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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords order picking, pick-and-pass, queuing, simulation, warehouse
JEL 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)
Promotor M.B.M. de Koster (René)
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam , Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Sponsor 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
ISBN 978-90-5892-167-3
Persistent URL
Series ERIM Ph.D. Series Research in 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