Warehouse Operations Simulation

Constructing 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 that operated efficiently 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. It is a low-cost and low risk method to determine the optimal parameter set for a warehouse under development or redesign.

The first step in creating a model is detailing the warehouse structure: the exact location of major apartment and zones, as well as 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. You can consider material arrival schedule including variables: parts, volume, and timing. During simulation model operation, the model would generate and collect detailed warehouse operations statistics such as resource utilization rates, activity durations, completion times. etc.

As a result of a modeling project, you will be able to determine the best warehouse design, or the needed changes to the layout, staffing, picking policy, and more.

You will be able to find out and optimize:

  • quantity and type of transportation and material handling equipment
  • staff level requirements
  • floor space requirements and layout
  • warehouse operational expenses
  • number of loading and unloading gates
  • operational timetables
  • freight traffic flows
  • performance metrics such as execution time, resource utilization rates, inventory levels, etc.

Warehouse simulation case studies

Example warehouse simulation models

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