Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



Designing a distribution center (DC) is a complex process that consists of answering dozens of interrelated questions. From our perspective, the penultimate question is one of which picking methodology is optimal. To answer this question requires a full evaluation of picking methodologies in terms of their ability to meet the expected throughput requirements of the system. In manual picking systems, as throughput requirements increase, worker interaction and blocking increase as well. This implies that being able to estimate the amount of worker blocking in a system is critical to a design effort. Most of the prior research in this area addresses this point from an analysis perspective. In this paper we provide a design perspective based on the results from a structured simulation modeling study we conducted. We present our main result, a design rule ratio, as well as how this design rule ratio is used within a design process.


Paper 19

Publication Title

Progress in Material Handling Research: 2016