Warehouse picking is the process of preparing orders and collection of units before sending them. It is a fundamental part of any e-commerce and by choosing the best method your business can benefit.
Today we will explain the difference between some picking methods so you can choose the best for your e-commerce.
Table of Contents
The importance of warehouse picking
Inside the warehouse, picking is one of the most important functions. This process has a direct effect on the customer experience, so managing products in the best way possible is vital for a successful e-commerce.
Creating a picking list template can help you reduce possible problems that may show up within the warehouse.
Knowing what is a picking list is essential to make an effective template and avoid mistakes. This document contains information about the products to collect, their location and shipping details. If you don’t know how to make a picking list, you can create it with Excel.
With this list, the operators will know what products to pick up and how to send them. In this way you can optimize order preparation and ensure that the products arrive on time at their destination.
In addition to the possibility of a positive review from the customer who received his order in time, you can also save on one of the most expensive warehouse functions.
Another thing to optimize the preparation of orders is to choose a suitable storage system for your warehouse. This will help the pickers to avoid unnecessary displacements, which will reduce the time of order preparation.
Different types of warehouse picking
Warehouse picking is certainly one of the most important functions in e-commerce and it is directly related to order fulfillment.
Therefore, knowing how to choose the right type of picking for each shipment has great benefits. Your e-commerce can reduce unnecessary costs and you can expedite orders.
Among the different types of picking that you can implement there are wave picking and batch picking.
Wave Picking vs Batch Picking
1. Wave Picking
Wave picking is a way of processing orders by grouping products by different criteria. For example, you can group orders by carrier, by customer or by the packaging you need.
When orders are prepared with this method, they will have to be carried out within a specific time frame. Each wave of products is usually made between 45 minutes and two hours, depending on the warehouse and the products.
Advantages and disadvantages of Wave Picking
Wave picking controls exactly when orders are collected and has a direct consequence on goods’ flow within the warehouse. With this you can optimize the reception of the products, the resupply of the shelves and the shipments.
It is a method that maximizes the collection and delivery of orders as it is possible to coordinate several waves to comply with the distributor’s shipping schedule.
Another advantage of using wave picking is that waves can be separated by zones. If a warehouse has areas where order preparation times are slower, it is possible to organize the wave around these areas and avoid a waste of time.
Moreover, with this method you can collect more products than with other methods. This can be very useful if the items are light load and if the warehouse has many references.
However, a disadvantage of this method is that, after the collection of all the products in a wave, you will have to classify them into individual orders.
Unlike the previous method, in batch picking collectors prepare orders by collecting products with the same SKU from different orders.
With this method, the picker will make a single trip to pick up the products, as they will be on the same shelf, while preparing different orders. Batch picking increases the efficiency of operators by reducing travel and collection time.
Advantages and disadvantages of Batch Picking
Batch picking, as we mentioned, improves the efficiency of operators and cuts unnecessary costs in the warehouse. Moreover, it optimizes the delivery of orders since products are collected and grouped by destination or by order automatically.
This method also helps reduce operator traffic in aisles during order preparation.
However, this type of picking method cannot always be implemented. The warehouse must have a design that facilitates the movement and location of the products.
This type of picking should not be used if the products to be handled are not similar. For example, if the items do not have a similar size, batch picking will not help.
Optimize the picking process of your e-commerce
The warehouse picking process that you choose should optimize the preparation of orders so that you reduce costs in the warehouse.
However, you should not choose only one type of picking in the warehouse. In fact, no method will solve all the problems. This is why many stores combine different picking methods.
In addition to the two methods we have mentioned, there is also zone picking. This method focuses on reducing the distances that operators travel by giving each one a zone.
An effective picking strategy will help you improve the ROI of your e-commerce. Creating an inventory template is a vital step to have full control over the warehouse. You will be able to know the exact location of the products and create an efficient picking list.
Remember that you can outsource the services of the warehouse and hire an external company to help you with your picking strategy.
Regardless of the types of picking method you choose, you must ensure that it adapts to the needs of the store and your business. So you can reduce costs, optimize the preparation of orders and increase customer satisfaction.