ABC class-based storage is widely studied in literature and applied practice. It divides all stored items into a limited number of classes according to their demand rates (turnover per unit time). Classes of items with higher turnovers are stored in a region closer to the warehouse depot. In literature, it is commonly shown that the use of more storage classes leads to shorter travel time for storing and retrieving items. A basic assumption in this literature commonly is that the required storage space of items equals their average inventory levels, which is right if an infinite number of items are stored in each storage region. However, if a finite number of items are stored in the warehouse, more storage classes need more space to store the items: more classes lead to fewer items stored per class, which have less opportunity to share space with other items. This paper revisits ABC class-based storage by relaxing the common assumption that the total required storage space of all items is independent of the number of classes. We develop a travel time model and use it for optimizing the number and the boundaries of classes. Our numerical results illustrate that a small number of classes is optimal.
Proceedings of the International Material Handling Research Colloquium
Yu, Yugang and de Koster, René B.M., "Class-based Storage With a Finite Number of Items" (2010). 11th IMHRC Proceedings (Milwaukee, Wisconsin. USA – 2010). 34.