Warehouse Work Order Monitor

Read how Tower Semiconductor plans to reduce the production line downtime by creating multiple operational views with RainbowSAP w/o development in a single day.

In the semiconductor industry, downtime of manufacturing machines is very costly and must be minimized in order to optimize production. 
Tower Semiconductor
, the leading foundry of high-value analog semiconductor solutions (‘Tower’) is very sensitive to manufacturing machinery’s downtime and is constantly seeking ways to reduce it. One of the identified improvement opportunities was by monitoring and improving the release time of ordered parts and items from the warehouse to the production line.
Newly appointed management changed the visibility, transparency and management standard of work orders’ turnaround. Ultimately, the better the Turnaround SLA KPIs are, the quicker the turnaround time between the posting of work-orders and releasing of the items. The result would reduce the downtime delays and extensions as a result of fewer delayed parts that are held back in the warehouse.

Until recently, the warehouse staff communicated with their internal customers by email. The warehouse received a work order by email, issued the requested item and communicated by email to the internal customer whenever needed. These emails were not consolidated in one place, nor the warehouse professionals or managers could have a high-level view of work orders status (e.g. Number of open items at any given moment, the processing status of each work order, or whether there were any issues worth mentioning).
The warehouse management sought a solution that could provide different views (depending on the role), such that it would be efficient to structure the monitoring of all work orders that arrived at the warehouse. The management sought also for a system that would reflect the live SAP ERP data and that would be very easy to create and later on to adjust and maintain.
The SAP competence team would have invested nearly a month in developing such a solution, had they been acquainted with RainbowSAP Suite.


With SAP’s PM module, production line staff members may trigger a work-order which is routed through an approval workflow to the warehouse. Tower re-used an existing historic ABAP Query and diffused all work-orders through RainbowSAP. With RainbowSAP, Tower enhanced the ABAP Query & SAP standard report results by adding various columns. For instance, Tower added formula columns as well as columns with inventory information from other SAP tables. Each work-order is automatically tagged within the Priority Text column (please see the 4th column from the left at the screenshot below). Then, by using conditional formatting, Tower highlighted  (in LIGHT RED) and prioritized open work-orders which are causing machine-downtime delays, for immediate processing.

Tower defined the Warehouse turnaround SLA (between the work-order’s posting time and the item’s release time) as 20 minutes. With RainbowSAP, Tower has easily highlighted work-orders that exceed this SLA definition. Moreover, the Operational Report is sorted by order of arrival of the work-order, its status, whether there is available stock to issue and if it is impossible to issue the item for whatever reason.

With RainbowSAP, Tower created several layouts in no-time, as following:

  1. Manager Live-View: layout with essential operational information (i.e. work order time and item delivery time), while highlighting with conditional formatting work orders that exceed the agreed SLA.
  2. Manager KPI Dashboard View: a monthly statistical overview of the number of work-orders, on-time / late delivery data, breakdown by material item, and so on. This report is exported via an interface to Tower’s BI tool, where Tower runs trend analysis.
  3. Warehouse Staff: RainbowSAP enables Tower to add free-text columns in seconds. By using such a column, Warehouse Managers may easily enter comments which are displayed within the SAP Report and shared with whoever has the right SAP authorization rights (for the PM module’s t-code report). Thanks to the created column, warehouse managers are now easily adding inputs per any line order or cell (inputs such as “item was not issued on time since the item was locked during the night shift…”).
  4. Large Screen Monitor: A dedicated team layout which is placed at the warehouse, in which only open Work Orders are displayed and highly prioritized orders are highlighted in LIGHT RED:

Last, With RainbowSAP’s Publisher module, the reports are being sent regularly to relevant stakeholders through their email, in an automated way, with drill-down capabilities to the data on the transactional level from the email body, subject to SAP authorization.

With RainbowSAP, Tower merged and displayed three different reports in one, added additional input and formula columns – in less than a day of work, without development, in Production. Tower could have pursued two alternative standard options: (i) Manually run excel V-Look ups and other calculations whenever a new report is needed, (ii) 1-month ABAP Development to set up the report, and further development and maintenance whenever adjustments would be needed.
Instead, Tower decided to invest a one-day one-time effort with RainbowSAP. Now, 4 different Report layouts are a click away, always presenting the latest data since they are embedded within the SAP system.
Business-wise, the expected outcomes are shorter time-cycles of completion of work orders, which would lead to a reduction of Machine-Downtime. Shifting from an eMail based service to a service that is embedded within SAP ERP has led to simplification, transparency and streamlining of the warehouse work order monitoring processes.