How to Drive More Efficiency with Picking and Packing Best Practices
Want to create more efficiency in your warehouse? Looking for ways to improve your picking and packing processes?
When your warehouse is slow or inefficient, it can cause problems in every part of your business. Because of this, it’s important that you’re always following warehouse best practices and using the best techniques for picking and packing.
Below we’ll look at the very best tips and warehouse organization ideas that can help your team be more efficient in the warehouse than ever before.
1. Perfect Your Storage Plan
One of the most important things you can do to make your warehouse more efficient is to create a great storage plan and find ways to maximize warehouse space. You need to consider the different strategies for your warehouse so that you can store items in a way that makes sense.
Many warehouses are organized very randomly, and items are only placed in whatever space is available at any given time. It’s important to build some kind of organizational strategy that can improve and speed up the picking process.
A volume-based system in which items are organized based on their popularity and how much they are needed is usually a great choice.
It can work well to use a combination of random storage along with a volume storage system. By doing this, you’ll have a section of your warehouse dedicated to high volume areas. However, new items will be placed into any part of that section.
2. Choose Your Picking Strategy Wisely
In addition to having a great storage plan in your warehouse, it’s also crucial to use the best picking strategy you can.
If you have orders that are time sensitive and need to get out of the warehouse fast, it’s important that you have a great picking strategy that can keep up.
There are a few different options that you may not know about, and each comes with their benefits. Here are a few common picking strategies you may want to consider using.
Piece picking is one of the most popular and common picking strategies. With this method, an order will be picked individually once it comes in. Usually, a worker will simply go into the warehouse and pick the items until an order is filled.
This is a very simple strategy and is usually only best for smaller warehouses.
Batch picking is one step up from piece picking.
In this case, instead of one order being picked, a worker will pick several different orders at one time. This can work well for a warehouse that has a bit more volume, but can still be slow compared to other methods.
With a zone picking strategy, workers will be assigned to different areas in the warehouse. They’ll pick their items and place it in a box. If an order requires items from several zones, the box can then be moved to the next section manually or by using a conveyor belt.
While there are other good picking methods, the options above are some of the most popular. It’s important to find the one that works best for your warehouse and the volume you’re experiencing.
3. Only Touch Items Once
One important thing to remember is that you need to minimize touches during the picking and packing process. Using only one touch when picking will prevent errors and eliminate the need for extra repacking and shipping checking.
The picking process needs to be streamlined as much as possible. The best way to do this is to ensure that an item is only touched once. Eliminate the need for smaller containers and make sure that items are being moved from the shelf to the box to a truck.
Having pickers perform the entire move from to the truck in one movement will allow things to go more smoothly.
4. Decrease Worker Movements
Another best practice for improving efficiency is to decrease movement in your warehouse. Make sure that your workers are walking back and forth as little as possible in the warehouse.
When your workers are traveling long distances from Point A to Point B all day long, they can get tired fast. You’ll also be losing a lot of time while they’re in transit.
As a result, decreasing their transit time can be a good part of motivating warehouse staff and ensuring that they remain sharp. Having tired workers around is not good for maximizing efficiency, and it’s possible they’ll make mistakes in their state.
You need to evaluate your picking and packing strategies and take a long look at your storage plan in your warehouse. Chances are that a few changes could really make all the difference.
Consider switching to a zone picking strategy and storing your items in a more logical way. This will reduce the time your workers spend walking around the warehouse.
5. Automate More of Your Picking and Packing Process
When you’re trying to increase efficiency in the warehouse, it’s important to look for every way that you can to incorporate new technology to automate your picking and your packing processes.
You may want to consider installing conveyor belts to move items from different areas of the warehouse as needed. Barcode scanners and similar types of technology are also essential for keeping track of items that leave your warehouse.
Whatever ways you can find to automate warehouse tasks, it can be a big help in improving your process. This will allow you to free up your workers to do more important things. You’ll be able to ensure your warehouse is operating smoothly and efficiently at all times.
The process of optimizing and improving warehouse picking and packing strategies is neverending. There are always ways to make things in your warehouse run more smoothly and quickly.
By following the tips above, you’ll already be on the path to success and will ensure you’re making your warehouse more efficient than ever before.
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