Goods handling in the warehouse is one of the central elements of the supply chain. Of all the processes in logistics, order picking is one of the most intensive in terms of time and human resources.
© Picavi at Ecomal
Pick-by-paper is a classic process for order-based picking, but it cannot keep up with today’s demands. It is extremely susceptible to errors, especially with high pick densities. The technology breaks in the process also make it virtually impossible to track errors. Given the vital importance of efficiency in warehouses, it is no longer fit for purpose.
In pick-by-scan, the information on the picking list is presented to the picker digitally on a mobile handheld scanner. This device is connected to the higher-level order picking system.
Pick-by-voice is a popular picking method in logistics. The picker receives the order information directly to their ear. Using a headset and microphone, the picker is guided through the warehouse to the items by a computer-generated voice and communicates directly with the higher-level system.
Pick-by-vision is based on the fact that 80% of the information presented to us every day is taken in and processed visually. Picking with smart glasses allows pickers to be guided visually through the warehouse and the entire picking process. The system combines the benefits of pick-by-voice and pick-by-light, and is both highly flexible and adjustable. A barcode scanner integrated in the smart glasses makes picking easier and less tiring. All of the relevant information is displayed in real time on the glasses. This increases reliability and allows the picker to check storage locations, items or item numbers at any time. The compulsory scanning verifies that the correct item has been picked. The picker has their hands free at all times and receives a confirmation once they have successfully processed the order.
Our checklist contains the most important questions that a company should ask before choosing a picking method.
Order picking is one of the most time and work-intensive tasks in the warehouse. As the last link in the internal logistics chain, it has a direct impact on customer satisfaction and therefore the company’s reputation. Any errors in order picking are felt by the customer immediately. Many companies are exploring automated options for this process. But the overwhelming majority, around 80%, still rely on more flexible manual solutions. As product portfolios continue to grow and become ever more diverse, and delivery times become ever shorter, this flexibility can be a crucial advantage.
The best user interface belongs to pick-by-vision. It relieves the mental load on the picker by reducing the amount of information displayed to a minimum. Pick-by-vision guides the worker precisely through the process and makes their job easier. This significantly reduces the mental and cognitive load on the picker. The user interface can be easily adapted to the individual needs of the worker at any time.