Task assignment optimization in SAP Extended WarehouseManagement

University essay from Högskolan Dalarna/Datateknik

Abstract:

Nowadays in the world of mass consumption there is big demand for distributioncenters of bigger size. Managing such a center is a very complex and difficult taskregarding to the different processes and factors in a usual warehouse when we want tominimize the labor costs. Most of the workers’ working time is spent with travelingbetween source and destination points which cause deadheading. Even if a worker knowsthe structure of a warehouse well and because of that he or she can find the shortest pathbetween two points, it is still not guaranteed that there won’t be long traveling timebetween the locations of two consecutive tasks. We need optimal assignments betweentasks and workers.In the scientific literature Generalized Assignment Problem (GAP) is a wellknownproblem which deals with the assignment of m workers to n tasks consideringseveral constraints. The primary purpose of my thesis project was to choose a heuristics(genetic algorithm, tabu search or ant colony optimization) to be implemented into SAPExtended Warehouse Management (SAP EWM) by with task assignment will be moreeffective between tasks and resources.After system analysis I had to realize that due different constraints and businessdemands only 1:1 assingments are allowed in SAP EWM. Because of that I had to use adifferent and simpler approach – instead of the introduced heuristics – which could gainbetter assignments during the test phase in several cases. In the thesis I described indetails what ware the most important questions and problems which emerged during theplanning of my optimized assignment method.

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