A distribution center with the latest technology and automated processes is more likely to assure accurate order fulfillment. Fulfilling orders requires picking and packing, and there are a variety of methods.
In this post, we’re discussing commonly used picking and packing processes.
The Picking Process:
When an order is received, a client sends a pick list to the warehouse management system (WMS). The WMS allows clients to see their orders picked and packed in real time, offering full visibility.
The pick list contains the items that are retrieved from inventory and added to the order. It tells the picker the order SKU, quantity and location of the items in the warehouse. The WMS assigns the most efficient method of picking depending on the pick list information.
Here are some widely used picking methods:
- Piece Picking: Employee picks each item from the list to complete the order. This process works best for small orders. Large orders require more time from a single employee, slowing down the fulfillment process.
- Batch Picking: Employee gathers the same items while working on multiple lists. This works best when different customers have the same item included in their order. Picking efficiency increases, as an employee limits repeated visits to the same area.
- Zone Picking: Employee is assigned to a specific area of the warehouse. They complete one order at a time, only picking items from within their designated area. If there are items in the order outside of the employee’s zone, the order is moved by conveyor belt.
- Wave Picking: Similar to zone picking, an employee works in a specified area of the warehouse while completing orders from multiple lists.
The packing process occurs when picking is completed. Items from the order are appropriately packed in terms of box size and packaging material.
WMS deciphers the best suited packaging and box size for the order. This helps reduce shipping costs, as each order is packaged with only that material that is needed. When items are boxed with the necessary material and documentation, the order is labeled and ready for shipping!
Having the proper tools for picking and packing limits errors and increases fulfillment efficiency. An up-to-date distribution center should be more than equipped with the tools and processes to make this happen. At Bergen Logistics, we operate with the client in mind and work hard to assure our processes are nothing short of the best.
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