On 8 September 2016 TRAIL PhD student Jelmer van der Gaast successfully defended his thesis ‘Stochastic Models for Order Picking Systems’ at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Order picking, the process of retrieving customer orders from their storage locations, is the most critical operation in a warehouse. Any under performance in order picking can lead to unsatisfactory service and high operational cost for the warehouse, and consequently for the whole supply chain in which the company operates. This thesis develops new stochastic models for the performance evaluation of two state-of-the art order picking systems: zone picking and polling-based milkrun picking. These models adequately describe and predict the consequences of variability on the performance of these warehousing systems.