Having sufficient inventories in the forward or piece picking area of a warehouse is an essential condition for warehouse operations. As pickers consume the inventory in the piece racks, there is a risk of stockout. This can be reduced by the timely replenishment of products from the bulk reserve area to the forward area. We develop and compare three policies for prioritizing replenishments for the case where order picking and replenishments occur concurrently because of time restrictions. The first policy, based on the ratio of available inventory to wave demand, reduces the number of stockouts considerably. The other two more sophisticated policies reduce the number of stockouts even more but require much more computation time, and are more costly in terms of implementation, maintenance and software updates. We present the results of implementing one of these policies in the warehouse of a large cosmetics firm.

Inventory, Order picking, Priority rules, Replenishment, Warehouse
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2013.12.045, hdl.handle.net/1765/63606
ERIM Top-Core Articles
European Journal of Operational Research
Erasmus School of Economics

de Vries, H, Carrasco-Gallego, R, Farenhorst-Yuan, T, & Dekker, R. (2014). Prioritizing replenishments of the piece picking area. European Journal of Operational Research, 236(1), 126–134. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2013.12.045