Order picking has been considered as the most critical operation in warehousing. Recent trends in logistics demand faster but more reliable order picking systems. The efficiency of an order picking process greatly depends on the storage policy used, i.e. where products are located within the warehouse. In this paper, we deal with the most popular storage policy that is class-based (or ABC) storage strategy. Particularly, we investigate the problem of determining the optimal storage boundaries (zones) of classes in each aisle for manually operated warehouses. We first propose a probabilistic model that enables us to estimate the average travel distance of a picking tour. We found that the differences between results obtained from simulation and the model were slight. Using the average travel distance as the objective function, we present a mathematical formulation for the storage zone optimization problem. However, the exact approach can handle only small size warehouse instances. To circumvent this obstacle, we propose a heuristic for the problem. Numerical examples we conducted show that the heuristic performs very well in all the cases

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Keywords class-based storage strategy, numerical analysis, order picking, order picking systems, physical distribution of goods, probabilities, travel distance estimation, warehouses (management), wharehouse design
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207540500142894, hdl.handle.net/1765/11874
Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal International Journal of Production Research
Le-Duc, T, & de Koster, M.B.M. (2005). Travel distance estimation and storage zone optimization in a 2-block class-based storage strategy warehouse. International Journal of Production Research, 43(17), 3561–3581. doi:10.1080/00207540500142894