Pick Line Planning for Effective E-commerce Fulfillment

Shoesmith, James
September 2000
Logistics & Transport Focus;Sep2000, Vol. 2 Issue 7, p24
Trade Publication
This article is based on the findings of a recent work-based masteral of science thesis, which studied the factors affecting layout and their effect in reducing the cost base of the operation. Its findings and the productivity improvements which resulted from practical implementation, signpost the approach which those embarking on electronic commerce fulfillment projects will need to adopt if order processing costs are to be minimized at the same time as offering a premium customer service. The whole process of analysis for layout planning is based around techniques that identify significant similarities in product that enables them to be grouped in the line plan. Analysis of product data should start with a well known and well-used technique, a Pareto analysis of item sales. At the next stage physical characteristics are identified to create groups needing different types of storage facility. At the next stage the factors analyzed are seasonality by range and product group, activity by order lines and volume by product group, product range ordering, product weight and volume distribution, and popularity.


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