Product flows and decision models in Internet fulfillment warehouses

Sevilay Onal, Jingran Zhang, Sanchoy Das

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Internet Fulfillment Warehouses (IFWs) present a new operational model in the design and control of warehouses. IFWs operate with new paradigms, specifically, the use of an explosive storage policy combined with commingled storage are key features in achieving fast fulfillment. We document and present the process, data, and decision flows of IFW operations. The flows were synthesised from an observational study at the largest IFW operator. Detailed flows are presented for: (i) receiving and stocking (ii) order picking and consolidation and (iii) truck assignment and loading. The key contribution of this paper is introducing new warehousing models that are unique to fulfillment facilities which stock thousands of different products and process a very large number of small quantity customer orders. Multiple flow control and decision optimisation problems can be formulated from the operational models. Five specific problems are introduced, each focuses on the online retailing objective of fast fulfillment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)791-801
Number of pages11
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Volume29
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 27 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Keywords

  • E-Commerce
  • online supply chain
  • physical Internet
  • warehouse operations

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