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5 top warehouse order picking methods

Warehouse order picking methods impact your business’s efficiency and profitability. In fact, order picking and fulfillment often accounts for more than half of the costs associated with warehouses and distribution centers. Therefore, you need to choose the best order picking method for your warehouse. Here are some options.

What’s warehouse order picking?

Warehouse order picking describes locating and extracting items from a warehouse to fulfill customer orders. It’s often a labour-intensive process. Therefore, businesses are always looking for faster, more efficient order picking methods that preserve accuracy. Improving order picking strategies has many advantages, including:

    • Shorter delivery times to customers
    • Investment in automation technologies
    • Improved accuracy
  • Retain trustworthy, skilled and happy warehouse staff
  • Minimize costs and maximize asset utilization

Finally, improving your supply chain logistics saves time and money so your employees can focus on other tasks.

Warehouse order picking methods

There’s no one-size-fits-all method of warehouse order picking. The best way for your operations depends on the size of your warehouse, the number of orders you need to fulfill and the complexity of the orders. Here are some tried and true methods:

  1. Single order picking is when one designated picker locates and collects one order at a time and returns the items to the packing station. This is a standard method for small warehouses with simple orders.
  2. Batch picking is a method where a picker must simultaneously locate and retrieve items from multiple orders. This method is well-suited for warehouses that deal with many orders but few products.
  3. Zone picking is when pickers are assigned to different warehouse zones and are solely responsible for extracting items in their designated zone. This method is best suited for warehouses that deal with orders with large numbers of items per order.
  4. Pick-and-pass is an off-shoot of zone picking. An order is passed through each warehouse zone until all the items are accounted for.
  5. Wave picking describes when pickers in each zone select order items simultaneously and send them to a consolidation area. After the items are consolidated, they go to the packing station. This method is used by warehouses that need to quickly fulfill and ship multiple high-volume orders.

Warehouse layout, design, installation and repair in Western Canada

At ARPAC, we can help you streamline your warehouse operations. From layout designinstallation and material handling equipment, we can maximize your efficiency and help your business become more profitable. Contact us today at one of our four British Columbia and Alberta locations to speak with one of our experts.