The task of warehouse picking plays an essential role in any distribution process. Warehouse picking refers to the picking of products based on the order received. As special care is needed while picking up the right product requested in the order, the warehouse picker is specially trained for the task.
The cost incurred on warehouse picking amounts to more than 50% of the distribution costs. The work atmosphere will be good only when the warehouse picking system is planned perfectly and implemented. Hence, specific picking strategies must be implemented to reduce the cost.
What Is The Picking Process In A Warehouse?
The picking process in a warehouse is standard irrespective of the size of the warehouse. The movement order is received, the picker is given a list of ordered products. The picker then approaches the location where the ordered products are stored. The picker then picks the required stock and reaches the shipping station to pack the product.
What Are The Various Warehouse Picking Strategies Available?
The implementation of picking strategies or order picking methods depends on the order received. It would help if you implemented the appropriate picking strategies based on the situation. The way the stocks are arranged, the available workforce in the warehouse, etc., affect the picking strategies. Some of the warehouse picking methods are as follows:
1. Batch picking
When the pickers are supposed to travel a long distance inside the warehouse to pick the stock frequently, the task becomes tedious. As soon as the order is received, the picker checks other charges and picks sufficient supplies to fulfill multiple orders with the same stock. When batch picking is done, much time is saved, and You can avoid various trips for the exact location.
2. Zone Picking
When a warehouse is vast and consists of several varieties of stocks, then management of the warehouse becomes more straightforward if the similar stocks are arranged systematically in a single zone. Each zone should be assigned a single picker who picks the respective product and hands it out to the person to collect the stocks.
3. Discrete Picking
It is the most common order picking method followed in many smaller warehouses. Whenever an order is received, the picker ensures to pick the items in the order one after the other until all the things are selected that are mentioned in the order. This way, a thorough check is done and ensures that all the items are picked. Even though this method is time-consuming, you can obtain customer satisfaction as special care is taken to pick the correct item desired by the customer.
4. Cluster Picking
When the items related to two or more orders are picked at a time, it is called cluster picking. The benefit of cluster picking is that the task of picking can be done fast. But there is a chance of getting confused while bifurcating the products. At that time, the items can be segregated based on the order. Cluster picking proves to be beneficial when there is a lack of workforce.
5. Wave Picking
This method is like discrete picking, where one picker picks one product at a time. In wave picking, the time is scheduled, and the picker does the task at that time. Therefore, only one order is picked by the picker at the scheduled time.
6. Zone-Batch Picking
Like a traditional zone picking, even this combination works. In a particular zone, the picker is assigned the task of batch picking.
7. Zone-Wave Picking
This is a combination of zone and wave picking. The picker picks items of a particular zone related to one order at a scheduled time.
Now that you know about the different order picking methods, it's time to decide which one is right for your business. Keep in mind that each method has its own set of pros and cons, so make sure to weigh all your options before making a decision. And if you need help getting started, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team at Simpl. We'd be happy to assist you with pick, pack and shipping!