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Increase Picking Rates With A Warehouse Order Picking Checklist

Use a warehouse order picking checklist to increase your employee’s picking rates. Learn about the different types of picking methods and how to maximize warehouse efficiency. Validate performance and reduce the risk of unplanned downtime with digital warehouse order picking templates.

What Is a Warehouse Order Picking Checklist?

A warehouse order picking checklist is a simple way to carry out comprehensive installation, functional and operational inspections, correct any errors found and avoid costly project delays. With order picking checklists, you can keep a better eye on the picking process and order transaction checks.

Ensuring warehouse safety through the use of our free 5S audit checklist template is a great first step before order picking.

This article contains the following information:

1. The order picking process in a warehouse

2. 2 typical order picking methods

3. Warehouse order picking best practices

4. A mobile application for a warehouse order picking checklist

Warehouse items ready for order picking

The Order Picking Process in a Warehouse

Nodays customers order online on a daily basis. The goods have to be prepared and made ready for dispatch according to the order’s specifications. The respective goods must be assembled from the total assortment. This order picking process is carried out under consideration of the following process steps:

  • Specification of the transport information
  • Transport of the goods to the place of provision
  • Provision of the goods
  • Movement of the picker to the staging point
  • Determination of the withdrawal information
  • Removal of the goods by the order picker
  • Delivery of the withdrawal
  • Transport of the collecting station to the delivery

Two Common Order Picking Methods

There are two typical order picking methods used by warehouses all over the world.

1. goods-to-man picking

With this picking method the goods are brought directly to the picker. Afterward, the empty containers are transported back again with the same conveyor.

2. man-to-goods picking

With this procedure, the picking process works exactly the other way round. The responsible person starts at the storage place and takes the required goods on-site. This type of order picking is particularly suitable for smaller orders.

Manual order picking systems are widely used due to their flexibility. The order picking process in a warehouse is complex and the error rate of non-automated processes is high. Through a targeted and automated process design, the time at which errors are detected can be reduced. The earlier sources of error are detected, the less effort is required to eliminate them.

How to Make Warehouse Order Picking More Productive?

We’ve gone over what steps are involved in picking and the different types of order picking methods. Now, we’ll focus on a few tips that can help optimize the process to increase productivity and efficiency.

Ever since Amazon came out with its one-day shipping policy, it’s revolutionized the way the industry conducts business and even changed customer expectations. Time is now of the essence, and it can be difficult to keep up with customer demands, especially if you’re making a few of these common picking mistakes.

  • Divide Aisles into Zones
    The biggest time dump in this scenario is inefficient picking routes. If employees have to constantly backtrack or take a needlessly complicated route to their destination, of course, they are going to have a less than optimal picking rate. In this case, it’s not the employee’s fault if they’re not meeting their quotas. But there’s a solution: employers can greatly reduce the traveling distance that accounts for more than half of a picker’s day and divide aisles into zones to make batching and clustering orders a more prevalent part of a workday.
  • Ensure Inventory is Available
    Ensuring that 100% of the inventory you’re distributing is there 100% of the time will cut back on the delays. There’s just no way you’ll be able to keep up with the tight deadlines of delivery promises if you simply don’t have the inventory to fill them in the first place. With an unprecedented pandemic that leads to the rise of online shopping and the need for faster and faster delivery times, your business just won’t survive in the bygone era of two to three-day shipping minimums.
  • Designate One Bin Per SKU
    Dumping multiple Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) in the same location will result in a higher error rate. This is how products end up at the wrong intermediary warehouse or final destination—all delays that will keep the customer from getting their purchase on the promised delivery date. By employing one designated location for each SKU, your warehouse will enjoy a higher accuracy rate, and subsequently, higher customer satisfaction.
  • Pick Horizontally
    It’s long been accepted now that picking along vertical rows takes an employee more time than accessing shelves that are along a horizontal path. There are several reasons why a warehouse might have to employ a vertical method of picking, but if you’re one of the unlucky few to have caught themselves with a vertical picking method and without the funds to switch it, then put the highest priority items nearest to the ground level and the lowest priority items closest to the top.
  • Switch to a Digital Checklist
    In this day and age, there’s no reason why you should still be using paper and pencil for any documentation. It’s slow, tedious, and can easily be lost in the hustle and bustle of an average day at the warehouse. By digitalizing your checklists to perform audits, you can be instantly notified of missed time targets and be able to analyze errors with the help of an automatically generated report. You can also use a warehouse management software checklist to determine if the picking rate is excellent, adequate, or deficient.

Everyone knows the faster an employee can pick, the faster the order is fulfilled, and the faster that’s money in your pocket. But first, you need to give your employees the tools they need in order to meet the growing expectations of the job. By updating your warehouse’s infrastructure to incorporate these five recommendations, you can drastically increase your picking rate, and in turn, your productivity and sales.

warehouse worker sealing a box with duct tape

A Mobile Application for the Warehouse Picking Order Checklist

Remaining compliant with the order picking procedures was a challenge for many companies until the introduction of a digitalized checklist. In addition, the preparation of a picking report can be time-consuming. Lumiform, the mobile, powerful inspection software app helps warehouse employees to easily perform order picking activities with a template. Revolutionize your order picking in the warehouse with the use of Lumiform’s digital tool:

  • Have an overview of what is happening on-site at all times.
  • Generate real-time data via internal processes. This makes the quality and speed of the order picking process in the warehouse measurable, so you can use the data to continuously optimize warehouse tasks.
  • Reports are created automatically after every order picking in the warehouse – this saves time on postprocessing.
  • Capture photo documents to detect errors and assign corrective actions.
  • Easily create and use warehouse order picking checklists at any time, anywhere, on any mobile device.
  • Send and receive notifications of scheduled order pickings and share picking order reports before leaving the facility.

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