Improving Order Picking Processes through Proper Storage Assignment : Using results from previous mathematical research to simplify solving real life problems
Abstract: The area of order picking has been widely studied but still there is no general approach covering all the potential variables of a unique case. Optimizing the product placement is a useful way to improve order picking through reduced travel distances and goes hand in hand with an appropriate batching strategy and routing policy. The existing methods are of mathematical basis and can be costly to implement and it is therefore necessary to develop a non-mathematical approach that can be used for distribution centers and in this particular case, the warehouse of a mail order company. Literature is reviewed to investigate the current situation of a large Swedish mail order retailer for the development of a unique product assignment strategy, taking into consideration potential variables. It was found out that a lot of trade-offs are being done all the time between travel distances of the SKUs. Also, it was found out that “cart blocking” might be a potential problem when using a turnover-based storage assignment strategy.
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