Increasing productivity and reducing labour cost in order picking processes are two major concerns for most warehouse managers. Particularly picker-to-parts order picking methods lead to low productivity as order pickers spend much of their time travelling along the aisles. To enhance order picking process performance, an increasing number of warehouses adopt the concept of dynamic storage where only those products needed for the current order batch are dynamically stored in the pick area, thereby reducing travel time. Other products are stored in a reserve area. We analyse the stability condition for a dynamic storage system with online order arrivals and develop a mathematical model to derive the maximum throughput a DSS can achieve and the minimum number of worker hours needed to obtain this throughput, for order picking systems with a single pick station. We discuss two applications of dynamic storage in order picking systems with multiple pick stations in series. In combination with simulation modelling, we are able to demonstrate that dynamic storage can increase throughput and reduce labour cost significantly.

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Keywords AS/RS, order picking, storing, wharehousing
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Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal International Journal of Production Research
Yu, M. (2010). Enhancing performance in order picking processes by dynamic storage systems. International Journal of Production Research, 48(16), 4785–4806. doi:10.1080/00207540903055693