Warehouse management is a critical process that involves several operations, one of which is picking. Picking is the process of retrieving stored items and preparing them for shipment, and it plays a vital role in ensuring customer satisfaction and reducing operational costs. Despite its apparent simplicity, poor execution of the picking process can lead to labour jobs and revenue losses for the company.
This blog post will cover the basics of picking in a warehouse. This will include the various types of picking, picking methods, and best practices that can help optimise the process.
Following these guidelines can improve your picking operations and maximise your warehouse’s efficiency.
Types of Picking
There are several types of picking methods that a warehouse can use. These methods are:
1. Piece picking: This method involves selecting individual items from their storage location to fulfil an order.
2. Batch picking: Involves retrieving multiple orders at once, grouping them by product type, and sorting them into individual orders.
3. Zone picking: This method involves assigning different warehouse areas to pickers, each responsible for a specific zone.
4. Wave picking: Involves dividing the picking process into several stages, each focusing on a particular set of items.
Several picking methods can be used to retrieve items from storage. These methods are:
1. Paper-based picking: The paper-picking list is generated, and pickers use this list to locate items in the warehouse.
2. Pick-to-light picking: This method uses a light system to guide pickers to the exact location of the item they need to pick.
3. Voice picking: In this method, a headset and microphone are used to communicate with pickers, which are then directed to the location of the item they need to pick.
Best Practices for Picking
To optimise the picking process in your warehouse, it is essential to follow best practices that enhance speed, accuracy, and efficiency. These best practices include:
1. Prioritise pick paths: Organise the warehouse layout so pickers can easily access the items they need to pick. Prioritise pick paths to minimise travel time and improve efficiency.
2. Automate the picking process: Use automated picking methods, such as pick-to-light or voice picking, to reduce human errors, increase speed, and improve accuracy.
3. Optimise the picking list: Use software to generate optimised picking lists that group orders by item type, location, and priority, reducing the time pickers spend travelling around the warehouse.
4. Use data to improve the picking process: Collect data on picking performance, such as the number of orders fulfilled per hour or the time taken per item picked, to identify areas for improvement and optimise the process.
In warehouse management, picking is an essential operation that demands high speed, accuracy, and efficiency. Employing suitable picking techniques and adhering to the best practices can enhance the process, minimise expenses, and boost customer satisfaction.
It is essential to prioritise pick paths, automate the procedure, optimise the picking list, and utilise data to enhance the picking process continually.
To handle any combination of the aforementioned approaches, Boltrics 3PL Dynamics can assist in creating a system-driven picking process that is more likely to be faster, more efficient, and more accurate.
This will ultimately lead to improved warehouse management and increased overall productivity.
Mercurius IT has a skilled and committed team of professionals eager to elevate your business operations through our comprehensive range of services. We offer end-to-end solutions tailored to your needs, from consultation to implementation, customisation, and ongoing support.
Interested in implementing Dynamics 365 CRM to your business?
Leave your details in the contact form to get started.