Warehouse Operations and Layout Optimization

High-Bay WarehouseConstructing and fitting out a modern warehouse with all its required equipment and tools require significant capital expenditure. The early warehouse planning and design stage is key. Mistakes in planning and layout will decrease warehouse utility and performance while increasing your operational costs. Careful attention should be paid to operational optimization; even a warehouse which operated effectively before may not do so under increasing loads.

Simulation modeling is the modern tool that facilitates design, layout, and optimization of warehouse operations. Simulating a warehouse implies developing a computer model and testing it by executing computational experiments with different combinations of parameters based on that model these experiments provide a low-cost and low risk method to determine the optimal parameter set for a warehouse under development or redesign.

Our consulting partners offer a full package of warehouse operations set up and optimization services based on simulation modeling we begin with a thorough investigation of the problem working in close cooperation with customer representatives. This approach ensures a precise problem definition and clear requirements supporting a mutually understood scope of work.

The first step in creating a model is detailing the warehouse structure anthropology: the exact location of major apartment and zones and transportation routes. The next step is to specify the business processes that determine warehouse operation: the who/what/when, of resources (staff and equipment) associated with various procedures. Our partners consider material arrival schedule including variable such as: parts, volume, and timing. During model operation, they typically generate and collect detailed warehouse operations statistics such as resource utilization rates, activity durations, completion times, etc. as specified by the customer.

The deliverables are tailored for each assignment but often include such items as: a detailed report describing warehouse design, suggested changes to layout a stone optimization results, software caught allowing the customer to reach these determinations himself, or a software decision support system to be used on an ongoing basis. Whatever the specific deliverable most warehouse simulation solutions address:

  • the required quantity and type of transportation and material handling equipment;
  • staff level requirements;
  • floor space requirements and layout;
  • ultimate scenarios of equipment lay out an arrangement;
  • calculating performance metrics such as execution time;
  • resource utilization rates, inventory levels, etc.;
  • calculating and optimizing warehouse operational expenses;
  • determining the optimal number of loading and unloading gates;
  • developing more effective freight traffic flows;
  • optimizing operational timetables.

Please visit our models gallery to review example industrial models.

Case Studies

  • Modeling Operations at Pharmaceutical Distribution Warehouses
    Cardinal Health, a billion dollar pharmaceutical distribution and logistics firm, manages multiple products from brand name pharmaceuticals and generic drugs to over the counter drugs, health & beauty items and their own private label. They face a multitude of typical distribution warehouse challenges that are further complicated by the nature of pharmaceutical products. Brian Heath, Director of Advanced Analytics at Cardinal Health, and an experienced user of AnyLogic software, employed agent based modeling to solve various business problems, saving Cardinal Health over $3 Million annually.
  • Warehouse Simulation for Choosing Optimal Picking Algorithm
    Kuehne+Nagel, a leading global provider of logistics solutions, was involved in planning a new warehouse for one of their clients. The warehouse would process 13K order lines or 750 picking cartons per day. The project included the development of the best algorithm for multi-order picking. It was planned that the orders in the warehouse would be served by workers with trolleys (or fangos). Workers with trolleys would pick the goods and put them in cartons by order.
  • Evaluating Introduction of Warehouse Automation Systems
    Symbotic is a warehouse automation solutions provider. Its systems are based on mobile robots that can travel freely throughout a dense storage structure, accessing products in all locations and handling them at a very high throughput rate. The company needed a tool to help their customers learn the impact of warehouse reorganization and compare capital investments against expected operational savings before the actual introduction of automation systems.
  • Planning a Multi-Purpose Harbour with AnyLogic
    Evans & Peck was involved in multi-purpose harbour design planning. The company utilised a discrete event simulation modeling approach to map the transportation, warehousing, and loading to ships of product.
  • Choosing the Right Warehouse Layout for a Leading FMCG Retailer
    One of the biggest FMCG retailers in Eastern Europe supplies to several hundred shops, across multiple regions, through a single distribution center. The company planned to change the arrangement of pallet racks and conveyors in the center. To evaluate the capacity of the new layout and to measure the effectiveness of the warehouse, they decided to have the AnyLogic Company’s consulting department build a simulation model of the warehouse.