Department of Industrial Engineering


Introduction On Warehousing Issues

animazione magazzino
  • Receiving
  • RFID Technology
  • Operations Scheduling
  • Put Away unit-load
  • Put Away less-than-unit-load
  • Inventory Management
  • Storage Allocation
  • Storage Assignment
  • Slotting
  • Picker Routing
  • Order Batching
  • Visiting strategies
  • Operations Scheduling

“Warehousing is one of the most important and critical logistic activities in industrial and service systems. A few production philosophies, e.g. just in time (JIT) and lean manufacturing, propose and support the so-called ‘‘zero stock’’ as basic and strategic pillar. Also manufacturing requirement planning (MRP), the well known and widely adopted ‘‘push-’’ based fulfillment technique, theoretically guarantees no storage quantities when the ‘‘lot for lot’’ reorder policy is adopted. Nevertheless, these special production systems do not operate in absence of warehousing systems that support and smooth the discontinuity of flow materials, products and components, at the input and at the bottom of a generic production stage.[...]"
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From “Warehousing in the Global Supply Chain ”, Foreword. Ed.Manzini Riccardo, Springer-Verlag London 2012.

“A global supply chain is not just an abstract entity composed of policies, supplier contracts, purchasing agreements, etc. that exist on a computer network or database. Rather, a global supply chain, in order to function properly, is an entity supported by a logistics system that makes it possible to move a variety of goods through the system in a timely and cost-effective manner. When the supply chain is viewed as a network, transportation systems such as trucking, railways and shipping/air lines represent the ‘‘arcs’’ in the network, while the facilities that handle the goods through the network represent the ‘‘nodes.’’ Such facilities include:

  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Warehouses and distribution centers
  • Container terminals (or seaports)
  • Consolidation/deconsolidation centers
  • Rail yards
  • Crossdocks
  • Airports (handling freight)" [...]

When viewed in the above context, warehousing—which takes place in all of the above facilities, to one extent or another—suddenly becomes a critical component of the global supply chain. In other words, as their supply chains extended around the globe, companies began to recognize that where and how raw materials, components and (semi) finished goods are stored in the network have a major impact on their operations, their agility/flexibility, their service levels and responsiveness to their customers, and their overall costs.

[…] many companies also learned that warehousing is not only a point of storage in the network but also a point of critical information. That is, as supply chains became leaner, timely and correct information, especially inventory visibility and accuracy, which is a key function in warehousing, became essential for success.


According to Forrester Research, web-based sales in the United States will reach 249 billion dollors by 2014, and in western Europe, online retail sales are projected to increase by 68% from 68 billion euros in 2009 to 114 billion euros by 2014!

The phenomenal growth in e-tailing has had (and will continue to have) a major impact on warehousing and parcel/package delivery systems from the warehouse to the customer. That is, stocking the items that the customers need/want, picking, packing and shipping these items to the customers on a timely basis, and doing so with maximum accuracy, has now become a big and very viable business model, which transformed the warehouse from a back-office cost-center to a front-office profit-center!”

From “Warehousing in the Global Supply Chain ”, Preface by Professor Yavuz A. Bozer - The University of Michigan. Ed.Manzini Riccardo, Springer-Verlag London 2012.

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