Quick Tip: Create a Separate Batch for Single-Line Orders In batch picking, groups of orders are picked at the same time in order to minimize repeat visits to the same bin location. Your order management system (OMS) arranges groups of orders in picking sequence, allowing the order picker to visit a picking location and select all the items at that location for the entire group of orders. Typically the picked items are then distributed to the appropriate orders.
When programming your OMS for batch picking, Framingham, MA-based operations consultant Wayne Teres suggests creating separate single-line item batches rather than mixing single-line orders with multiline orders. “It’s a cubic volume issue,” says Teres.
Because single-line batches contain only one item per order, once you’ve picked the item you’ve completed the order. You can place it in a shopping cart and move on to the next order. With multiline orders, you generally run out of space with your batch carts much more quickly. Say you have a 1,000-order day; if the batch size was 10 orders per batch, with each batch including both single-line and multiline orders totaling 40 items, there would be 100 batches in the day. But if 20%, or 200, of those orders are single-line orders, you could store on one cart 40 single-line orders. There would be 5 batches of single line orders and 80 batches of multi-line orders for a total of 85 batches for the day, a reduction of 15 batches. And, Teres says, fewer batches translates to less time required to pick the orders, while increasing productivity and reducing costs.