Barcode App - Order Picking
Why Use a Barcode Order Picking Software?
Fast, scalable and adaptable, Finale Inventory offers the tools and features you need to manage your inventory operations. For many businesses, barcode order picking serves as an essential aspect of the fulfillment process. Learn how Finale's barcode order picking scanner software can improve your warehouse operations.
When you integrate a barcode picking software with an inventory management software, you benefit from:
- Increased efficiency: As you scan each item in an order, it updates the product's status in the inventory management software. You can save the time used to enter an item code or update the software manually.
- Streamlined shipping: Throughout the different steps of a product's journey from your warehouse to the customer, you can use a simple scan to record them. The inventory management software updates in real time as you track each part of the process.
- Improved operations: Barcode picking can also help you move stock from one warehouse to another. A multi-warehouse inventory management solution like Finale Inventory can update inventory numbers across warehouses with a scan.
A barcode scanner can work with your picking and inventory management software to improve your operations and increase your profits.
Advantages of Barcode Order Picking
Finale offers these distinct advantages over other barcode scanner order picking software:
- Scalability: With multiple scanning method options, you can choose settings that scale with your business.
- Service: Every paid plan comes with complimentary training and personalized software assistance.
- Sensibility: Our monthly plans require no long-term commitment and feature flat rates without hidden fees.
We designed Finale to meet the needs of businesses across sizes and industries. Thanks to our impeccable service and versatile software design, you get a solution tailored to your goals.
The Importance of Barcode Order Picking for a Growing Business
Barcode order picking becomes increasingly important in improving order picking efficiency and mitigating costly picking errors as a company order volume grows. Since order picking involves a labor-intensive process and needs a high level of accuracy, it makes a great focus for improving operations. Order picking also has a significant role to play in customer satisfaction.
The order-picking process serves as the last touch point between you and your customers before your product travels to its destination. Mistakes happen as part of warehouse operations, but businesses can benefit from reducing their errors as much as possible. Incorrectly packed shipments may result in an increase in service requests from customers who want corrections. When this happens, the current customer feels dissatisfied, and future customers may have to deal with delayed orders due to errors.
Using a Barcode Scanner for Order Picking
The integrated Finale mobile barcode scanner solution will improve the order picking efficiency and mitigate costly picking errors. Finale automatically sends a current list of items to pick to your handheld scanner. This high level of accuracy allows your staff to pick and pack stock from anywhere with accuracy. As changes in your inventory occur, the list updates in real-time to give you the latest information.
By default, Finale uses WiFi to transmit data to your wireless barcode scanner. However, if your warehouse does not have a reliable WiFi connection, Finale also provides the option to sync your device via USB cable. This syncing method allows you to get updates every time you connect the scanner to your warehouse picking software.
Barcode Order Picking Options Available
The barcode scanner has four picking options and two packing options to allow you to decide which barcode order picking method is best for your operations.
- Basic – Un-Guided Discrete Picking (Picking a sales order one by one)
- Basic – Directed Picking (One order at a time)
- Advanced Batch- Barcode Wave Picking
- Advanced Batch- Barcode Pick and Pack
- Item By Item – All items on the order must be scanned
- Scan packed orders (“Rapid pack” method)
Your Finale-compatible scanner can function using any of these methods to suit a variety of businesses' needs. As your business evolves, you can change your barcode scanner settings to match your operations.
Basic Picking Methods
When it’s time to pick and ship e-commerce orders, many small businesses opt for picking orders one by one. A basic fulfillment process often involves paper pick lists for each order and scanning it to pick items for one order at a time. The staff member packs and ships the order then uses the next order's pick list. This basic picking routine is called discrete picking and shipping and is the most common fulfillment method among online retailers. This option offers simplicity, but not as much efficiency.
Advanced Batch Picking
Once a business begins to receive more orders, they might choose a batch picking process, wave picking or pick and pack. The basic batch fulfillment workflow is simple. Instead of starting with one order, a store worker will group similar orders in batches. The time spent traveling throughout the warehouse can make up half of your total order-picking time — or more. By combining orders into a single batch, the time spent walking through the warehouse is greatly diminished.
Item by Item Packing vs the "Rapid Pack" Method
As you pack items, you can use one of the scanner's two options — item-by-item or rapid order packing. In item-by-item packing, the warehouse staff scans each item as they pack it. Meanwhile, rapid order packing involves a visual confirmation of the order's contents and scanning a single barcode to mark the order as packed.
Item-by-item packing prioritizes accuracy, while rapid packing focuses on efficiency. The best option for your business will depend on your operations.
Increased Efficiency and Accuracy
Regardless of the picking or packing option, Finale will instantly speed up the picking and packing process by scanning the barcode when you pick or pack an item. As items are scanned, Finale checks every picked item against its barcode and alerts the user if the incorrect items were picked. If your warehouse has sublocations (e.g aisles, shelves, or bins), the scanner can be additionally configured to alert the user where to find and pick the item.
