Lansdale Warehouse placed a high level of importance on selecting the appropriate pick system, method, equipment and technology that fits and complements our customer’s profile. The ability to quickly and accurately process customers orders is the essence of our business and way an order is picked is directly connected to customer satisfaction.
The methods for order picking vary significantly and the level of difficulty in choosing the best method for our customers is based on the information given to us regarding their operation. The characteristics of the product being handled, total number of transactions, total number of orders, picks per order, quantity per pick, picks per SKU, total number of SKUs, value added services such as labeling and weather handling is piece pick, carton pick or full pallet are all factors that help us determine the method for order picking. Many times a combination of picking methods are required.
There are three main picking systems, piece picking, case picking and pallet picking. Some of Lansdale Warehouse’s customers require just one while others require two or more in combination.
- Piece Picking
Piece picking (pick-pack) involves picking individual items and placing them into shipping containers (usually cartons). This method is often used for customers with a large number of SKUs and small quantities per pick.
- Case Picking
Case picking is used for customer that are filling orders without opening cartons. Lansdale Warehouse usually uses case picking for customers with fewer product SKUs as well as higher picks per SKU.
- Pallet Picking
Lansdale Warehouse uses pallet picking for customers shipping full pallets out.
There are five common picking methods: basic picking, batch picking, multi-order picking, zone picking and wave picking.
- Basic Picking
Regardless of whether you are peice, case or pallet picking, inventory remains in a location and orders are filled one at a time. In piece picking, product is stored in bins or shelving or pallet racks. In case and pallet picking, product is stored in racks or sits on the floor. Basic picking usually involves pickers moving up and down aisles, filling one order at a time. For basic picking, Lansdale Warehouse has the fastest moving SKUs positioned as close as possible to start of pick routes.
- Batch Picking
Batch picking involves combining individual order picks into small groups. Lansdale Warehouse utilizes batch picking for customer requiring piece picking. For batch picking, the warehouse uses a consolidated pick list and places items for different orders in separate totes. Batch picking helps to reduce unnecessary extra footsteps.
- Zone Picking
Zone picking can be used If an operation has lots of SKUs, lots of orders per day, but a low pick to order ratio. Individual picking team members are responsible for an area or zone and only pick items located within their zone. Items are usually moved along from zone to zone on a conveyor.
- Wave Picking
In an operation has a lots of SKUs and a high pick to order ratio, wave picking may be utilized Wave picking is a combination of zone and batch picking. In wave picking, all zones complete picks simultaneously. After pickers have finished pulling the items, they are sorted into individual orders.
Lansdale Warehouse’s picking equipment and technology
By using the appropriate equipment and technology, Lansdale Warehouse has improved accuracy and productivity, reduced product damage maximizes space. Below are some examples of equipment and technology we utilize:
- Barcode Scanners
- Lift trucks
- Pallet racking
- Radio frequency (RFID)
- Warehouse Management System (WMS)