP Competency Centers.

Comment From Robert: Which labeling solution does SAP advise companies to use? Or in general should we prefer SAP Smart Forms or Adobe Forms (and why)? And what is the future vision for either of the previously mentioned solutions?

John Kelser: Loftware fully supports integration via SAP Smart Forms and Adobe Forms. Either one works for labeling via Loftware, so the decision on which one to use is for the business to make.

Comment From Moniva: Are there differences in printing performance in SAP EWM on SAP S/4HANA compared with SAP ECC WM that motivate companies to want SAP EWM?

John MacDonald: We are SAP platform agnostic. We print the same way regardless of what the application is. That is more of a question for an SAP representative.

Comment From Jonas: What kind of response times can we expect from when an activity is triggered until printing is complete (for example, if you have an SAP EWM sidecar triggering output via a cloud service like this)? If this were used in a production facility where the output needs to be available more or less instantly, what would such architecture look like?

John Kelser: The response time from when you hit go to when the label comes out depends on a bunch of things within your instance, including the complexity of the label printing. Our overlapping technologies with integration, business rules, layers, native drivers, and native cues are all used to generate labeling performance that does not interrupt production processes. The more decisions we can make upstream, the faster the print response will be.

Comment From jgrass: We use GS1 to generate and organize barcodes. Currently our barcodes and the codes from vendor products are entered manually into our SAP ECC system. I am curious to see what others are doing and how we can improve.

John MacDonald: We can certainly help you with your questions. We would like to have one of our experts reach out to you to learn more.

Comment From Tarasa: How does this solution integrate with SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori?

John Kelser: We integrated via the Output Management System (OMS) for certified bidirectional labeling.

Comment From Tim C: SAP has its Global Label Management solution. How is Loftware’s solution different? Why would I want to use Loftware instead of an SAP-provided solution?

Lori Thorp: Loftware has true global label management. To Loftware this means we can take a simplistic request from an SAP system and supplement the request using powerful business logic triggered by data in the request. This business logic is easily configured in Loftware without requiring SAP resources. This functionality allows you to react quickly to changes.

Comment From Ranjit: Do you offer SAP-certified integrated solutions?

John Kelser: Yes, we have a certified SAP system integration that provides bidirectional support, so the result is that the user does not need to leave the SAP system for the print status.

Comment From Kimberly: We send XML code packets to the Loftware print server. This is mostly SAP EWM, but one site uses SAP ECC/SAP Materials Management Inventory Management (SAP MM-IM). We have frequent issues with connectivity going down. It seems to time out. Do you have any suggestions?

John MacDonald: There are a lot of factors that can go into communications, but generally speaking, if one system is working, then both should be working, provided that the systems have a solid communications framework. You might want to ask our support team if they can assist in determining where along the line the issue is occurring.

Comment From MattiK: How easy is setting up the Zebra mobile printers in an SAP S/4HANA and SAP EWM implementation?

John Kelser: Loftware uses the OMS layer for certified integration. Once configured, the IP address needs to be entered into the Loftware solution. It is a very straightforward process.

Comment From Xinpu: How can enterprise labeling help us stay agile?

Lori Thorp: Being able to react quickly to changing requirements is fundamental to Loftware solutions. Our business logic allows you to quickly add data to print requests based off other data in the request. We can also dynamically change printers depending on data in the print request. We can set a target printer based off a number of factors, such as username, location, data in the print request, and so on. You can take a look at our Cott Webinar if you are interested in learning more.

Comment From Dan: Have you seen lots of companies moving to SAP EWM, and how have their labels been affected?

John MacDonald: Yes, we have. And when it does happen it’s been a trigger point for them. When that move does happen, the need for enterprise labeling increases because the master data needed for labeling is still in the ERP system. Most key execution data comes from the SAP EWM/SAP WM systems.

Comment From Stephan: What can I do to reduce the amount of time it takes to respond to customers’ label demands?

John MacDonald: The best approach is to have a data-rich default label to see if it will support the customers’ demands. It also acts like a good template to drive and start the discussion with the customers regarding their needs. In the end of the day, the customer wins.

Comment From Kimberly: I want to respond to Tim C about why you would not use an SAP solution for labeling. My company decided not to because every new label is a development effort. We implemented two years ago and have added over 30 label formats since our implementation. We have a few Z tables in SAP EWM to trigger print jobs. My team and I were able to create new formats and update the tables to fulfill business requirements without a lot of development in the SAP system.

Lori Thorp: Thank you, Kimberly. When you manage your labels in Loftware, there is no development effort whatsoever in the SAP system.

