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Warehousing and Distribution

Warehouses are critical parts of the overall supply chain. They are the points where the product pauses and is touched, consuming both space and time (labor hours). Space and time, in turn, are expenses. By developing mathematical and computer models to fine-tune the layout and operations of a warehouse, managers can significantly reduce labor costs associated with product distribution, increase warehouse space utilization, and improve the overall flow of project.

In response to the challenges facing warehousing and distribution centers both at home and abroad, the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISyE) established a Center of Focused Research in Warehousing and Distribution. Housed in the Supply Chain and Logistics Institute, Dr. John Bartholdi serves as its director. Bartholdi, the Manhattan Associates Chair of Supply Chain Management, and Associate Professor Steven Hackman are developing a science of warehousing and distribution to optimize such aspects as management, storage and handling, layout, operations, and order-picking. item flow-through times.

Some current research activities include:

  • Design and operations of temperature-controlled international supply chains for distribution of products such as wine, fresh fruits, and vaccines.
  • Design of self-organizing order-picking systems
  • Development of software to slot “fast pick” areas to better utilize prime warehousing real estate and reduce labor costs.
  • Development of warehouse activity profiling and visualization software to help managers find inefficiencies in operations and layout
  • Design and layout of cross docks for better quicker item flow through times
  • Strategies for optimal cycle counting to reconcile book and physical inventories.
  • Warehouse slotting to account for product afffinity
  • Configuration of distribution networks
  • Last mile delivery

Creating efficient and effective warehousing and distribution systems is an extremely important initiative that is vital to supply chain management and the global economy.

ISyE location map

Georgia Tech Supply Chain and
Logistics Institute
H. Milton Stewart School of
Industrial & Systems Engineering
765 Ferst Drive, NW, Suite 228
Atlanta, GA 30332
Phone: 404.894.2343