Picking Strategies To Help Improve Productivity
The strategy your employees use for picking will determine the productivity of your warehouse system. Let’s explore a some picking strategies to help improve your warehouse’s productivity.
When it comes to “Picking”, speed and accuracy is the top priority. You can have a fast picking, however if there are many errors with their picks it defeats the purpose of being speedy. At the same time having an accurate picker that is slow isn’t good either. The right combination of the two will create a healthy workplace environment between all the departments. Let’s explore a few strategies you can use to improve both Picking speed and accuracy.
Reduce the amount of SKUs in each bin.
Studies have shown that reducing the amount of SKUs in a single bin can increase accuracy and speed. Many warehouses will include 5-10 SKUs in a single bin. This can create errors in Picking as well as the Check In process. If you have SKUs 11002, 11003, 11004, 11005, and 11006 in the same bin, it can get confusing. Errors can run up the chain from Picking, Checking in, and Inventory. Reducing each SKU it it’s own unique place or at least limiting them can have a healthy benefit in many departments.
Batch or Cluster Tickets and Picking.
Travel time can account for up to 50% or more of picking hours. By strategically Batching or Clustering orders, you can increase the productivity and reduce your employees time spent on a single ticket.
Setting up “Hot Zones” within your warehouse.
It makes sense to set up '“Hot Zones” within your warehouse. Having a picker go to a low level area far away from the destination zone for a highly ordering item only increases time spent on a single order. It’s understandable some warehouses have space constraints, however “Hot Zones” close to your ticket printer and destination zone will highly improve the productivity in your warehouse.
Improving your storage System.
How effective is your storage systems? How are you displaying your SKUs? Is your inventory vertically or horizontally displayed? Your storage systems are high value items. They can either make picking harder or easier. Maybe think about how easy it is to replace your SKUs or items. Invest in sturdy dividers that will not move around and mix up SKUs.
Listen to your Pickers.
Listening to your pickers will be your best resource on how you can improve your systems. They work in the system and know what is working or not working for them. Setting up an advice box for pickers to submit their suggestions can provide highly value information.