As SKU proliferation continues and expectations on fulfillment times continue to shrink, warehouses and fulfillment centers are continually evaluating the latest technological upgrades available for their facility. New methods of fulfillment through technology allow these facilities to decrease operational and labor costs, increase order accuracy, and speed up the fulfillment process by allowing pickers to know what they are picking faster with less downtime in between orders.
These warehouse picking solutions can solve a number of challenges in a fulfillment setting. If you are interested in introducing these systems into your operations, contact us today!
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Voice Directed Picking is software that sends instructions on picking to a warehouse employee via wireless headset. Pickers provide answers to structured questions and communicate with the system in order to complete the picking process.
Orders are picked based on verbal commands, lowering costs in refunds and the retrieval of returned goods by increasing accuracy. There is no need to carry a handheld device or go back to a workstation to retrieve another picking list. With this, employees benefit from this more streamlined picking process.
These systems are easy to learn and use. Being so user-friendly helps cut down on training costs since the picker can learn the system and start working productively quickly. These benefits and more make this technology a great resource when it comes to distribution centers utilizing temporary employment.
Vision Picking Systems
Vision Picking systems use augmented reality technology to direct a picker to the exact location of a product using wearable technology. The system both guides the employee on an optimal route and provides many of the same benefits as pick-to-light or voice-directed picking. They can be adopted in nearly any warehouse setting without structural modifications and offers 100% error-free picking with minimal training time required.
Pick-to-Light systems are mounted technology on pallet rack, shelving, etc. to help pickers find the right items to fulfill an order. What makes this type of system so valuable is its simplicity. Like in a Put-to-Light system, the operator will scan the order code and the locations with the items needed for the order will illuminate until the order is fulfilled.
Pick-to-Light is normally applied in Zone Picking, a picking process where each picker works in a designated area to reduce travel time & expedite order fulfillment. Once the picker finishes their picks in their respective zone, the order is then passed on to the next picker in the queue where they will do the same. This assembly line-like method keeps your distribution center moving and able to get more orders out in a shorter amount of time.
Put-to-Light Systems / Put Walls
Put-to-Light systems are automated sortation methods that break down bigger product quantities into smaller individual orders. Known as the “scan and sort method”, this order fulfillment method makes it so items that are normally batch packed beforehand are transported to the put station. The operator will scan a bar code on individual items and the lights will illuminate with any customer order including that product. This technology solution will help increase productivity as it cuts out the element of searching for the put location.
Put-to-Light offers the same hardware devices and software as pick to light, meaning you can utilize both systems on one platform. This will be beneficial when it comes to training new employees to utilize this technology solution. This system’s main goal is to give you the ability to pick, pack and ship more orders in less time while reducing errors.
Radio Frequency (RF) Scanning allows pickers to indicate which products are being associated with a particular order and can support a variety of picking methods. By using a handheld device, pickers can communicate with your facility’s warehouse execution system or warehouse management system to ensure the operator is in the proper pick location, then provides SKU information to the picker to inform them on which product to select along with the quantity. Once the order is selected, the next order is sent to the picker remotely.
This technology also can assist with cycle counts and put-away/replenishment processes.