The picking process has evolved significantly over the years, especially with lean manufacturing efforts. However, it is not often prioritized when it comes to continuous improvement. Inefficient picking can wrinkle an otherwise smooth process, so it’s important to look at all the wastes and opportunities to optimize the operation. Here are four tips that can make a significant impact on your pickers’ speed and efficiency.
- Be smarter about organization. You should know what orders are most popular, and during what times your SKUs are in more or less demand. Group popular orders together, and keep them in a place where they are easiest to access. Group seasonal items together and reorganize your storage periodically to give pickers the best accessibility to the products. Don’t keep too many SKU pick facings on a shelf level.
Additionally, don’t shy away from software that will help you organize and track everything. Some of the software available today is very sophisticated, saving you loads of time and improving accuracy. Software solutions usually benefit other processes, making your whole operation leaner.
- Evaluate your storage containers for accessibility. Your slow-moving items should be in bin shelving, and fast-moving SKUs are better off in cartons or pallets. Using the proper storage equipment is an easy way to maximize space and productivity.
- Stick to one or two shipping cartons for most orders. When you need custom boxes or crates, certainly add them to your profile. However, the fewer choices your pickers have for shipping containers, the faster they can fill them. This also helps make stacking and transporting them much easier. Your freight expenses pick path gets optimized this way, and the consistency helps your pickers improve the process even more.
- Reduce travel time. Your picking hours could be cut significantly if you drop some travel time. By combing orders when possible, you shave numerous round trips every shift.
If you need help determining what standard shipping container works best, or if you need custom packaging, contact Packnet. We will help you decide what the most cost-efficient, practical containers are for your product orders. Additionally, if you have any products that are especially big, fragile, or otherwise difficult to package, we will custom build the perfect solution for you. We want you to maintain a competitive business, and you can’t do that if your orders show up late, broken, or otherwise damaged. Contact us at 952-944-9124 or request a free assessment here.