James Hamister (Committee Member), Pratik Parikh (Advisor), Xinhui Zhang (Committee Member)
Master of Science in Engineering (MSEgr)
Distribution networks often manage products with varying life-cycles, where demand for some products is relatively stable throughout the year (basic products) and the demand for others is short-lived (fashion products). Beyond the coordination of inventory and transportation decisions, decisions at the warehouse must be considered as its resources are frequently shared by both product classes simultaneously. For this two-product class distribution planning problem, we focus on characterizing three real-world distribution strategies observed in industry and evaluating them based on total distribution cost and warehouse measures (e.g., workforce plan and workload variation) against a benchmark ILS-based heuristic. Experimental results suggest that there are in fact strategies in industry that under specific system configurations may provide competitive solutions compared to the benchmark heuristic on large problem instances (e.g., 200 stores, 1000 products, 28 days). Several managerial insights are derived to compare such distinct warehouse strategies and the corresponding impact on the network.
Department or Program
Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering
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