Ideas To Improve Picking Operation

July 28th, 2012

Companies often consider their picking operation is efficient as long as their end products roll out on time and their customers are happy. However most picking operations in warehouses really could use a reorganization, and its all about the process, training, people, and systems.

The following are some of the tips which need to  improve your warehouse operation.

1. Profiling  the inventory orders

The most popular inventory likely change with the seasons, so re-slot the warehouse to accommodate thebusiness model, and review the setup at least once a year. This ensures that the important inventory are in their  correct storage and physical location, reducing unnecessary travel distance for the order pickers. The warehouse management system (WMS) should have a dynamic “slotting” module.

2. Analyze the current picking methodology

Ensure the picking procedure suits the organization. Whether is it single order, multi-order, batch picking with a single picker, or zone picking, the correct picking methodology is critical for optimizing productivity.

3. Use the inventory software to sequence orders.

Sequencing the inventory orders by pick path, and batching together in a single line, same-zone orders, and difficult picks — such as non-conveyable items — saves tremendous time in the shop floor. A reliable inventory software should be able to organize the workflow, and optimize sequence performance.

4. Create a warehouse within a warehouse.

The warehouse management should be able gain tremendous efficiency by grouping together the 20 percent of their inventory that complete 80 percent of their orders. It reduce the travel time for their pickers. Ensure that the 80-20 area or zone is properly designed to accommodate high-volume inventory movement activity.

5. Evaluate your storage equipment to ensure proper application.

Placing slow-moving, low-cube items in bin shelving and fast-moving items in carton/pallet flow  improves the storage density and productivity. However, please note that seasonal and other promotions can mess this layout.