What is picking?
The process of preparing orders or products that make up a customer’s order is known as picking.
It is an important part of the logistics chain and can lead to high operating costs if not managed correctly. In addition, picking operations are complex activities in which it is necessary to know exactly what the reference of each item is. Such activities can take a long time to complete and a well-structured strategy must be followed.
At a general level, the objective is based on optimising these logistics operations, guaranteeing a continuous supply of products and materials to ensure uninterrupted services.
This responsibility begins when the product is received and ends when it is classified for dispatch.
It is an order preparation method that consists of collecting several units with the same reference for different orders. This system facilitates the preparation of many orders at the same time by separating them into batches. Subsequently, they are grouped into packages based on their destination.
This picking system allows the preparation of orders efficiently and massively. In this way, several orders can be handled at the same time and take advantage of the order-picking routes, thus reducing the number of trips and the problems associated with congestion in the warehouse aisles.
This type of picking is a method that consists of processing orders and grouping them by different criteria, such as the type of product, carrier or packaging, among others. This collection system is optimal for orders for items with high rotation and whose references coincide in a high percentage.
It is also ideal for those cases in which all orders are loaded together for the same delivery route. The delivery man is the one who is in charge of separating the products by order at the time of delivery.
Picking on pallets
With this method, the goods are placed on pallets to be picked up later by means of picking actions. They must be well-identified and classified. Products with less rotation are placed on the upper pallets and those with higher rotation are placed on the lower ones. Trolleys or pallet trucks will be used for the lower levels and high-reach forklifts for the higher levels.
Pick to light
It is a light system connected to warehouse management software in which the displays light up as orders are received for preparation. When the operator sees the light, he goes to the merchandise quickly and efficiently, finding it easily.
This system marks the number of products included in the order for said reference and the operator confirms the removal operation by pressing the buttons on the device each time they are removed.
Put to light
It is an addition to the “Pick to light” mechanism. The device will be placed in the area where the operators must deposit the merchandise that makes up each order. Each location will have a luminous display associated with it.
When this is activated, it will visually show the operator the location where to deposit the load and the quantity demanded for each order. For the very common classification processes in e-commerce businesses, this system guarantees a fast and intuitive error-free process.
Picking at ground level
Product picking at above-ground levels is the most efficient as they allow order-picking operations to be carried out with greater speed and lower cost. Costs and operating errors are reduced.
Medium level picking
The merchandise is deposited on shelves no more than 4m high. Mechanical means are required to access all products. It is an intermediate zone between the high areas and ground level. It acts as an order preparation area that makes the process more agile.
They are designed to take advantage of all the available heights. Means of support and other methods are needed.
Keys to optimising picking actions:
The picking process can be optimised to improve the efficiency and productivity of any logistics company. To achieve this, as per Exfro, all the processes that makeup said activity must be reviewed.
1. Each reference must be located at a specific site
With this, it is possible to find the products much faster and thus optimise order preparation times.
2. Short distances and optimised routes
It is necessary to create operating patterns and adequately plan each route of the operators so that it can be carried out in the shortest possible time. Each of them must have a purpose and not be done in vain.
3. It is important that the process is carried out close to the ground
In this way, it is achieved that all operations are within the reach of the operator without having to travel.
4. Bet on technology
Companies that update and adapt to new technologies gain competitiveness and improve all their processes. You will be at a disadvantage if your competitors implement new technologies and you do not.
5. Maintain a minimum level of stock
This is one of the most important points and one that many companies do not take into account. The operator’s journey to remove the product will be in vain if he does not find what he is looking for. If a minimum of stock is foreseen, this type of situation will not occur.
Did you know all these keys to optimising picking processes? Do you need to install a picking shelving system in your warehouse?