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Case study: Optimizing the placement of articles in manual picking zones

The location of individual articles in the picking zone determines the routes, the picking effort and the associated costs. For a large logistics company, COSMO CONSULT developed an optimization process that resulted in saving between 10 to 20 percent of the routes.

Key facts

  • Reducing the number of routes associated with order picking
  • Automatically improving the existing placement of items
  • Providing short runtime optimization despite many constraints
  • Simulating different scenarios and parameters

Initial situation

A large logistics service provider manages manual picking zones at several locations. The article placement was based on the expertise and experience of individual employees. In order to reduce the average order picking effort, it was necessary to minimize the distances. However, a simple sorting by randomization did not lead to the desired result because it is particularly the combination of the individual articles in the orders that is relevant to the placement.

Added to this were other restrictions such as dimensions, weight or cooling zones.

The aim of the project thus was to develop a solution for optimizing article placement in manual picking zones.

Approach

After conducting a comprehensive analysis of the problem, COSMO CONSULT initially developed a software architecture that consists largely of a preprocessing module and an optimization module. The basis of the optimization is a mathematical model that can be further customized. 

Additional benefit

For most cases, the process succeeded in saving between 10 to 20 percent of the routes. In addition, it made it much easier for the local employees to check different variants. The result is a sustainable, systematic optimization of the picking zone with a corresponding cost reduction.

Ask our experts

COSMO CONSULT has many years of experience in providing digital solutions in the field of data science. Our services are based on a clear approach, detailed knowledge of business processes, and excellent product expertise. Our experts will be happy to advise you on the unique possibilities available to you when you use modern software technologies. Please give us a call! We look forward to talking with you on how your business can enter the digital age.

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