Workforce planning models for distribution center operations

Athul Gopala Krishna, Vittaldas V. Prabhu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Customer order fulfillment at distribution centers (DC) is increasingly necessitated by innovative strategies to maximize operational performance that are primarily driven by cost and service level under supply chain variability. In order to better understand the tradeoffs, in this paper, a generic computational model is developed to estimate forklift travel times for DCs with any arbitrary floor space and loading docks. In particular, travel times are modelled as random variables and the moments of the probability distribution of travel times are estimated and used as inputs to analytical queueing model and discrete event simulation model. Results show that the analytical and simulation models are within 3% under different demand scenarios. These models are used to determine the impact of work-force capacity on key performance measures such as Truck Processing Time (TPT) and Labor Hours Per Truck (LHPT). The workforce capacity for different demand scenarios is determined using three different approaches - Target Utilization Level, Square Root Staffing (SRS) rule (adapted from call center staffing) and Optimization. The result from these models indicate that adapting workforce capacity to match varying demand can reduce cost by 18% while maintaining desired service level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Production Management Systems
Subtitle of host publicationInitiatives for a Sustainable World - IFIP WG 5.7 International Conference, APMS 2016, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsIrenilza Naas, Oduvaldo Vendrametto, Joao Mendes Reis, Rodrigo Franco Goncalves, Marcia Terra Silva, Gregor Kiritsis, Gregor von Cieminski
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783319511320
StatePublished - 2016
EventIFIP WG 5.7 International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, APMS 2016 - Iguassu Falls, Brazil
Duration: Sep 3 2016Sep 7 2016

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
ISSN (Print)1868-4238


OtherIFIP WG 5.7 International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, APMS 2016
City Iguassu Falls

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management


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