Do you know what picking is and how it can directly impact your company’s logistical performance? Picking, or Order Picking, is nothing more than the selection of orders from a warehouse, which determines the stage of separation or preparation of orders for dispatch. In summary, its concept consists of four stages: product localization, collection, movement, and documentation of the process.
This activity dictates the pace of delivery of a product and is one of the most costly steps in the shipping process, comprising between 50% and 60% of the operating cost. This is because a large use of human resources, equipment, and technology is required.
Therefore, losses in productivity in this phase can increase costs and put your company at risk, as these costs will be transferred to the company’s final expense.
In this text, RCC Auto Transport will demonstrate how picking can increase the efficiency of your business’s logistical process, making your operation more productive and assertive. Come on?
Know the types of picking
Each type of business requires a different strategy and, consequently, different types of picking, which will depend on the peculiarities of each operation, the number of products per order, and the time intervals between collections. Here we present the main types.
Discreet or by request
This procedure is the simplest. In it, the products are on static shelves or pallet racks, with a single operator responsible for the entire collection process. In addition, products are collected one at a time, one per order, which reduces the chances of errors and offers an advantage in the safety of the process, as there is only one document for each order-picking order.
However, this type of picking can be less effective when compared to other procedures, as it requires more steps and displacements, thus presenting several risks, such as a longer completion time (when the volume of orders is large).
Thus, discreet or order picking can work well for companies with a low number of orders and a large number of products in each of them. In operations with few items per requirement, the method can accumulate many employees in the same location, congesting the operation and generating a loss of efficiency in the process.
By zone or area
In picking by zone, the storage fields are divided by product types, while operators are divided by the areas where they will collect requests. If the order is complete, it will be dispatched. If not, employees transfer them to the next zone, including more products until the final closing.
In this process, it is common to use moving walkways and shelves close to the operators, to reduce travel time and avoid loss of efficiency with handling. However, a good organization is necessary, so that there is no overload of certain areas or errors in the requirements, such as lack of product.
This methodology can be more effective in operations with the high volume of stock maintenance units – SKUs: stock keeping units -, high total number of orders and quantity of product per low to moderate requirement.
Wave picking is very similar to discreet picking, however, orders are accumulated and separated in periods previously scheduled, ensuring greater efficiency of operations. The schedule is carried out based on the need for delivery, to respect the deadline agreed with the final consumer.
Wave picking can present itself as a solution for operations with high SKUs and a large number of items per request (from moderate to high). However, it is not feasible if the delivery time is short, since it is not possible to wait for the arrival of a considerable number of orders to group and arrange a picking wave.
This strategy is similar to wave picking, however, batch picking requirements are accumulated before the products are separated and the start of the collection. Thus, this form of operation is more productive than the others, as orders are completed simultaneously, reducing leases.
The process is supported by technologies programmed by logic, which reconcile requests with the same items to reduce displacement. If the number of items stored is low, this method will increase operator productivity, reducing handling time. However, the prospect of errors may be greater.
Find out how to increase picking efficiency
Through picking strategies and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies, it is possible to improve the efficiency of storage and handling, that is, to increase the speed of the final delivery of products. After all, better-organized operations improve the process of separating and preparing items. Thus, in addition to the company reducing costs, consumers receive the correct product in a short period.
To achieve this improvement in picking efficiency, we can adopt some techniques. Check out!
Organize products in strategic positions
The items with the greatest turnover should be placed, preferably, close to the expedition, to reduce the distance traveled by the employee.
Define the logistical addressing
Correct addressing of aisles, columns, and levels improves the allocation of products in stock, facilitates localization, and increases productivity.
Reduce the use of physical documents
Paper documents slow down the process. Therefore, give preference to barcode or QR Code readers.
Use performance indicators
The following indicators are defined as ideal: cost per item collected, orders collected per hour, labor cost, and lost cycle time.
In the middle of the 4th Industrial Revolution, it is essential to use an ERP to maintain the organization of the stock. This type of system associates operations and makes it possible to view data in real-time, making the creation of inventory and risk management much easier and more effective.
Thus, the definition of a picking strategy suited to your business and integrated with the use of technology, provides several advantages, such as reduced costs, increased productivity, and increased customer satisfaction. While picking enables relevant gains for the delivery and loading of products, the technology helps:
- simplifying processes;
- ensuring centralization, greater security, and reliability of information;
- increasing agility in operations and helping to promote cost reduction;
- strengthening the relationship with business partners;
- making the company closer to customers;
- providing a systemic and integrated view of the processes.
Hope, You have enjoyed Picking topic, RCC Auto Transport has covered all the topic.