5 Best Order Picking Strategies & Importance of Order Picking Aaj Enterprises June 8, 2022

fulfillment center

5 Best Order Picking Strategies & Importance of Order Picking

What is Order Picking?

In warehousing, order picking is basically the picking out of individual or multiple products from the inventory of a warehouse or fulfillment center in order to complete the received customer orders.

Maintaining efficiency in warehousing operations is a labor-intensive and tedious job. With the eCommerce boom and thus, an increase in demand for e fulfillment services in India, order picking strategies become growingly important for warehousing company and eCommerce companies worldwide.

Importance of Order Picking

  • Decreases Warehousing Costs and Optimizes Order Pickers’ Efforts

The right order picking strategy can help you decrease your warehousing and distribution costs by providing the order pickers’ with the most efficient route along for the product pick-ups thereby saving time and optimizing the pickers’ efforts for each item. This helps to reduce a substantial amount of operational costs.

  • Improves Order Accuracy

An order picking system can result in grouping similar orders, which along with saving time, improves order accuracy as there is less scope for human error and the picking list guides the efforts to make sure that the right item is picked through the right route. This reduces returns for ecommerce fulfillment orders as well.

  • Enhances Customer Satisfaction

Owing to fast and accurate deliveries, customer satisfaction is enhanced as the experience of buying products improves for the customer. Late deliveries and product mismatch are one of the main reasons business is lost in this customer-centric industry which an efficient picking system helps to solve.

Therefore, choosing the most suitable strategy for your logistics and warehousing needs is a must.

The 5 Best Order Picking Strategies

Single Order Picking (or Discrete Picking) –

This is the most basic order picking strategy where single orders are picked up one at a time by the order pickers for the complete order fulfillment. This is suitable when received operations/orders are simple in nature, warehouse space is smaller and involves limited SKUs, and the business is small-scale with a restricted investment towards warehouse management systems.

Batch Order Picking –

This is suitable when multiple orders from similar SKUs are to be fulfilled at the same time. Similar orders from the same SKUs are batched together and picked up which saves time, and repetitive trips and improves order picking efficiency. It is advisable for a large volume of similar items.

Cluster Order Picking –

This strategy is suitable for picking up multiple orders but unlike batch order picking, a variety of orders from different SKUs are fulfilled. They can be manual or automated, but commonly a cart is used with multiple compartments towards the picking zone and the picker is directed towards the next SKU. It is advisable for large volumes of dissimilar items.

Zone Order Picking (or Pick & Pass) –

In this strategy, division of the warehouse into several physical zones as per similar SKUs is done and pickers are assigned to each zone who are responsible for orders from their respective zones in shifts. Fulfillment service is done by passing through several zones. It is suitable for multiple orders from the same or multiple SKUs involving complex orders in large warehouse spaces as it saves time, and effort, and pickers often get used to their zones.

Wave Order Picking –

It is schedule-based order picking where planning is done taking into account pickers, delivery times, shipping dates, warehouse location of the products, and carrier pick-ups to determine an optimum wave of orders that can be grouped together and prioritized according to time and urgency. The scheduling windows help to maximize the pick-up and deliveries.

Best Order Picking Practices

  1. Using advanced equipment & technology
  2. Investing in a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that guides order picking
  3. Optimizing with the most efficient warehouse processes periodically
  4. Outsourcing to a Third-Party Logistics (3PL Partner)

Why should you outsource to a 3PL?

We, at AAJ Enterprises, pioneer in large-scale, multi-client facilities with modern racking systems to handle pallet, case, and piece storage.

Our warehouse racks are built using German technology with no compromise on the load-bearing capacity. Even the handling equipment used by us is manufactured by the world’s top German manufacturers.

We have developed an in-house Warehousing Management System (WMS) which helps to perform the relevant order picking strategies along with reducing human error, enhancing user experience while minimizing time and labor costs.
Customers are able to control their inventory through a centralized interface with features such as live tracking and order management.

You get access to our WMS and integration with your ERP when you avail of our warehousing services or eCommerce fulfilment center.

Aaj Enterprises

About the author:

Read all of Aaj Enterprises Posts