8 Warehouse Picking Methods

What warehouse workers can do to streamline processes.

8 Best Warehouse Picking Methods To Streamline Operations

HOW TO SRTEAMLINE A WAREHOUSE WITH EFFICIENT PICKING SYSTEMS

Picking items from the warehouse inventory is a vital step in customer order fulfillment. Since a lot of customer complaints are about getting the wrong item, it is important to boost picking and sorting efficiency so that the process is expedited and mistakes are minimized. Not only will this improve customer satisfaction, it will also enhance profit margins since picking accounts for a substantial part of warehouse costs.

Picking items from warehouse racking and shelves might seem straightforward, but there is a lot that can be done to improve the process.

Here are the best picking methods that logistics and warehouse facilities can use to boost
picking efficiency.

1. Pick Items Once

Make sure that you pick the right item in the first go. This will prevent rework, customer complaints and loss in productivity. Use shipping cartons in place of tote.

2. Verification

You need to have a system in place that allows verification of the picking process to minimize errors and rework. The right scanning equipment can warehouse personnel to verify that they picked the right items for customers.

3. Storage Method

The right storage method can bring several methods. Slotting, for example, may help to cut down retrieval time, minimize congestion and bring down accidents.

Give due regard to how warehouse inventory is arranged. This can greatly enhance worker productivity thereby allowing you to fulfill more orders in less time.

4. The 80/20 Method

The 80/20 rule shows up everywhere and warehouses are no exception to this ubiquitous rule.

Identify about 20% items that account for around 80% of all orders. This is based on the premise that a few high selling items are responsible for most of the sales.

Grouping these items in one place can reduce the total distance that workers have to traverse. This will reduce the average time required to retrieve an item and thus boost warehouse efficiency.

5. Picking Methods

The right picking and retrieval strategy can bring several advantages. Think about various picking methods and find one that will best suit your facility.

For instance, the zone picking method entails assigning one worker to a warehouse area. This can reduce distance travelled and thus bolster picking efficiency.

7. Automation

Automation can reduce distance travelled and greatly reduce the average time taken to pick a product.

Bear in mind that workers spend over half their time walking around to pick items. The use of conveyor belt, workstations, or other automated solutions can reduce walking time.

A benefit of such automation is that it can reduce worker fatigue and thus bring down errors and rework.

8. More Technology

Are your workers using the very latest in scanning technology? Good scanning equipment empowers workers to quickly scan items and confirm that the right item has been retrieved.

You can also deploy mobile carts that can work as a highly portable workstation. The prime benefit of these highly maneuverable platforms is that they can be placed in a prime location that minimizes distance travelled by workers to and from their workstation.

You can enhance picking efficiency with the methods outlined above.

MIDCOM has been helping warehousing companies improve efficiency since 1982. Talk to a Specialist today by calling (800) 643-2664.
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