Comment From Anya: What is the best approach to standardize labeling while moving to SAP EWM?

John MacDonald: Template rationalization is key, with an eye toward data-driven label content and template selection.

John Kelser: Template rationalization is a process where we reduce the number of templates by generalizing the template and leveraging data-driven rules for label production.

Comment From Mary: Is there a webinar available on enterprise labeling solutions?

Jessica Hutter: We have several webinars on our enterprise labeling solutions. Here is one with our SAP customer, Cott:  http://resources.loftware.com/How-Cott-International-Optimized-Labeling-SAP-S4HANA.html

Comment From Nurcin: Are we able to get partners and suppliers to use our label with the correct product information?

Lori Thorp: Absolutely. Loftware Spectrum allows you to configure access for remote users who are outside of your wide area network (WAN). Because Loftware Spectrum is entirely web based, all printing is managed and secured based on the user’s roles and permissions. Your third-party logistics solutions (3PLs) print the labels that you allow them to print.

Comment From Laurie: How can I minimize the number of label templates to reduce overhead and maintenance?

John Kelser: Template rationalization is a process where we reduce the number of templates by generalizing the template and leveraging data-driven rules for label production. The fewer templates, the better; the data you have paid for already drives the output.

Comment From armand: Is there a naming convention to labeling the bins in a warehouse?

Lori Thorp: There is no standard that I am aware of. It’s whatever works for your process.

Comment From Raj Mehta: We completed the Stock Transfer Purchase Order (STPO) outbound process  and the merged handling unit (HU) is not transferred in the destination. Could you confirm why the HU was not transferred?

John MacDonald: These are good questions, but our integration stops at the OMS layer. These questions could be better answered by your SAP representative.

Comment From Liz: Is there a difference in configuration between SAP EWM, SAP WM, SAP ECC, and SAP S/4HANA?

John MacDonald: There is no difference from the Loftware side.

Comment From Jackie: How does your solution integrate with an SAP system?

Lori Thorp: Loftware offers many integration options, including multiple SAP-certified integrations. Loftware partners with our prospects and customers to understand their needs and leverages our labeling expertise to recommend the most optimal SAP integration. Specifically, we can integrate via Remote Function Call (RFC) or External Output Management (BC-XOM).

Comment From Gonzalo F.: Loftware uses the same rules as GS1?

John MacDonald: Loftware is a certified GS1 solution provider and a GS1 partner. Yes, we follow the same rules. We can help our customers to be GS1 compliant.

Comment From MattiK: What about International Article Number (EAN) codes? We have SAP EWM on SAP S/4HANA 1709.

John MacDonald: We also support EAN barcodes.

Comment From Brian: What sorts of disaster recovery plans do you have?

Lori Thorp: Loftware has full disaster recovery, load balancing, and failover as part of its enterprise-class labeling solution. We advise our customers how to achieve sufficient backup and failover strategies as part of our deployment methodology.

Comment From Shreyash: Can items be tracked through RFID on Loftware?

John Kelser: Loftware can create and fill in RFID tags. The tracking is typically done in another system.

Comment From Sandro: I have Zebra and Intermec printers. Is Loftware compatible with those?

John MacDonald: Yes, our solutions are compatible with all the major printer vendors. We have native driver technology for Zebra, Intermec, cab, Epson, SATO, and all major printer vendors. For the full list of printers we work with, go to Loftware.com.

Comment From Gonzalo F.: Does Loftware use an interface with an SAP system or do you need to integrate an SAP system with Loftware after an implementation?

Lori Thorp: All Instances of Loftware products can integrate with an SAP system. The product is installed, and then the integration is configured. In Loftware Spectrum, all integrations are configured in an easy-to-use interface. There are some settings in an SAP system and configuration in Loftware that allow the systems to talk to each other.

Comment From MattiK: We have also RFID, serial shipping container code (SSCC), EAN, and GS1 in SAP EWM. Does Loftware support these formats?

John MacDonald: Our labels are data driven, and as an enterprise labeling solution provider, we support all those formats for barcodes as well as media formats, including RFID.

Comment From Feifan: Do you integrate with data sources outside of an SAP system?

Lori Thorp: Absolutely. If you’re referring to triggering print requests from another resource, as long as your system can produce an XML file, we can integrate with it. If you’re referring to adding data to a print request, we can go out to other sources of data using Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), web services, files, Java Message Service (JMS) queue, and so on.

Comment From Gary: I want to centralize labeling across the organization, but still empower remote sites to manage label printing locally. How can you help?

