Within the logistics sector, there are different terms and concepts that are becoming more and more relevant to improve efficiency and task performance, one of them is picking.
Picking in logistics has become an essential process to perform order preparation tasks more efficiently, especially in warehousing, distribution and merchandise management services.
Do you want to know what is picking in logistics? Read on, we tell you everything you need to know about picking.
What is picking in logistics
Picking in logistics refers to the process of preparing orders to meet a customer’s needs. It covers from the reception of the order, to the selection and collection of elements to generate the order.
Order picking is considered one of the most expensive and labor-intensive activities for warehouses. According to recent studies, warehouse picking accounts for up to 55% of a distribution center’s operating costs. It directly affects customer satisfaction, business reputation and profitability.
Importance of picking in the company
Picking processes are becoming necessary and important tasks within the context of a warehouse.
Increasingly new operational concepts such as just-in-time, cycle time reduction, rapid response and new marketing strategies make better optimization and efficiency in order picking a priority.
Thanks to picking, a high-level picking strategy is established, optimizing resources and time in each process.
It is especially relevant for the improvement of quality and customer service.
Picking in logistics offers different strategies and ways of working this type of procedures. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Manual Picking. Order preparation tasks are performed manually.
- Automated Picking. Machinery and software help to elaborate this type of tasks.
- Mixed Picking. The two previous strategies are combined.
Then it is also possible to find classification of the picking typology in this way:
- Low-level picking. Loading units located at a comfortable height.
- Picking at medium level. Loading units at heights of no more than 3.5 or 4 m.
- High-level picking. Loading units at all heights.
- Picking on pallets. Picking directly on pallet racks.
- Pick-to-light. Process managed by a warehouse management system, WMS.
Picking processes are based on three distinct phases:
Order Preparation Phase
It encompasses all those tasks related to data collection and order allocation. It also includes the preparation of the corresponding machinery and resources to carry out the work.
Movement phase within the warehouse
This is one of the most time-consuming phases. This phase includes everything that has to do with the movements of the warehouse operators in search of the merchandise, and return to the operations area to continue with the packaging of the order.
Product Extraction Phase
In this phase, the resources necessary for the extraction of the product will be used. Machinery will be used if the element is at a certain height or location.
Then the Packing process will be carried out, which should not be confused with Picking.
Difference with packing
Packing refers to both the packaging and the containers used to transport the products.
Key considerations to be taken into account for transport and final delivery to the customer.
The packing list is of special importance in packing. You have more information about it in:
One of the best ways to optimize and improve a warehouse picking service is by integrating different technology-based strategies.
Thus, the best known trends are:
Pick to Light
It is an order picking technology that uses alphanumeric displays and buttons in warehouses to guide manual picking and registration of items for shipment.
Put to Light
Efficient automated sorting method for dividing large quantities of products into individual customer orders, using illuminated devices to indicate to operators where to place the products.
Pick to Voice
A system that uses easy-to-understand voice instructions to direct operators to specific locations in the warehouse and tell them which products to pick to complete customer orders.
Optimizing a good picking service is crucial to provide greater efficiency and a strong supply chain.
Across Logistics, leaders in warehousing and distribution service
At Across Logistics we offer warehousing solutions that are intelligent, competitive, flexible and adapted to the needs of each client.
We know that the warehouse and distribution service is becoming increasingly important in many sectors and companies. For this reason, we have expanded our service, increasing our worldwide warehouse space in the most strategic logistics points.