This thesis studies order picking in warehouses. Order picking, the process of retrieval products from their storage locations to fill customer orders, is regarded as the most critical operation in a warehouse. Using stochastic modelling, we develop a model to estimate order picking system performance on various design alternatives and operating policies. The model is fast, flexible, and sufficiently accurate for practical purposes. The thesis introduces a concept of Dynamic Storage. In a Dynamic Storage System (DSS), orders are picked in batches and only those products needed for the current pick batch are retrieved from a reserve area and are stored in the pick area, just in time. Through analytical and simulation models, we demonstrate a DSS can substantially improve order throughput and reduce labour cost simultaneously over conventional order picking systems, where all the products required during a pick shift are stored in the pick area. The thesis also studies an internal distribution process at a flower auction company. Based on simulation and optimization models, we propose ways to reduce congestion and improve order lead time.

order picking, pick-and-pass, queuing, simulation, warehouse
Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Production Management (jel M11), Business Administration: Other (jel M19), Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives (jel O31), Management of Technological Innovation and R&D (jel O32)
M.B.M. de Koster (René)
Erasmus University Rotterdam , Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) Prof.dr. S.L. van de Velde Prof.dr. ir. R. Dekker Prof.dr. S. Nickel
ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Yu, M. (2008, October 23). Enhancing Warehouse Performance by Efficient Order Picking (No. EPS-2008-139-LIS). ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from