IsyE 6202  Warehousing Systems

Fall 2002

Spyros Reveliotis

Room #: ISyE 316

Phone #: 894-6608




Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 1:30-2:30pm or by appointment


Course Objective

This course is an introduction to the fundamental concepts, issues and algorithms involved in the design and operation of contemporary warehouses and distribution centers. More specifically, the course seeks to offer a balanced development of the following issues:

·         A systematic exposition of the organization and operation of modern warehouses and distribution centers, and their role in the overall supply chain.

·         A systematic presentation of the equipment involved, its basic attributes and functionality, and the connection of these equipment aspects to the warehouse efficiency considerations.

·         A systematic decomposition of the overall warehouse design, operations planning and control problem to a series of sub-problems, and the development of analytical/quantitative methodologies for addressing these sub-problems.

·         Implementation of (some of) these methodologies on some basic computational tools typically used in practice (mainly through the homework and project assignments).


Course Outline

1.       The role of warehousing in contemporary supply chain management and an overview of the major warehouse functions.

2.       Overview of the major warehousing equipment, its classification based on its functionality and attributes, and the supported operational efficiencies

3.       Overview of the major warehouse design, planning and operational problems

4.       Warehouse profiling: characterizing and quantifying the warehouse operational context

5.       Warehouse Space Management and Storage Policies

6.       The Forward/Reserve Problem

7.       Zoning, Load Balancing and Bucket Brigades

8.       Order batching and pick sequencing

9.       Operational modeling and performance analysis of automated storage and handling equipment

10.   Cross-docking design and operations

11.   Possible additional miscellaneous topics

·         E-warehousing

·         Benchmarking


Course Prerequisites

Students are expected to have knowledge of (deterministic) optimization theory and be familiar with some basic probability and statistics concepts and stochastic modeling. The homework and project assignments will require also familiarity with some rather standard computer tools including Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access software, and some mathematical optimization package.


Course Policies


Homework and Projects: Homework will be assigned occasionally in the form of theoretically and computationally-oriented problems. Its main role is to help the student absorb the material and prepare her/him for the course exams. Collaboration towards its solution is allowed, but each student must turn in her/his work; photocopies will not be accepted. Homework must be turned in on the specified due date.


Projects will essentially constitute larger-scale homework problems, possessing a more extensive analysis and/or design component, and potentially requiring the use of more elaborate computational techniques and software. Their role is to let the student appreciate and understand the complexity underlying the “real-life” application of the theory presented in class.


Exams: There will be one midterm and a (comprehensive) final exam. Tentative exam dates are as follows:

·         Midterm: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2002

·         Final: Monday, Dec. 9, 2002

Exams will be closed-book, with 3 pages of notes allowed per exam. Furthermore, it is expected that your Academic Honor Code will be respected. Make-up exams and incompletes will be given only in case of emergencies, and only after officially documented proof is provided.



·         Homework: 30%

·         Midterm: 30%

·         Final: 40%


Course Reading Material

·         Materials posted on the Georgia Tech Library’s electronic reserves

·         Lectures posted on the course Web-page: courses/IE6202/Fallr-2002/course_materials.html

·         J. Bartholdi and S. Hackman, Warehouse and Distribution Science, Release 0.1.2, unpublished manuscript, accessed at:

·         Books on reserve:

·         Tompkins et. al., “Facilities Planning”, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996.

·         Heragu, S., “Facilities Design”, PWS Publishing Co., 1997.

·         Francis et. al. “Facility Layout and Location: An Analytical Approach”, 2nd ed., Prentice Hall, 1992.

·         Askin and Standridge, “Modeling and Analysis of Manufacturing Systems”, John Wiley & Sons, 1993.