The Best Order Picking Methods for Your Warehouse

Order picking has a critical role to play in your warehouse operations. It impacts your efficiency, accuracy and customer satisfaction, and you can amplify your business by finding the right method. With order picking so important to your success, you may wonder which approach will work best for your warehouse. Read on for an overview of popular warehouse order picking methods and how they can benefit your business.

What Is Warehouse Order Picking?

During order picking, a warehouse staff member gets a customer’s order ready by pulling items from the inventory. This step in operations involves organizing an order to ship to its destination. Successful order picking has the following objectives:

  • Accuracy: The level of accuracy in order picking has the most significant effect on your customers’ satisfaction. Accurate order picking helps you prevent profit loss and build a good reputation.
  • Turnaround: In today’s era of fast shipping, shortening the time between order entry and shipping becomes more critical than ever. A quick order picking process improves the rate at which you can accept orders.
  • Efficiency: Most businesses measure the effectiveness of order picking by pick rate. Pick rate refers to the number of items, cases or pallets picked per hour, and an efficient process increases these numbers.

Types of Warehouse Picking Methods

Your warehouse may benefit from certain picking approaches over others. Some of the most popular and effective warehouse order picking methods include:

  • Discrete order picking: In discrete order picking, the warehouse worker picks one order at a time. This method has a high level of accuracy and acts as one of the simplest approaches.
  • Barcode wave picking: Wave picking involves combining more than one order into a “wave,” or group. As a batch picking method, it allows you to process multiple orders at once and improve your travel time.
  • Barcode pick and pack: The “pick and pack” process separates picking and packing into two different steps. Warehouse staff uses a consolidated pick list during the picking stage and send over a packing slip that automates the packing order.

When choosing an order picking method, you want to keep these factors in mind.

Providing Accuracy With Order Picking

The right order picking method for your warehouse depends on the nature of your business. When you choose a strategy, you want to balance accuracy and efficiency. Discrete order picking and other kinds of basic order picking have high accuracy but a long turnaround time. In many cases, it can take a trial-and-error process to figure out which method works best for your warehouse. A versatile order picking solution like Finale Inventory lets you try different approaches before deciding.

Find Your Preferred Method With Finale Inventory

Consider Finale Inventory for your inventory software and order picking needs. Finale Inventory works with barcode scanner hardware to make your order picking faster and more accurate. With personalized customer support that fits your needs, you can discover the process that works best for your business. Try our free 14-day trial to see for yourself how Finale Inventory can transform your business.