Order picking can make up as much as 55% of your operational costs so it pays to be as efficient as possible. Quick and accurate picking methods also result in satisfied customers, so it makes sense to pick the right method for your warehouse.
Whichever methodology makes sense for your business, the picking method must be supported by the design of your facility. When precision is required, the racking configuration and the overall design and layout of your warehouse become critical. Picking, packing and shipping are simply part of the bigger picture when it comes to making handling decisions. Here are four more picking methodologies to consider.
This takes discrete picking a stage further, allowing one picker to pick one order from your rivet shelving SKUs one at a time. The big difference here is that this method uses a scheduling window, so you can coordinate your picking operations precisely with your packing and shipping operations.
This is an efficient method when you use the flexibility of scheduling to line up your orders. However, it still involves a significant amount of travel time.
Zone batch picking
Your rivet shelving SKUs may be divided into different zones with assigned pickers in a traditional zone picking methodology. However, with zone batch picking you can also direct a picker to batch pick within the given zone for improved efficiency.
Another benefit is that both zone and batch picking work with scheduling windows, so this method can also be used to optimise the picking, packing and shipping cycle.
Zone wave picking
This type of picking methodology takes it up a notch again. First pickers are assigned their zones, and then they pick every item that is stocked within their SKU one line at a time until the order is complete. Again, this process has the advantage of featuring a scheduling window, so once a completed order has been picked, it can then proceed immediately to packing and shipping with flawless scheduling.
Zone batch wave picking
This is without doubt the most complex methodology of them all, but can also be the most effective. First, the picker is assigned a zone and will pick all orders from the SKUs in that particular zone. However, the picker can pick from multiple SKUs, and there may be multiple scheduled windows for logistical purposes.