Warehouses and warehouse-related operations have long been a field of interest for researchers. One of the areas that researchers focus on is the Storage Location Assigning Problem (SLAP or Slotting). The goal is to find the best location in a warehouse to store the products.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is a shopping paradigm shift towards e-commerce, which even after the pandemic will not return to the old state. This paradigm shift raises the need for optimal layout and pick paths that result in better performing multi-pick warehouses.
In this paper, the researchers propose a clustering method based on the gravity model to find an optimal layout and pick paths. They show that for warehouses in which there is more than one pick per trip, the proposed method improves the performance.
To test the proposed method, the team developed a simulation model using the AnyLogic® software. The simulation can model a warehouse, configurable in width, length, number of aisles, cross-aisles, and levels.
The researchers later test the method with different warehouse designs (single- and multi-block warehouses) and different routing methods, (S-Shaped, largest-gap, random).
COI SLAP (right)