Discover How Barcode Picking Can Benefit Your Business
Barcode Order Picking Options - Overview
Scan Packed Orders - One Sublocation
Hello, Mike Kroeger with Finale Inventory. We're gonna discuss very quickly, in this short video, about the different picking options using the Finale mobile barcode scanner and our Finale Data Collector software.
So in our mobile data collector, you can have basically four different ways to pick and pack your sales orders. So one of them that we call is called Basic. So we have two ways to do Basic, you can have a Basic - Simple and you have a Basic - Directed. And then you also have a choice of Wave picking and Pick and Pack.
Let's cover the basics of just the differences of the barcode order picking options. So a Basic - Simple, it basically means you're gonna pick one order at a time. So you would be choosing the order that you wish to pick, it's going to basically ask you to scan an item. It's not gonna tell you where to go or any of that other information. It's just a basic pick function. So that's called Basic - Simple. Now, there's another way you can do, is you can change the settings in the software on the handheld and you can throw it into what we call a directed mode. So here we see a Basic - Directed. It's still just one order picking at a time. But if you go to the directed mode, then it will actually tell you which item to pick on the order. It'll tell you how many you should pick. It will tell you where to go in your warehouse if you have multiple locations where products are stored. It will direct you to each of the different areas. And it will direct you in the proper order. So it'll sort the warehouse locations in alphanumerical order, it will tell you to go in that alphabetical order to make it through the warehouse most efficiently. And you'll see feedback on the scanner. Like, it tells you where the scanner is now and where it's picking from and how many are in that location. There's a lot more information when you use the Basic - Directed.
Now, what this does is it's gonna allow you to pick one order at a time. And when you get done picking that one order, it will be considered packed or shipped based on your settings that you set. So that covers Basic. But there are two more advanced features in picking sales orders with the Finale Data Collector. So the next two barcode order picking options are Wave picking and what we call Pick and Pack.
So let's talk about the next barcode order picking option, Wave picking. Wave picking is designed for you to process multiple orders in a Wave. So that means you're going to pick and you are gonna pack multiple orders at the exact same time. You're gonna make one trip in the warehouse and possibly pick and pack all the items on, say, 5 orders at a time, 10 orders at a time, 20 orders at a time, depending on how big a cart you got and how many you wanna try to pick and pack all at the same time. That's called a Wave. So we call Wave picking for multiple orders. So it basically starts in the premise that you're gonna have a stack of packing slips, right? So you may have a stack of, say, 10 packing slips and you wanna make 1 trip in the warehouse and pick everything on those 10 packing slips. So what you would do is you would scan each one of those packing slips because each one represents a different order. And you're gonna associate an order with a slot.
Now, a slot is what we're calling nothing more than a bin or a storage bucket or a place on a cart. So, you can have cardboard boxes or bins that separate each order that when you go through the warehouse and pick, you're gonna assign each order its own little bin, or what we call a slot. And you're gonna put each item into each bin. And then we will then tell you how to most efficiently go through the warehouse and go pick all the items for all those orders that you have put in the wave on your cart. We will go into more detail within a real live example in a secondary video. This is really just to orientate you on the different options you have for picking using our barcode scanner.
Now, if the Wave picking is not good enough as a barcode order picking option, so maybe you have even more orders and you wanna get even more efficiency, so you're a large e-commerce or a large high processing business, then you may wanna consider Pick and Pack as a barcode order picking option. So Pick and Pack is actually built on batches of orders. So it's still a multi-order pick and pack process but what we do is we separate the picking process from the packing process. So we call it pick then pack. So Pick and Pack is really the separation of the two whereas Wave, you're gonna be picking and packing multiple orders at the same time. So Pick and Pack is gonna work similar to the Wave but it separates the pick process from the packing process.
So for example, you may have a stack of 30, 50 or a hundred orders out of, maybe, thousands of orders that you need to go process. And you wanna send a team into the warehouse to go pick all of the products related to a batch of, say, 30 or 50 or a hundred orders so that you don't have individuals walking in and out of the warehouse trying to locate the one or two items that are on each of these orders. You're gonna send one person to go get all the items that they need to fulfill the batch of orders in a pick process and they're gonna bring all that merchandise back to a centralized packing location where they or another team may pack 'em from that packing location, not necessarily the warehouse. So it's called Pick and Pack. So that's what Pick and Pack is designed for.
So what it will do is allow you to scan the order IDs off the packing slips. You can just sit there and scan, you know, 10, 20, 30, 50 orders right into the scanner. And when you get done, you'll tell the scanner that you wanna go pick all the items for the total number of orders you've scanned in. So it creates a consolidated picklist and then drives you in the warehouse to just go get the items. Don't worry about what orders they go on, it's just saying, "Hey, let's go pull this from the warehouse and bring it back to the central packing location." And then you're gonna go through a pack process. That's the difference.
So we covered various barcode order picking options: Wave, Pick and Pack. So in other videos, we will go into more details and give you prime examples of each of these and how they work. Give you a better idea of how they flow.