e-Commerce Warehousing and Inventory Management

The current developments show a trend towards automation, as a means to be able to handle an enormous flow of small packages.
An other way to deal with this trend is to rely heavily on manual labor.
What will be the ideal way of working for an ever increasing e-commerce flow.

This questions leads to the following assignment: The KennisDC would like to have an understanding of the effective forms of warehousing for ecommerce activities.
Related to that insight is needed in the methods of inventory management and handling needed for the various product flows.

Based on this question and the assignment given by the KennisDC and the context of the research the following objective is formulated:
To gain insight in the various forms of inventory management and warehousing for the e-fulfillment process for business to consumer (B2C) flows.
This insight will be translated into a generic logistical model, which will be applied to two practical situation.

Knowledge development and value creation for the industry including deliverables (e.g. 2 articles in scientific/professional journal, paper on conference, tools, etc.):
Publication in the form of a website, or as a more traditional report. Parallel to this a presentation of the end results will take place at an event like the Vervoer Logistieke Werkdagen (VLW).
Furthermore a paper will be written of the research results for the new journal of the KennisDCs.

Knowledge development and value creation for the curricula of the academies including deliverables:
The results of the research will be used as content and as case material for the following courses: Warehousing and Strategic Inventory Management.

Key words: e-fulfillment, e-commerce, e-warehousing, inventory management.

Eric de Ruijter