Successful delivery requires efficient picking
Successful delivery requires efficient picking

The picking process involves some cost and can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction. Let’s work together to improve this important process in the supply chain.


Demand efficient picking.

The choice of a picking method depends on a number of conditions, including cost, complexity, the volume of customer orders and the size of items and orders. Each company has unique requirements and a picking solution may be suitable for one company but not for another. The goal must be to continuously increase picking efficiency. Factors such as route optimization, quality assurance and reduction of throughput times play an important role in this.

Below is an overview of some picking methods and tools:

Picking at PORTICA.

PORTICA uses a variety of different picking methods, both paper-based (e.g. delivery note picking) and paperless (e.g. scanner picking), single-stage (e.g. manual warehouse picking) and multi-level (e.g. pre-packaging, pick-by-light machines) as well as series and order-oriented methods. We select the appropriate picking method for the respective client or order. E-commerce picking, for example, requires a different procedure than advertising material picking, which is required by companies for their sales promotion or marketing logistics activities. Individual orders are also picked differently than mailings or circulars.
For individual orders we use scanner-based manual warehouse picking as standard.

With our standard, single-level, scanner-based, manual warehouse picking of individual orders, all items are located in the picking area for each client. Any replenishment is requested from the high-bay warehouse as required. For picking, several individual orders are always transmitted to the scanner in a collective manner (batch processing) and then picked in parallel (multi order picking system) and assigned to the respective individual order. This is done several times during the day. The individual orders are bundled in such a way that the routes are optimized. In addition, the system uses the scanner to provide the picker with the optimal route. A delivery note is generated at the packing station, the carton is built up, filled, sealed and labelled with a shipping label, the package is weighed (error prevention), the shipping data is recorded in the shipping system, the package is prepared for shipping and transferred to the carrier.

Two-step picking of individual orders is also possible. Here, in a first picking step, we would pick the total required article quantities (from the orders of the past 24 hours) once a day in the local warehouse. Any replenishment for the local warehouse is requested from the high-bay warehouse as required. The articles are then placed in a pick-by-light system (PbL) and the orders are transferred electronically to this PbL. The use of our PbL always makes sense if you have a sufficiently large number of different individual orders for a limited number of different articles within these orders. The picking of the articles to the individual orders takes place in the second picking step from this system. 1-pick orders are picked directly. In the case of multiple pick orders, a delivery note is first scanned: then the PbL uses light signals to indicate which articles have to be picked in which quantity for this order. After the respective picking processes, the packing process takes place, i.e. the articles are packed into the required envelopes/cartons, sealed, labelled with a shipping label, the shipping data are recorded in the shipping system, the package is prepared for shipping and transferred to the carrier. An advantage of two-step picking is the zero remaining quantity procedure: The quantities picked in the first picking step should have been completely packed by the end of the second picking step. If this is not the case, the picking has to be readjusted.

Circulars (mass mailings / push orders) are usually also processed in two-step picking. The first picking step corresponds to the procedure described above. The second picking step is carried out automatically supported by suitable lettershop machines (due to the similarity of the mailings, the use of PbL does not make sense here). If this is not technically possible or not practical in terms of scope, manual packing is used.

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