Warehouse Evaluation: How efficient is your order picking method?
Your warehouse management system is just as important as the products that you’re selling on your eCommerce website.
After all, customer satisfaction depends on how fast and accurate you can process orders.
If walking from one location to another takes so much of a picker’s time, especially for single item orders, then you’re less likely to deliver your customers’ orders on time.
Split case picking poses a greater challenge than batch picking because it requires pulling out of single items from different locations, whereas the latter involves groups of similar items being picked at the same time.
However, that shouldn’t be a reason for your business to lag behind, especially with eCommerce sales projected to grow to $4.48 trillion in 2021, according to market statistics portal Statista.
A reassessment and fine tuning of your order picking processes is all it takes to improve your cycle time.
Use automatic cartonisation
Instead of pulling out items from shelves, sorting them out, and then packing them one by one, put the items you pick straight into a predetermined box.
That will get your customers’ orders to their doorsteps faster than they expected.
Use a cartonisation software to design boxes that correspond with the dimensions of each of your products.
Assign a pick-up zone for single orders
This method will reduce the traveling time of pickers as they don’t have to go to different shelves or bins to pick up items in an order list.
A conveyor transports items from the storage area down to the dedicated pickup area, and then the pickers put them directly in their designated boxes.
Slot items for ease of access
Review the sales history of your products then dedicate an area for your best sellers, or frequently ordered items, to reduce pick up time and speed up dispatch.
Warehouse slotting is the process of putting products in a specific area where they can be easily accessed.
Ideally, items that are in high demand should be placed in front of the warehouse while items that don’t make much sales should be situated at the back.
Go the easy route
Maintaining an eCommerce website, not to mention marketing the products that you sell, is time-consuming in itself.
If you’re struggling with your warehouse operations, don’t push yourself too hard.
Entrust the fulfilment side of your businesses to a third party logistics company like Amazon than worry about meeting customer expectations.
Just send your order fulfilment request and inventory to an Amazon Fulfilment Centre and then it’s all on them.
A well-planned warehouse management system will ensure your constant growth in eCommerce, so it’s worth considering all the options that are available to you.
Originally published at understandinge.com on July 26, 2017.