The picking process is a manual, labour-intensive process, whose efficiency is affected by a number of different factors, which contribute to determine the travel distance covered by pickers. This paper describes the development of an original software tool programmed with Microsoft ExcelTM to help design picker-to-parts order picking systems and simultaneously evaluate the effect and interactions of various design and operating factors on the process performance. The software allows the geometry of any rectangular warehouse to be reproduced as a function of its main parameters, i.e. the number of aisles and cross-aisles, shape factor and total storage capacity, and the application of four routing policies to be simulated. The software was applied to derive the travel distance as a function of the routing policy, shape factor, number of cross-aisles and length of the order picking list, in a warehouse of fixed storage capacity.
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