Low-Cost Tips for Speeding Up the Picking Process

Dec 14, 2011 10:30 PM  By

Location, legibility and loading can make or break your picking process. Here are some tips for success.

LOCATION IS KEY

Fewer locations for a picker to access means more efficiency. And picks themselves should be directed to the closest, easiest access locations. Sort by location if picking the order complete. Sort by SKU, then location, if one picker will handle the same product for multiple orders. Monitor pick line flows to quickly alleviate congestion in specific areas, and identify empty locations and consolidation opportunities. Keep the picking areas clean and organized. Watch for stock-outs. Your pickers should always have product available at their particular locations.

LEGIBILITY IS A MUST

Design pick documentation for maximum uncluttered readability. Clearly show the SKU, the unit of measure and quantity. Make sure location labels are legible and aisle markers are visible. When batch picking, ensure that the delivery location is easily accessible and designated on each copy and page of the pick document.

LOADING IS CRITICAL

Zone your warehouse so that fast-moving product is closest to the outbound staging areas and dock doors. Direct trailer delivery to doors that are closest to the outbound product that’s being picked. Monitor the amount of handling at the dock. While you don’t want product stacks falling over, aiming for pallet stacking perfection can be a subtle waste of time. The product will be moved again before shipment, so good is good enough.