NASHVILLE STATE Community College Warehouse & Inventory Management LOGI 1030 Order Picking Operations
A Reminder on Why We Focus On Order Picking SetupOrder picking accounts for 50-55% of warehouse costsTherefore we must establish an efficient operation by:Controlling picking costs by reducing travel time, while wemaintain a high degree of responsiveness to changing customerdemands, all while we ensure order integrity.
Why We Focus On Order Picking SetupPicking is where the “rubber meets the road” in a distribution center.The core of all order fulfillment is the actual placing of product thecustomer wants into a carton or tote.In a short while, we will see that there are many different ways topick product and there are advantages to each. The organizationmust select the method that matches its specific order profile,business goal, equipment needs, and efficiency standards.First, we must first recognize that order picking is part of a larger process.Second, order picking is a combination of processes and supportingtechnologies.
Why We Focus On Order Picking SetupWe need to look at how well picking integrates with all process fromreceiving through shipping and try to optimize the entire process.Need to consider: Is the distribution center prepared to deal with theincreased productivity/output and reduced labor requirements oftenassociated with new and improved processes? Can the upstream/supplying departments adequately prepare the inventory for picking? Can the downstream departments handle the increased volume coming from picking into their areas without creating bottlenecks which could back up into picking? Does the organization have a plan to “deal” with too much available labor and associated labor costs?
Why We Focus On Order Picking SetupOrder picking does not occur in a vacuum, it is a team effort which beginsin… …Receiving: Where inventory is received correctly …Stocking: where inventory is placed in locations that are ideal for picking and stocking transaction are completed in a timely manner Remember, slotting or the act of assigning inventory to a location should be done with picking’s benefit in mind and NOT what is easiest for stocking.
How can we reduce costs and reduce travel time? 1. Organize the work flow so that the flow: • Creates high pick density picking tasks • Reduces cycle time. The time from when the warehouse receives the order to the time the order is loaded on a truck for shipping.2. Improve process efficiency via removing obstacles, correctly locatinginventory in a picker friendly format, using the correct technology, and possiblyoffering incentives.3. While we use the appropriate process to maintain order integrity.
How do we increase pick density? 1. Create a storage environment with high SKU density (many SKUs per storage foot. 2. Create a “forward pick” area. A forward pick area is generally composed of the most popular SKUs (SKUs with an established level of demand) and is organized to be picked in “eachs” vs. case picked. 3. Batch orders: have pickers retrieve more than one order during each trip through the forward pick area. This will most likely require some form of a sorting process: Sort-while-pick Downstream sorting
Different Picking ProcessesDiscrete Order Picking How it works: The most basic form of picking One picker starts one order and completes the entire order The picker goes to each location required for the order The picker picks and then places the product into a tote or onto a cart Primarily used in low order volume distribution centers Or, for sufficiently large orders Allows for order accuracy and ease of tracking errors back to the picker Less viable option for smaller orders as travel time between locations is increased
Different Picking ProcessesPick and Pass Order PickingAs volume increases Pick and Pass is generally the next type of picking used.Used to balance the workload between areas.How it works:When a picker finishes all picks in their area they pass the task to the picker inthe next area.Minimizes travel time for each pickerPickers become familiar with inventory and locations in their area reducingsearch timeLike Discrete picking, errors are easily tracked back to the picker.
Pick and Pass Order Picking Picker #1 Picker #2
Batch Picking Fulfilling multiple orders at one time Groups of orders picked at the same time to minimize repeat visits to the same location Beneficial when there is commonality of SKUs across multiple orders or groups of orders For multi-SKU orders this may result in the order being spread across more than one picking task (cart)
How it works:Each item in the group of batched orders being picked is picked from theirrespective locations and placed on a cart or in a tote.When picking is complete, the individual items will go through a sortingprocess to combine the items into their respective orders.Batch picking improves productivity by reducing walking time.Batching makes it so a picker makes one trip through a pick area to pick anumber of orders (or pieces of orders) at one time.A properly configured batch will generate highly dense picks along the pickpath.
Warehouse Zoning Zone: A section of the forward pick area to which a picker is confined. Zoning Patterns Progressive Zoning To packing and shipping Parallel/Simultaneous Zoning To sorting and consolidation Z1 Z2 Z3 Z4 Z5 Z1 Z2 Z3 Z4 Z5Order Order Adapted from: Spyros Reveliotis
Combining Batching with Zoning• Single-order pick: One picker works one order at a time until the order is filled.• Pick-sort, no zoning: One picker picks multiple orders at a time to completionusing a cart with multiple containers for maintaining order integrity.• Batch picking with down stream sorting, no zoning: One picker picks severalorders all together to completion. The picking task then goes to a sort.• Single-order pick with zoning: An order is split into sub-orders by zone and apicker in each zone fills the corresponding sub-order.• Batch picking with downstream sorting and zoning: Several orders are splitinto sub-orders and the sub-orders for each zone are filled by the picker(s)operating in that zone. Sub-orders are then taken to a downstream sortingprocess to rebuild the sub-orders into the original order. Adapted from: Spyros Reveliotis
Pick to CartonHow it works:Pick product directly into a carton as the picker moves through the pick pathEliminates the need for packing the order after picking.Works best for one carton sized ordersPicking may be slightly slower, but overall order through put (cycle time) isfaster.
Technology As the volume increases through the facility and orders become more complex, the use of technology becomes necessary. Three common technologies used for picking:Paper pick lists: * Items to be picked are listed in location sequence * Does not allow for “live” productivity monitoring * Limited quality checksRF Scanners: * Pickers are directed to pick locations via instructions on RF screen. * Allows for “live” productivity monitoring. * Can be cumbersome and is not “hands free”. * Built in quality checks
TechnologyVoice Picking: * Pickers are directed to picking locations via voice commands * Allows for “live” productivity monitoring * “Hands Free” and “Heads Up” operation * Built in quality checksLight Directed Picking: * Lighted display indicates what and how much to pick * Built in quality check
TechnologyCarousels: * Brings work to the picker * Offers high density storage solution * A limitation: Allows only a limited number of pickers