Warehouses employ order cut-off times to ensure sufficient time for fulfilment. To satisfy higher consumer expectations, these cut-off times are gradually postponed to improve order responsiveness. Warehouses therefore have to allocate jobs more efficiently to meet compressed response times. Priority job management by means of flow-shop models has been used mainly for manufacturing systems but can also be applied for warehouse job scheduling to accommodate tighter cut-off times. This study investigates which priority rule performs best under which circumstances. The performance of each rule is evaluated in terms of a common cost criterion that integrates the objectives of low earliness, low tardiness, low labour idleness, and low work-in-process stocks. A real-world case study for a warehouse distribution centre of an original equipment manufacturer in consumer electronics provides the input parameters for a simulation study. The simulation outcomes validate several strategies for improved responsiveness. In particular, the critical ratio rule has the fastest flow-time and performs best for warehouse scenarios with expensive products and high labour costs.

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Econometric Institute Research Papers
Department of Econometrics

Kim, T. Y. (2018). Improving warehouse responsiveness by job priority management (No. EI2018-02). Econometric Institute Research Papers. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/112492