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.

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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
M.B.M. de Koster (René)
Erasmus University Rotterdam , Erasmus Research Institute of Management
hdl.handle.net/1765/13691
ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management