As your business grows, you will expect an increase in customer demand. This means that your distribution center has to work harder, faster and even smarter to meet the demand. In order to stay competitive, you should really look into your order picking system to make sure you can ship faster, and store new products faster than your competitors. It’s all about efficiency, and you should also look into reducing your operating and labour costs at the same time if possible.
Usually, an online seller would start off with the most basic picking method – discrete order picking. When an order is received, the picker will go and pick one order at a time. The picker will then have to move around the whole warehouse to retrieve the products to finish the first order, then move onto the second order. This method is accurate but it is very time consuming. Imagine if you have 50 orders – you would have to walk around your warehouse 50 times!
This is why people outsource their order fulfilment. Basically, we increase efficiency by picking orders in batch. After receiving the orders, our automated system will categorize the orders into type and pick location. The picker will then retrieve the products according to the pick list, handling multiple orders at the same time. This can greatly reduce the travelling time between different locations and make things more productive. According to Fastpick, nearly 70% of time is wasted on travelling between product locations!
However, batch picking can be rather confusing and more mistakes can be made compared to discrete picking. This is why we have invested in technology and applied a bar-coding system. Each product types, sizes, colours, and any other variation, has its own unique bar code. After the picker has picked the products, the packer will scan the products and make sure everything is correct before packing and dispatching. Upon recognizing the order, the system will also print the corresponding address label. This can ensure a near 100% accuracy.
Improving your order picking can save you time, money and also improve customer satisfaction (imagine how many customers you could lose with picking errors!). Alternatively, consider outsourcing to us – with our bulk buying power we will certainly be the cheaper option!