Optimize Warehouse Pick and Pack Systems

November 14, 2022

There are many challenges associated with the pick and pack process for a warehouse. Successful order fulfillment involves much more than shelves of neatly stacked products. Having a pick and pack system that meets the needs of your business is extremely important. It is also important your warehouse layout that is beneficial to fulfilling orders and improving systems beyond the pick and pack process.

Inaccurate or Inadequate Inventory

Inaccurate or Inadequate Inventory are two somewhat different challenges. Inaccurate inventory leads to confusion about what is currently in-stock, while inadequate inventory is a failure to manage stocks into the warehouse space to allow for order fulfilment.

order picker
distribution center
loading dock operation
Stretch Wrapper
forklift

Inaccurate inventory is usually a problem of data entry, where inventory records haven’t been updated or entered correctly. Inadequate inventory is a management failure which can be the outcome of poor data but can also be part of cashflow problems or failure to prioritize operations properly. Either can lead to poor pick and pack times, bad customer service, and reputation damage. By having a system in place to make sure your inventory and in-stock materials are up to date your business will be able to avoid the loss of customers.

Poor Turn Around Time

It’s usually out of the range of a warehousing operation to enhance inward order processing times, but picking, consolidating, and packing can all be optimized. Issues that create poor turn around times are bad product placement, insufficient picking systems, and inadequate warehouse operations. Poor warehouse logistics design can lead you to see unnecessary turnaround time, increased costs, shortage of customer retention, and wastage of delivery efforts.

Picking Type

No one warehouse is the same. Therefore, a facility needs to find the ideal picking process for them. Distribution centers usually follow one of four main picking methods. The first is batch picking, this involves picking from one collection of SKUs at a time. Secondly, discrete picking, where an order is fulfilled at a scheduled time. Then there is wave picking, which mixes discrete and batch picking by having a set of related orders are fulfilled during planned time frames, or surges. Finally, zone picking, involves various workers assigned to different zones within your warehouse and only picking items within their individual zone.

Packing Failures

These failures are caused by bad information about packing materials being shipped. This could be by receiving the wrong weight, fragility, temperature or humidity control, spoilage dates etc. that leads to products damaged in transit to destination. A strategic component in reducing expenses and increasing efficiency in order fulfillment is investing in tools the necessary tools needed for packaging and distribution.

Warehouse Layout

It’s important to utilize warehouse space to keep costs low and efficiency high. Taking a closer look at workflows and processes can help improve operations, save space, and increase your bottom line. There are many ways to improve efficiency on the floor and reduce the time it takes to access and pick the proper inventory. An efficient layout is one way to reduce picking time and optimize storage.