It's not easy to manage the inventory in the warehouse, and sometimes it can get messy if the items are not placed back to the place they belong. It will cause great confusion among the warehouse pickers as the stocks get so cluttered, and eventually, they will spend more time figuring out the right stocks for the orders at hand.
Therefore, businesses need to come out with their strategy on what type of picking is best for their warehouse, depending on the volume of their orders and the layout of their warehouses.
Various Types of Picking
There are five different types of picking processes business may apply to their warehouse, depending on the relevancy of the picking to their business strategy. Below are five different types of picking processes warehouse pickers can apply when receiving orders.
1. Discrete Order Picking
This type of picking is commonly used by small-medium enterprises with a smaller volume of orders. For example, if you receive three orders, you will pick the first order first and subsequently, the second-order and move forward to the last order after completing the second order. The items are picked once at a time based on the order.
2. Batch Picking
Batch picking allows the pickers to work with multiple orders at the same time. Examples, the picker will receive multiple orders, and they will pick all of the items in one batch at the same time. The batch picking method is ideal for warehouses that deal with high order volume but small numbers of products each. It’s normally used with discrete order picking, seldom with case picking and not with pallet picking.
3. Case picking
Case picking is picking based full cartons and boxes of products. It’s similar to pallet picking except for only a part of the pallet is picked and sent to the packing area. A pallet is normally a wooden platform carrying and holding the arrangement of products.
4. Wave picking
Wave picking is a process of attaining and combining multiple orders in a batch to reduce the picker’s number of picking trips. Pickers from different zones in the warehouse will select items for an order at the same time and group them together before sending them to the packing station. Batches here are based on several factors such as location, priority, type of products, carrier, and more. Wave picking is applied when you have a high volume of orders to increase the efficiency of your staff.
5. Zone picking
Zone picking is also known as pick and pass. The warehouse pickers are assigned into different zones, and if any orders are being given to them, they will have to select the items based on the SKU's of the products in that particular zones they are assigned to. You will need to pass the order to different pickers in different zones if the items are not stored in the zone you're assigned to.
In the next article: Learn Pick, Pack, and Ship.