Whichever method you utilize, you can master order picking operations by following some simple rules:
1. Conduct Proper Data Analysis.
Proper data analysis must be carried out to determine the best method for a company’s order picking operations. Data such as quantity per picks, picks per order, picks per SKU, total picks, and orders received in a day are useful for day-to-day warehousing operations. Data analysis also helps with growth projection, which is useful for future inventory management.
2. Stock Products by Frequency of Picks.
For efficiency in order picking operations, you should stock products based on frequency of picks. The fastest-moving products should be kept closest to the pick point. They should be kept at the levels that are easiest to access.
If you are using a horizontal carousel, picking time can be reduced if goods are placed neither too low nor too high. The order picker will not need to bend down or reach up to pick the products.
3. Review Slotting Regularly.
In fixed picking it is necessary to review slotting on a regular basis. Reviews should be done frequently, considering product life cycles and seasonality. Effective slotting is done when the fastest-moving products are at the most ergonomic levels and the volume across aisles is balanced to reduce order and labor congestion.
4. Use a Good Replenishment System.
For an effective picking process, forward picking areas should have a good replenishing system. There are two common methods of replenishment: visual and system generated. When a visual replenishment system is used, the operator views stock levels to determine replenishment needs. System-generated replenishment requires that minimum inventory levels be set for every location.
5. Handle Products Effectively.
Product handling is a critical part of order picking operations. The physical characteristics of the material and cubic velocity determine which equipment will be used. Conveyors, carts, and trolleys are generally used for small-load or low-cube items, while large-load or high-cube items are handled using pallets with industrial trucks.
The overall system used for managing your warehouse determines how effective your order picking operations will be. The warehouse system must support the picking system’s design. An effective order picking process can provide a competitive advantage to satisfy growing customer demands.