There are more than 1,500 warehouses in the UK. As demand increases for warehouse storage and shipping goods, having a better organized and more efficient warehouse can be what sets most ahead of their competitors.
We all know that the best way to optimize warehouse functioning is by using the right order picking system. However, the key to success is choosing the right system compatible with the current and future needs of the business.
Understanding the difference between the types of order picking systems available is a good place to start. Read on.
- Single Order Picking
Single order picking, also called discrete picking, is the simplest order picking system there is.
Single picking is when each picker only picks one order at a time. Oftentimes, there is only one picker employed. This method is only recommended and cost-efficient for new small businesses that have less than 20 orders a day. These businesses can't afford and don't need a more efficient system.
- Batch Order Picking
If a company is sending out several orders a day that have only a few items each, then batch picking might be more suitable.
With batch picking, multiple pickers are employed. Each picker is assigned several items that they pick out all at once before returning for a new set. Then, the process repeats. Depending on the products shipped, businesses can decide to make each assigned set based on the number of orders or the number of total items.
- Zone Order Picking
If orders consist of several items each or warehouse order pickers have to walk to different areas of the warehouse. A zone order picking system can save time and money. With zone picking, the warehouse is split into multiple zones, and each order picker gets their own zone.
Once an order comes through, it makes it's way to each zone, where the picker can grab the items in that zone, before moving to the next.
While this picking system will require the employment of more pickers, it will save time, prevent warehouse pickers from getting in each other's way, and result in fewer left out items.
Alternatively investing in automation technology can also help improve efficiencies. Studies show that the UK warehousing industry will grow 5.7% annually over the next 5 years, resulting in more warehouses investing in these technologies.
- Wave Order Picking
Wave picking is almost the same as zone picking, except each zone receives the order at the same time. The packer collects the collected items, preventing the order from stopping at each zone one at a time. Wave order picking can be more costly but will save time, allowing for faster shipping. This warehouse picking system is more suited for highly established businesses.
Choose The Right Order Picking System
Understanding the different types of picking processes is just the start, once a system is in place getting the right rugged hardware to support the operation requires access to experts who understand the rugged warehouse environment. To learn more check out these warehouse products and solutions for boosting efficiency.