Guide to Using Popular Warehouse Picking Methods
Guide to Using Popular Warehouse Picking Methods

A high volume warehouse requires specific picking techniques for optimum efficiency. The wrong picking method significantly impacts the warehouse efficiency. Once you figure out the right picking method for your warehouse, you will only be left with the challenge of managing the workforce; or more specifically the pickers.  The right picking method also complements a reliable warehouse picking solution boosting warehouse efficiency and productivity further. 

This guide will serve to make it easier for you to find and use the right picking method for your warehouse. Let’s get started with the various picking methods first.

Picking by order

This method is possibly the most commonly used, and is ideal for warehouses that just started their operations. Picking by order is all you need if your warehouse only handle about 70 orders a day. You will only have to pick the items as they come up on the stack. There is no complexity here.

Wave picking

Wave picking is basically done taking the order age into account, and is useful when you deal with a few hundred orders a day. The picker starts with the oldest order, and is then routed across the warehouse based on the age and location of the orders that follow. The picker gets to choose how many orders he will take for a day. 

If the warehouse utilizes efficient warehouse picking systems and management solutions, the picking operation can be streamlined further. For instance, pickers can be split up to handle specific zones in the warehouse so that one won’t have to run across one end of the warehouse to the other for each wave of picking. However, wave picking is still not the most efficient form of picking but is ideal for scenarios where multiple items are shipped in a single box. 

Batch picking

For huge volumes of shipping, batch picking is the way to go. It’s based on SKU groupings and doesn’t take order age into account. Instead, batch picking is where the picker picks many numbers of an item depending on the orders. 

With wave picking for example, the picker may have to go to a particular aisle over and over again to pick the same product as he makes waves to pick based on order age. With batch picking, the picker can pick all the items they need from that aisle the one time he goes there. Integrating zones add to the efficiency of batch picking. 

End note

The current level of efficiency ensured by batch picking can be further enhanced by warehouse management solutions. A new-to-the-market picking solution called iActo complements batch picking strategies in a warehouse, and makes it considerably easier for pickers to finish their daily tasks efficiently.