Learn different warehouse-picking processes, from zone picking to automation, that increase the efficiency of your warehouse’s order fulfillment method.
It doesn’t matter what link you are in the supply chain; developing and maintaining an efficient Warehouse Management System (WMS) to meet the increasing demands eCommerce has placed on customer order fulfillment is crucial. This article will focus on ways you can improve the efficiency and safety of your warehouse or distribution center.
Order Picking Methods
First, let’s look at standard methods used in the order-picking process.
In zone picking, each picker covers a different zone in the warehouse and pulls items for orders which fall within the pick zone. In this fashion, zone picking for large orders can resemble an assembly line where each zone picker manages only a portion of the total order as they pick and pass goods and materials. This can allow for more efficient picking as it reduces walking time, no matter the number of orders.
Batch picking, sometimes called cluster picking, is an order-picking strategy that involves one picker gathering items that have been organized into groups or batches based on their SKUs. For example, items can be grouped into pick locations based on their popularity or likelihood to be in the same order based on trends.
Wave picking is a process in which each order received by the warehouse is broken down into line items and then organized to maximize shipping and picking operations by matching it with other charges. Then, a single picker can collect similar orders in a single wave, reducing picking time.
Discrete order picking is usually used in small warehouses or for less complex orders. It consists of one worker picking items for a single charge. While this methodology is more time-consuming and labor-intensive, it minimizes the number of hands as an order is picked without additional sorts. This can result in greater order accuracy and fewer picking errors.
Automation and Other Tools as Part of Your Picking Strategy
For large warehouse operations and distribution centers, it may become beneficial, profitability-wise, to add a measure of automation. While systems using mobile robots, automatic pickers, and conveyor systems require specific warehouse layouts, they can significantly increase efficiency under high-volume warehousing conditions.
While barcode scanners have been used for inventory tracking for quite a while, the technology continues to evolve and improve. The best barcode scanners can reduce the possibility of human error by helping your system track and analyze inventory while ensuring the right picking is happening. Most even have the bonus of showing their user the actual inventory location.
Voice Picking Equipment
Voice picking is a warehouse picking process where the pick list is hands-free. The pickers receive real-time instruction through a headset and microphone attached to a wearable device. Many of these systems include feedback functionality where the pickers can send vital information back to the inventory management system.
Whether you use manual pallet jacks or a fleet of forklifts, adding pallet carts to your picking strategy can be a game changer. Pallet carts are a safe and efficient way to move pallets around a facility with or without using a forklift. Nutting offers both single-pallet and double-pallet carts, as well as customizable options to suit the specific needs of your operation. Our pallet carts are built with safety in mind, and our team of experts can help you select the suitable model for your facility.
Order Picker Platforms
In particular, the Nutting order picker platforms, in particular, are secure, stable surfaces that operators can use to transport products within a facility. These platforms are attached to order pickers via an optional clamping mechanism and can be lifted to the desired level using the picker’s lifting mechanism. This allows operators to easily maneuver the platform alongside storage racks and transfer products to carts or other storage areas.
Nutting has the Right Tools for Your Picking Operation.
Whether you’re looking to streamline your order fulfillment process, lower operating costs, reduce travel time for your pickers, maximize customer satisfaction, or increase equipment functionality, Nutting has you covered. The Nutting order picker platform is the perfect way to quickly and easily pick and load materials from warehouse racks. This forklift accessory makes your picking and delivery operations more efficient. Order picker platforms are available in various sizes and configurations to meet your needs.
The benefits of choosing Nutting’s order picking platforms include the following:
Increase operator safety and productivity
Reduce product damage
Improve facility efficiency
Fully customizable to meet your specific needs
Allow Nutting to help improve efficiency and ergonomics in your facility. Be part of an innovative material handling solution. Contact us today