How to Make Your Pick & Pack Processes More Efficient

Your picking and packing processes have a massive impact on your customers. They get their item in good condition, on time, and they get the right item.

Or, they don’t.

No process is ever perfect. But you may not have the level of accuracy you want. If that’s the case, here’s a few ideas you might take a look at more closely:

  • What Process Do You Use to Pick the Right Pieces?

The simplest form of picking, “Piece Picking,” is when you send a worker to fulfill just a single order. It’s easy and straightforward, but also the least efficient.

With “Batch Picking,” they fulfill several orders at once. “Zone Picking” is even more efficient than both, and is when order pickers each have their own assigned zones. They pick from their zone, and that’s it.

“Wave Picking” is the most efficient human picking method. In this case, employees have zones where they batch pick, fulfilling multiple orders at once.

Automated picking, which is when a conveyor or automated storage brings the order to the picker, is the most efficient. But it’s also quite expensive.

  • Storage Strategies

Do you store your items in the most efficient way possible? Random storage works just like it sounds – you put your products wherever they fit.

Volume-based storage ranks items by demand and stores them closest to packing stations.

With class-based storage, you put items in certain areas based on demand, but then within any open space in that area.

  • Don’t Just Optimize Picking

Coordinating with other teams at your company can be hard. But, it’s necessary if you want to drive the maximum efficiency possible.

Your picking and packing processes must integrate with receiving and shipping. And at an even higher level, these need to work together with your company’s entire supply chain.

Consider how well this works together with your company’s existing culture, and if your company is prepared to deal with all the changes of the newer and more efficient processes you create.

  • Assign Your Items to the Correct Storage Media

Slow moving product shouldn’t be placed in pallets, and fast-moving product shouldn’t go in shelving bins. Measuring how fast product moves from its storage sheds light onto what type of storage it should be placed in.

Since around 50% of wasted time is spent on travel during pick-and-pack processes, this represents an excellent opportunity for time and cost savings.

These are far from all the ways to consider for improving your pick-and-pack process’s efficiency. But, they’re a good start and represent your first opportunities for big wins.

Need to optimize your pick and pack processes? Call Pollock at 855.239.5153 today.