Eng | 

Managing Complex Warehouse Systems in the E-Business Era



With rapid growth of E-commerce in China and in the world, warehouse management is facing an increasing number of new issues and challenges. This project focuses on two main classes of research problems: joint management of inventory and warehousing rental; product assortment and replenishment in fast-picking area. These problems are challenging in that they are usually dynamic in time and include uncertain factors. We will construct quantitative models to describe the practical problems and conduct thorough analysis of these models so as to derive their structural properties.

Based on these properties, we will characterize the optimal control policies of the systems, such as warehouse space rental, inventory replenishment, product assortment. Meanwhile, we will study the properties of the optimal policies to obtain managerial insights. For some of the problems that have complicated optimal policy that are difficult to implement in practice, we will further develop simple and effective heuristics. More importantly, we will collect real data and use them to validate our models and analyze practical implications of our research outcomes.

We expect the project will not only contribute to the warehousing and inventory management literature but also provide solutions and guidelines on recently emerging problems in warehouse management.


Project In-charge:    Prof.  Sean Zhou

Duration:  Jan 2015 – Dec 2018

Sponsor(s):   National Natural Science Foundation of China