Albert Heijn and Erasmus School of Economics collaborate for a real-world case study

A blue Albert Heijn crate used for delivery of online orders

Students who enrolled in the seminar Logistic Case Studies, part of the Master’s programme Operations Research and Quantitative Logistics, had the amazing opportunity to apply techniques from their studies to a real-world case presented by Albert Heijn.

The case presented by Albert Heijn centred around the problem of packaging the orders placed on its online store ah.nl. The students worked on this case for 8 weeks in teams of four under the supervision of Dr Evelot Westerink-Duijzer, lecturer at Erasmus School of Economics.

By using sophisticated techniques the students learned in their econometric courses, such as Column Generation and Biased Genetic Algorithm framework, the students were able to come up with some clever solutions. Finally, the students were able to significantly reduce the number of crates needed per set of orders.

But that was not all, the students also brainstormed about how to minimize the number of aisles that Albert Heijn’s employees have to go through in the home shop centers, to reduce unnecessary walking time. The students developed an intriguing algorithm, that incorporated this minimization in the number of aisles in the Biased Genetic Algorithm framework technique.

All in all, both the students and Albert Heijn had a great time. Both parties managed to learn a lot from each other.

 

Assistant professor
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For more information about how both Albert Heijn and the students experienced this Seminar, click here.

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