Lori Thorp: Loftware’s enterprise labeling solution is ideal for multi-site deployments where you can control labeling centrally yet give local sites the ability to manage labels, even when the network goes down or is intermittent.

Comment From MattiK: We also use Zebra products, such as PDA devices, tablets, and printers. What are the best possibilities to use?

John MacDonald: We support products that use the standard Zebra language as well as a wide range of integrations from many different technologies. For specific solutions, you can contact our account team to discuss which solution would be best for you.

Comment From Paul: We do a lot of on-demand labeling outside of the SAP system. How do you support that?

Lori Thorp: Even though you are triggering labeling from an SAP system, we allow you to concurrently do any type of on-demand printing. This is the norm for a majority of our customers using our SAP system integration. We have thousands of customers printing on demand daily.

Comment From Galina: We’re just about ready to move to SAP S/4HANA. Any success stories you can share in migrating labeling at the same time?

John Kelser: Yes, many of our customers are developing their roadmaps to SAP S/4HANA, while some others, including Versum, Delta Faucet, and MilliporeSigma, have deployed SAP S/4HANA. Recently, Cott Beverages presented its journey with SAP and Loftware.

Comment From David: What if I want to trigger label printing in Loftware, but my data is in an SAP system?

Lori Thorp: Loftware can trigger a call back into the SAP system to gather additional data, using JDBC or a web service as part of our standard printing process.

Comment From Mark: Do I have to configure every printer I print to in an SAP system and Loftware?

John MacDonald: No, you can configure one printer in the SAP system to use as a default printer. Business logic in Loftware can use the data presented to determine the exact printer to use.

Comment From Jack: What if my SAP system integration goes down? Do you support load balancing?

Lori Thorp: Professional Services will make recommendations to ensure your environment is accurately protected in the event of a system or network failure. Our SAP system integration does allow for disaster recovery and/or the connection to be load balanced.

Comment From Tomas: Today, we trigger our labels and pick lists from SAP system transactions such as Transfer Orders. What would change by using your solutions?

John MacDonald: A few settings would need to be changed, but nothing significant.

Comment From Ryan: Sometimes, we need the ability to manually request a label by scanning or entering the work order (production order). Can your solution support this type of label printing?

Lori Thorp: Yes, we can support on-demand printing using your SAP system’s data.

Comment From Shreyash: Do you have any examples of software that can be used to track RFID tags created in Loftware?

John MacDonald: Any software and hardware capable of reading an RFID tag scan be used with tags created in Loftware. We create industry-standard RFID output.

Comment From Alex: Our industry is highly regulated. Does your solution have the capability for electronic workflow and approval?

Lori Thorp: Yes, we have workflow and approvals built in to the solution to meet the needs of any highly regulated industry. We also have the ability to collect eSignatures https://www.loftware.com/sap-labeling-solutions.

Comment From Kunal: Does your solution support 21CFR Part 11?

John MacDonald: Yes, we fully support 21CFR Part 11 processes.

Comment From Barry: We are buying a company that’s not running any SAP solutions yet. How would this work with labeling?

John Kelser: The Loftware enterprise labeling solution provides the ability to trigger the same label from multiple systems gathering data from multiple systems. This enables you to push labeling out to the new company and give you more time for the integration efforts into an SAP system. Once in the SAP system, the normal process would flow.

Comment From MattiK: Could you give me three points why we should use SAP EWM and Loftware solutions?

Lori Thorp:

  1. Label management:  We provide secured access to label printing and design — even if your warehouse is outside of your WAN
  2. Data access: We allow you to query any number of sources to retrieve data to supplement the print request
  3. Traceability: Everything you do can be audited and recalled
  4. (You get another one for free.) Ease of use and a browser-based user interface

Comment From Guest: Do you have a customer using your product in container glass manufacturing? How do you complete a physical inventory count without doing physical movement in BLOCK structure type of storage?

Lori Thorp: The products you are producing or labeling are irrelevant to Loftware. It sounds as if you are asking an SAP MM-IM question. You may want to reach out to your SAP representative.

Comment From Kimberly: Where can I find more information on the workflow capabilities and electronic signatures?

Jessica Hutter: Hello, Kim. We will send you more information after the event. For now, here is a link to a section on our website that may help you:  https://www.loftware.com/products/spectrum/advanced-workflow-to-streamline-review-and-approval

Matthew Shea: Thank you to everyone who joined today and asked a question. Thanks, Lori, John, and John, for your insightful answers.