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 build a simulation model of the warehouse.
The warehouse model simulated all of the main processes happening in the center, including:
- Vehicle loading and unloading
- Incoming and outgoing article tracking
- Article placement in storage positions
- Article movement from buffer storage areas to order packaging areas
- Order packaging
- Packaged order sorting by pallet
The model used the following as the input data: staff numbers and work schedules, plans for receiving and sending goods, operations’ timing, and probabilities of various events, including equipment breakdowns. Using this data, the simulation evaluated the quality of service, equipment and staff workload by type and position, and also calculated the warehouse used capacity and operational costs.
The model was notable due to its size and high detail because the distribution center, with an area of more than 50 thousand square meters, serves several hundred shops of the company across multiple regions.
The model took into account the individual characteristics of the thousands of articles and dozens of thousands of storage bins, all the cartons in the warehouse, the actions with each article, and every incoming and outgoing order.
The simulation model gave the client the ability to test the new pallet rack and conveyor arrangement at different load levels. It also analyzed the correlation between the numbers of staff and equipment and the warehouse capacity. This made it possible to use the model in operational management for staffing needs based on the plans for warehouse loads at certain periods of time.
Additionally, the client uses the model for personnel training. The animation allows the management to introduce new employees to the business processes in the warehouse.