Paper Picking

Paper Picking

Paper picking, also known as pick list picking or order picking in a warehouse or distribution center, is a method of using a printed list to gather an order’s required products or line items and move them to a staging area to be packed for shipment.

In a paper picking system, orders are typically fulfilled by a person or “picker” who locates and retrieves the items on the printed pick list. If the products contain a barcode ID, the picker may also be armed with a handheld device such as a barcode scanner or RFID reader to verify that the correct items and quantities have been picked. They may also use a tote, cart, or other device to move picked items to a staging area.

Blog: Order Picking Automation Options to Resolve Warehouse Labor Shortage Challenges

Paper picking is commonly used in order fulfillment for smaller warehouses or distribution centers with a relatively low order volume. Over time, however, it often becomes less efficient to factors such as:

  •  An increase in sales order volume
  • Addition of new channels, such as international or e-commerce sales
  • Expansion of the company’s product catalog
  • Expansion of the warehouse operations footprint

As these changes occur, it is not unusual for pick paths to grow longer and worker travel time to increase, causing a slowdown in productivity. Labor costs can also increase as more workers are added to meet growing order volume throughput requirements. At this increasingly complex stage, picking by paper sends the picker into an inefficient cycle of repetitive, redundant processes to pick orders one at a time.

How to Increase Picking Productivity

Productivity can be increased by replacing single-order paper picking with warehouse automation that eliminates manual tasks and supports multiple order picking methods such as:

Advanced automated warehouse systems such as Numina Group’s RDS™ Warehouse Execution and Control System (WES-WCS) contain a very flexible and powerful order release management module for increasing picking productivity across the entire distribution center (DC).

RDS goes far beyond traditional wave, batch, or continuous order release methods. RDS Order Release uses intelligence automation (IA) software to optimize order fulfillment productivity.

The RDS Order Release module includes algorithms to select orders based on several variables to more efficiently balance work modeled on historic picking performance and real-time metrics of the DC’s zones picking performance. RDS takes into account picking tasks and travel in each zone to synchronize the batch wave picking completion time across the DC.

Other warehouse automation solutions, such as pick-by-voice systems, pick modules, batch carts, automated conveyor systems, and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), can also be added to eliminate manual tasks and significantly increase productivity.

With Numina’s RDS WES-WCS solution in place, the efficiencies gained by automating order picking can extend with the RDS Pakt™ pack and ship automation solution.

Learn More

Product Info: Victory Voice™ Picking Suite

Video Case Study: Medical Device Company Increases Order Fulfillment Productivity by 200%

Blog: The ROI of Voice Picking

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