Warehouses come with multi-faceted and complex responsibilities. Many organizations often overlook warehouse picking. However, order picking is one of the essential warehouse activities. This activity has a significant impact on the overall order fulfillment process. Therefore, there is a need to optimize the warehouse picking process.
If you are severe about streamlining the warehouse operations, warehouse picking optimization is the right point. A minor tweak in the picking process can bring about a significant change in the overall warehouse workflow. Optimizing the picking process can increase productivity, ensure better accuracy, and speed up the cycle times. This blog post will get to know the best ways to optimize the warehouse picking process effectively.
What is Warehouse Picking Process and Why Does it Matter?
In simple words, the warehouse picking process is all about picking customers' orders. It refers to the process of selecting items from fulfillment facilities to satisfy the customers' demands. The picking process is a vital aspect of every warehouse. The time taken for order picking plays a crucial role in determining the customers' level of satisfaction. The faster is the picking process, the greater is the customer satisfaction.
How to Optimize Warehouse Picking Process
The steps to optimize the warehouse picking process is as follows:
Step 1: Conduct Order Profiling/ ABC Analysis
The very first step to optimizing the picking process in the warehouse is to collect data about how inefficiently or efficiently the inventory is being managed. Order profiling relates to understanding the warehouse's customer order and stock pattern.
An ABC analysis will enable you to classify items into three main categories based on order volume. The highest inventory volume products come under category A and need to be placed in the front. On the other hand, the lowest inventor volume items fall under category C and must be moved back. This can help in reducing walking time, thereby lowering person-hours for picking operations.
Step 2: Select the Right Picking Method
The next step is to choose the right strategy for picking a warehouse. Here are some of the standard picking methods you can choose.
- Batch Picking includes picking items to complete multiple orders in a single trip in the warehouse.
- Zone Picking - In this method, different employees are assigned different zones. The employees are responsible for picking items from the specific zone only.
- Wave Picking – Wave picking involves picking different items to complete a single order.
Step 3: Introduce a Suitable Technology
For effective optimization of the warehouse picking process, companies are now introducing new technologies. You can train several technologies, right from wearable computers to barcode scanners and voice picking systems. Leveraging these technologies will improve the speed of the picking process and increase productivity and accuracy.
Optimizing the picking process in the warehouse is the key to ensuring better order fulfillment and greater customer satisfaction. It helps increase the accuracy of the inventory and improve the overall process's productivity. Optimizing the picking process involves mainly three steps. They collect and analyze data, select the best picking method, and introduce new technologies. You know the right way to optimize the picking process, get organized, and experience better outcomes.