Warehouses are a vital part of a supply chain. They are large buildings used for storing lots of different products before they are shipped out to suppliers or wherever they are needed. Getting orders out quickly and effectively is of high importance. When you have a huge building and a huge array of products to pick from for different people, this can be quite challenging. This is where the concepts of efficient warehouse picking come into play.
Warehouse picking can be said to be a process where items or products are picked from a facility so that customer orders can be satisfied. It is a stage of the customer order fulfillment process in which stored items are retrieved, packed and then shipped. You can read more on it here.
Why A Good Picking Strategy is Important
A good picking strategy helps to reduce inefficiencies therefore, warehouse inventory control managers have to make certain that the right strategies are used. A warehouse must utilize a strategy that is effective based on its layout, the different products available and the equipment that is utilized. Here are some reasons why it is important.
It Reduces Costs
A good picking system makes the job more effective and efficient, there will be fewer errors but more accuracy and speed. Less time will be spent in retrieving items and this, in turn helps to reduce costs and increase revenue.
It Helps In Customer Satisfaction
Your customer wants their order complete and in time. Good picking will ensure this. It is what makes the difference between an incomplete, incorrect and untimely order therefore it is vital to get this stage of supply right. If not done well, it can result in more returns and bad reviews. It may also affect patronage.
It Makes The Pickers’ Jobs Easier
Humans are susceptible to errors but with the right strategy, that can be reduced to a minimum. By providing optimized routes and methods, pickers can work accurately and will spend less time sorting and fulfilling orders.
Best Warehouse Picking Strategies
Having seen the importance of having a good warehouse picking strategy, what are some of the best ones available? Bear in mind that the right strategy has to go together with a warehouse that is optimized. This means that spaces must be used efficiently and the place must be organized such that similar items are put side by side. Below are a few good strategies.
This is a strategy that is used to prepare multiple but similar orders simultaneously. It is good for identical orders. They can be grouped into batches in the same area so the picker stays around that area instead of having to move around to pick items. Batching helps to improve productivity by reducing repeated trips and time to move around collecting items.
This is also known as “pick and pass”. In this method, items are picked based on different zones in the warehouse until they are complete and ready for packing and shipping. This strategy is especially good for a warehouse that has a diverse inventory. The place is divided into different zones and workers will be assigned to specific zones so that they pick from that specific area only.
What this means is that if a particular order contains items from different areas, different pickers will pick such items from their zones. They will then send these out to be packaged along with orders from other zones. This method is suitable for warehouses that have to fulfill orders with many items. One of its benefits is that pickers will become familiar with their zones and therefore the chance for errors is reduced.
This strategy that tends to combine batch and zone picking. In this method, pickers move through the warehouse and pick multiple items simultaneously from different zones. Afterward, the products are organized and sorted for each order. For this strategy to work, the warehouse must have an area large enough to be used for sorting the orders after collation.
This kind of strategy is schedule-based and factors such as labor, shipping dates, delivery times and pick-ups are taken into account for proper planning. Instead of assigning orders to pickers chronologically, the orders are grouped and priority is given to those that are more important and need to be shipped out early. You can read more on these strategies as well as technologies that you can employ here https://us.blog.kardex-remstar.com/warehouse-order-picking-strategies.
Getting the right strategy for picking items from your storage is of great importance. Not only does it help to make things easier but it also ensures that you can keep your clients satisfied and reduce the cost of operation. Additionally, the layout and organization of your warehouse is an important factor for making your strategy work efficiently.