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24 JAN 2016 Seminar

Series of Dept Research Seminars - “Velocity-based Storage Decision in a Semi-automated Fulfillment System for Online Retailing " (Date: 3 February 2016)

Mr. YUAN Rong

Mr. YUAN Rong

Our speaker Mr. YUAN Rong, will be visiting the Department and you are invited to attend the seminar followed by an open discussion.

Abstract: Online retailers continue to face increasing challenges in meeting greater demand volumes and higher service quality requirements. Our research focuses on the fulfillment centers, which serve as the hubs for product storage, order retrieval, packaging and shipment. We consider a semi-automated fulfillment system in which pickers and stowers are stationary, and the movable storage units (pods) are brought to them by robotic drives.  We focus on the storage decision with which we determine where to return a pod to the storage field after a picking or stowing operation.  We show that the storage decision has a direct impact on the travel times of the inventory pods and consequently the workload requirement of the robotics drives.  

We examine three types of storage policies, namely random storage, velocity-based storage, and class-based storage.  We develop analytical and numerical models to calculate the expected travel times of the inventory pods for these policies.  We show that a class-based storage policy can capture a substantial portion of the benefits of the velocity-based storage policy, which can be viewed as an upper bound of the travel distance reduction from ideal storage decisions.  With the insights from these models, we test these policies by simulation, using industry data.

All are welcome and registration is not required. 


3 February 2016 (Wednesday)


9:30 - 11:00


HW - 828

About the Speaker

Rong is a PhD student at Operations Research Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  His research interest is in employing optimization, statistics, and simulation techniques in warehouse and inventory management in e-commerce, manufacturing systems, transportation and revenue management. Prior to entering the PhD program, Rong received an M.S. in Computation, Design and Optimization from MIT and a B.Eng. in Industrial Engineering and Technology Management from the University of Hong Kong.

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