The order picking process is the backbone of any fulfillment operation. It's also one of the most costly activities in a typical warehouse. That's why your order picking software is one of the critical factors in making your operation run efficiently as possible.
The success of your order picking operation begins well before picking begins. Inventory intake and the set up within your warehouse will make or break your picking operations.
First, you must keep an accurate inventory count. It's practically impossible to keep an accurate, shareable count based on spreadsheets. You need a system that can incorporate information from barcodes or RFID chips placed on products, which allows you to maintain a perpetual inventory instead of shutting down for a periodic count.
A cloud-based logistics software solution like Logiwa provides instant access to the current inventory to anyone that needs it, through desktop and mobile devices.
Second, you must design your warehouse for picking efficiency to reduce the time required to fulfill orders. Whenever possible, stock incoming inventory in the same place every time to establish a routine to avoid disruption for the pickers. Analyze sales data to find your top selling items and items that are most often ordered together. Store these items nearest to the packing tables to reduce travel time for the pickers. Then, arrange the rest of the inventory with the top-selling items nearest the packing tables. Your order picking software should be able to accommodate these types of arrangements to boost efficiency.
Your order picking software must work with your warehouse management system to optimize the picker's tasks. The picker should have a list of items in the order the picker will encounter them for a discrete or wave-picking process. Otherwise, pickers have to figure out the best route on their own, which may not always prove to be correct.
Depending on the size and complexity of your inventory system, you may use a variety of picking strategies to boost efficiency. Batch picking gathers products by the SKU, fulfilling orders more quickly for companies with larger product volumes and order volumes. Zone picking makes sense for a large warehouse with a high rate of inventory turnover. It reduces travel time for pickers and improves order fulfillment rates.
Your order picking software should be part of a robust inventory management system that integrates with other business apps and optimizes the entire pick, pack, and ship process. Currently, Logiwa integrates with more than 70 top business solutions, including online marketplaces, carriers, accounting, and ERP functions and many others.
Improving order picking speed is one of the ways shippers will be able to offer same-day and two-day shipping and delivery options. The faster the order is ready for pick up by the carrier, the more time there is to meet the deadline. You may be able to select less expensive shipping options while still meeting customer expectations.
If you're ready for the next generation of order picking software, find out how Logiwa can boost your productivity and shipping efficiency while simplifying operations. Contact us for a demo today.
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