Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

December 2013    |    Volume: 45    |    Number: 12

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial and Engineers

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Designing better warehouses

Lessons learned during the lengthy search for the perfect methodology

By Russell D. Meller and Lisa M. Thomas

At their best, warehouses fulfill customer orders reliably and efficiently. Researchers and practitioners have spent years searching for an optimal methodology for warehouse design, but the academic literature has yet to present one. The difficulties in doing so are many. They include the lack of a common language to describe all warehouses, a standard set of data used to describe warehouse operating parameters, models for analysis that are based on a common set of assumptions, and a complete set of models that can be used together for warehouse design.

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