As more and more people choose to shop online for almost everything, it has become increasingly important for your warehouse to be organized as efficiently as possible. In doing so, your employees will be able to find the products they need to fill orders as quickly as possible, thereby improving their picking speeds. However, even if your warehouse seems to be organized in the most efficient manner, improvements can always be implemented. If you want the picking speeds of your employees to get even faster, consider the following suggestions.
One of the easiest ways you can improve picking speeds in your warehouse is to eliminate the staging area. Instead, opt for direct staging, which has your employees placing items in their final location as soon as they are received at the warehouse. By doing this, employees will immediately know where items are located, allowing them to fill orders much quicker.
After you eliminate the staging area, implement the use of batch picking when employees are filling orders. When you use batch picking, this lets employees retrieve items for multiple orders in one trip, rather than going back and forth to fill one order at a time. By having everything in heavy-duty plastic storage bins that are easily accessible, picking speeds should increase substantially. Storage bins can hold individual items or they can hold items that are typically purchased together. That way it is easy to find everything in a short period of time.
If there are certain items in your warehouse that seem to always be in high demand by customers, always place these items in locations where they are easy for employees to access. Since these items are so popular and are part of so many orders, it makes little sense for your employees to be going to the back corners of your warehouse to pick these items, which does nothing but slow down the picking process.
In more and more warehouses, zone picking is becoming more common. Viewed as a way to greatly increase picking speeds and also reduce the number of walking workers must do during their shifts, zone picking involves assigning workers to certain areas of a warehouse, where they will only pick orders from that zone. Since this also helps to reduce worker fatigue, zone picking can help reduce worker errors, which in turn will lead to fewer returned items and greater customer satisfaction.
As online shopping becomes more popular in the years ahead, it will be crucial for your warehouse to be organized in a manner that emphasizes speed and accuracy. By implementing these innovative methods, your workers should be able to do their jobs much faster while also being less stressed along the way.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks.