Company: White Papers and Blog


5 Ways to Improve Picking Operation Productivity

Date: Tue, Oct 20th, 2015 12:00:00 am

Executives are faced with trying to reduce labor costs and increase productivity every day. Customers are placing more orders, but with smaller quantities than ever before. It's a challenge. Yuo need to increase order productivity and decrease operating expenses. Your retail customers are under pressure to lower costs by reducing their inventories, which means it costs you more to ship less. How can you do more with less distribution? Here are five tips to improve your order picking productivity.

1. Only have one SKU per picking location.

Multiple SKUs result in miss-picks, or, at the very least, a 15+ second increase per pick transaction. While 15 seconds per transaction may not seem like much time, it adds up. Keep one SKU in one location.

2. Reduce travel time between locations.

Many warehouses use batch and cluster order picking strategies, othes use conveyors. Travel time can account for 50 percent of your order picking hours. If you minimize the distance between picking locations, you maximize the picking time.

3. Ground level picking is more cost-effective than vertical.

Horizontal picking costs less than vertical picking. For DCs that lack the floor space, keep the slowest-moving items near the top, and the highest-velocity items within arms' reach for your pickers.

4. "Hit" density picking improves productivity.

If your pickers are only filling orders from one out of every 100 picking locations, rather than one out of every 10, they will be 10 times slower. Group your highest-velocity items together to make the best use of your space and your pickers' time.

5. Assign the proper storage media to your freight.

If you put a slow-moving product in a pallet location, you're wasting valuable real estate. Likewise, if you put a fast-moving item in a shelf location, you're wasting valuable time. Put your products in the most appropriate locations to make sure you have the most efficiency.

For more information on making your picking as productive as possible, call Kuecker Logistics Group at (816) 348-3100 today.