May 09, 2020

Warehouse processes: pick preparation

Order picking is the most expensive activity in today’s warehouses. Not only is it labour intensive, but it's challenging to automate, are often difficult to plan, is susceptible to error and crucially features a direct impact on customer service. Typical errors include omitting items from the order, sending the incorrect item and sending the incorrect number of things. Companies target the picking operation because the area during which productivity improvements can make a big difference to overall costs.
The trade-off during this instance is between speed, cost and accuracy. Managers are trying to find quick response times, high accuracy rates and high productivity but a minimum of cost.
Satisfying these factors will determine the kinds of picking systems and processes chosen. The picking operation has changed significantly over the past 20 years.

Previously, full-case and pallet pick attended to be the norm. Today, concepts like just in time, the expansion in online shopping and significant reductions so as lead times have resulted in smaller order quantities and more frequent deliveries.
This type of picking is mentioned as item, eaches, broken-case or split-case picking.
The imperative here is to make sure that picking accuracy is measured before the order leaves the warehouse so as that operative are often informed of their performance and extra training instigated if required.

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