In this episode we dive into the world were e-commerce becomes physical. We talk about the bol.com Fulfilment Center (BFC). Within these centres, we have several challenges and one of these challenges has to do with the picking algorithm. The pick algorithm determines the route in a warehouse that is performed to pick all the products for a set of customers.
As bol.com we have very high volumes of products that we must send from our warehouses to customers every day. So, it makes sense to optimize the distance that has to be walked to get those products from the racks. Besides the distance, it is also key that no waiting times occur, so the operators should be able to walk around and not wait for others. That is the reason that when you have a look inside the fulfilment centres you see the same goods spread over different places. Especially the fast moving ones. If we bring down the time needed to pick a product, we can pick more products per person per time unit.
Peter Paul van de Beek
Reflex; the Warehouse Management system used by bol.com
Adelia; the 4gl tool used to add functionality to the WMS