HOLM - Task allocation to operators based on individual capabilities in order picking


The high proportion of manual material handling in picking results in high physical work load on the employees. This leads to a risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders, especially in older people or personnel with less work capability.

Picking orders are usually given to employees randomly or according to the FIFO principle. Individual skills or work capabilities of the employees are not taken into account.

This project (HA project no .: 855 / 20-12) is funded by the State of Hessen and the HOLM funding as part of the measure “Innovations in the area of logistics and mobility” of the Hessian Ministry of Economy, Energy, Transport and Housing.


The aim of the project, which is being carried out in cooperation with the Department of Management and Logistics at the TU Darmstadt (Prof. Elbert), is to determine the potential of a for allocation of order picking tasks depending on individual human- and process-related factors. The individual abilities and skills of the individual order picker are taken into account, particularly regarding the demographic change.


First of all, capability indicators are derived from the heterogeneous constitution and disposition of individual pickers on the one hand and process indicators from the picking orders on the other.

By implementing these capability indicators in the individual agents, different task allocation heuristics can be simulated in a standard model of a warehouse in AnyLogic for different order structures.

Finally, the model can be evaluated on the basis of the ergonomic and economic results.


  • Development of capability indicators for individual pickers
  • Consideration of the individual performance for different task allocation heuristics
  • Assessment of the potential of an appropriate order picking task allocation heuristic in relation to the reduction of individual demands and the determination of the consequences for the economic result