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Streamline Your Pick and Pack Process

Having an efficient pick and pack process is crucial for the ongoing success of any business. Pick and pack services refer to the process of picking inventory items listed on customer orders and packing them ready to be shipped off. This process might seem simple, but unless you do it effectively you could be losing both money and clients. Therefore, it is worthwhile to look at the different methods of warehouse picking to see which is the most efficient. Here are ways that businesses use, and streamline, the pick and pack process.

Pick and Pack Process Methods

There are four main types of pick and pack services used by businesses:

Piece Picking

Also known as Discrete Order picking, this warehouse picking method involves dealing with one order at a time. You receive the order, pick all the inventory items in that order, send those items off for packing and shipping, then repeat for the next order. This is probably the simplest pick and pack process and is commonly used by small businesses.

Batch Picking

This method involves picking all of the inventory items in a single area and delivering them for multiple orders. Once delivered, you would then go back for all items in a separate area and deliver them. This would repeat until the orders are complete. This can save time and resources, especially if the same item appears in many orders.

Zone Picking

For this method, you assign workers to separate zones within the warehouse. When an order comes through, workers in Zone A will pick items from their area. Once complete, workers from Zone A will then pass the order to Zone B to pick items from their area. The process continues until the order is complete and ready for packing. Although very efficient, this process requires a lot of coordination and is best used for larger warehouses.

Wave Picking

This process combines both Batch and Zone Picking methods. Workers in Zone A will pick all items in their area for multiple orders, then send these orders onto Zone B to continue the process. As orders are completed they are sent off for packing while incomplete orders continue through the picking process.

Ways to Streamline the Pick and Pack Process

While these processes are all suitable for different businesses, there are a few ways to streamline them further:

  • Keep your warehouse layout efficient. Place popular items nearest the packing stations and store items together that commonly appear in the same orders. Arrange items from most to least popular to cut down on picking times.
  • Make sure you organise your inventory well. Keep items together and floors free of any clutter. Make sure you organise all supplied items neatly in the packing area for easy access.
  • Use a warehouse management system to coordinate workers and item locations. This helps pickers work out what they need to pick and where to go.
  • Double check each order before shipping. Even accurate software may have bugs, and having someone check the order before it goes out will save on return costs and lost time.
  • Keep track of all inventory items. This can be done using barcodes or RFIDs on all items and a perpetual inventory system to keep track of all stock in real time.

St John’s Hall Storage

Here at St John’s Hall Storage we can offer a selection of high quality storage solutions for you. Whether you need long or short term solutions, our team has the experience and knowledge to tailor any solutions for your specific needs. To find out more about our warehouse and logistics services, visit us online or speak with our friendly team via phone today.

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