Warehousing and Distribution
Warehouses are critical parts of the overall supply chain. They are the points where the product pauses and is touched, consuming both space and time (labour hours). Space and time, in turn, are expenses. By developing mathematical and computer models to fine-tune the layout and operations of a warehouse, managers can significantly reduce labour costs associated with product distribution, increase warehouse space utilization, and improve the overall flow of the project.
In response to the challenges facing warehousing and distribution centres both at home and abroad, Some current research activities include:
- Design and operations of temperature-controlled international supply chains for distribution of products such as wine, fresh fruits, and vaccines.
- Design of self-organizing order-picking systems
- Development of software to slot “fast pick” areas to better utilize prime warehousing real estate and reduce labour costs.
- Development of warehouse activity profiling and visualization software to help managers find inefficiencies in operations and layout
- Design and layout of cross-docks for better quicker item flow through times
- Strategies for optimal cycle counting to reconcile book and physical inventories.
- Warehouse slotting to account for product affinity
- The configuration of distribution networks
- Last mile delivery