The way in which your warehouse operations run are a direct reflection of your business itself. As warehouses grow in square footage and cost, the need to ensure effective organization, efficiency and accuracy within your warehouse is amplified. Adopting the following three warehouse picking best practices will not only help to overhaul and optimize your warehouses, but also eliminate unnecessary labor for your warehouse teams. The smoother your warehouse runs, the greater your growth potential becomes.
Warehouse Picking Best Practices #1
The number one of warehouse picking best practices is setting up your warehouse(s) with the most efficient layout possible. Disorganized, nonsensical layouts only lead to chaos, especially during peak seasons. The last thing you want during a killer Christmas is to have warehouse teams zig zagging in all different directions, wasting time and increasing labor costs to no fault of their own.
According to Amware Fulfillment, “…travel time is the enemy of efficient order picking. In fact, it can compromise up to 50% of the picking processes – and up to half of your warehousing labor cost.”1
Instead of wasting the time and energy of your warehouse teams and adding more to labor costs, opt for employing this, the first of the warehouse picking best practices, via a warehouse management system that offers a warehouse layout editor. In doing so, you can easily visualize the best layout for every warehouse and reap the benefits that intelligent warehouse organization provides.
Warehouse Picking Best Practices #2
The second of the warehouse picking best practices is to deploy mobile devices and barcodes into your operations. According to a study conducted by Stitch Labs, 62% of respondents reported human error from manual process management as the #1 root cause of inventory fulfillment issues.2
Manual picking means clipsboards, counting, spreadsheets, and serious time consumption. And, as stated above, human error is just that – human. There is no real way to ensure absolute accuracy with manual processes in general, but especially in picking, without incorporating modern technology into the mix.
Barcode and mobile devices are hands down one of the most versatile and powerful tools you can bring to your warehouse. Not only do they help with managing inventory in general, but they also drastically speed up picking and fulfillment times, eliminate nearly all potential for error and inaccuracies, and make other warehouse tasks like receiving and transferring a breeze. As far as warehouse picking best practices go, barcode and mobile devices are a solution you’ll never regret.
Warehouse Picking Best Practices #3
Last, but certainly not least, of the warehouse picking best practices is number three: smart picklists. So far, we’ve discussed warehouse layout, which lays the foundation to faster, more organized picking and the introduction of barcode and mobile tools which make picking faster and much more accurate. Now, we land on smart picklists, which is the piece of the puzzle for warehouse picking optimization.
Smart picklists should be viewable on mobile picking devices within the warehouse and provide a user with an easy-to-read picklist that leads the user in the most optimal direction for picking orders. When the warehouse layout is efficient and the devices work as they should, the smart picklists is the trick to tie all the magic together. Days of zig zagging due to convoluted and misguided pick lists are a thing of the past.
Warehouse Picking Best Practices: A Mobile Warehouse System
To truly accomplish the above warehouse picking best practices, it would be best to seek out a mobile warehouse management system offering these features. If your warehouses are still operating on manual processes or are using disjointed systems or are using a software with only limited capabilities, NOW is the time to seek out the bounty that automated warehousing brings.
Warehouse Picking Best Practices for QuickBooks Users
Acctivate supports a bi-directional integration with QuickBooks, making it easy to overhaul and optimize your warehouse with a mobile warehouse management system while continuing to keep finanicals within QuickBooks. No need to swtich accounting software – stick with QuickBooks, grow with Acctivate.