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3 Ways To Speed Up Your Order Picking

Posted by on February 19, 2020 in Stuff with 0 Comments

Order picking can be extremely time-consuming.   And, devising ways to speed the process up is important to the overall overhead of the company.  But, how?  This can be a monumental challenge that some of us wish we could take lessons from some of the big guys.  How do you get everything pulled and pulled properly in a timely fashion?  This will in return reduce the overhead of the company and provide the best service you can for your customers at the same time.

1. Don't mix multiple SKUs in one location

Nothing slows down someone picking as mixing the SKUs and location.  So, for example, you have 10 SKU numbers all on the same shelf location.  This will slow someone down immediately as they have to ensure they have the right SKU for their particular order. However, if you have individual locations for all the SKUs, this could make things go better.  This not only slows the process down but it can be a cause for shipping the wrong product or pulling the wrong product.   Having them on the same shelf but in separate bins can reduce this a bit.  This is why it is important that your shelving and inventory stay as organized as possible.

2. Group hot items together

Place your inventory in a way that makes sense for picking.  If you have some hot items that are the best sellers, have them in the warehouse together.  This will reduce the picking time and travel time.  These should be the closest to the shipping area as possible to further reduce the travel time.  These are the items that you see come across in orders more than any other item.  This will allow easy access and with the right bins and carts, pickers can pull multiple items in that location all at the same time, without mixing them up.  Have the people sort the orders by what is on them.  Then, the orders with only the hot items can be pulled all at one time, while some of the other orders that might take more time can be done separately.  This will speed the process of order picking up tremendously.  However, you may need to look at what carts and bins would help make this more efficient.  Some great order picking carts can be found at http://nationalcart.com/.

3. Organization

Just like anything else, the organization of the warehouse is important.  The object is to not have the people constantly moving the same boxes over and over again.  You want to optimize it so that they can pick the order easily and not handle a bunch of things in the way.  This means the least amount of times an object is touched the better.  The more they touch and move it, the more that time it takes to pick the order.

Order picking is a huge part of a business and one that will take some getting used to.  However, some trial and error never hurt either.  Try a few different options to see if it improves your order picking times.  See what works for you and your employees.

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