Improved productivity and capacity in the warehouse are key targets for any business. Major investment isn’t always needed when you know how to speed up warehouse picking with cost-effective solutions. So, we’re going to talk about how to speed up warehouse picking
A diverse range of companies now relies on swiftly processing the inventory arriving at their premises, and then being agile in sending finished goods out of their warehouse.
Technology has provided exciting automation options for warehouses, but this requires considerable investment. Fortunately, there are long-standing, proven efficiency aids that are cheap, and easy to use. Ones that can improve productivity and capacity in warehouses when used effectively.
In this article, we look closely at how to speed up warehouse picking, possibly the most prolific activity involved. What traditional warehouse products and systems can you rely on more?
Streamlining warehouse picking
If you look at the activities involved in locating and selecting items from warehouse racking it is easy to see why it’s often the most labour-intensive aspect of a warehouse environment. Especially in large scale or complex fulfilment environments, where time can be wasted if operatives struggle to locate items quickly enough, or correctly.
This is why so many companies have embraced automation in warehouse picking, to speed up this essential task and reduce errors. This can also make it possible to introduce more multi-layered and double-sided racking too.
However, even using the latest technology, errors can still occur and there can be an unwelcome ripple effect if incorrect items go all the way to the customer! It could even be argued that the quicker you pick with autonomous equipment, the more likely mistakes become.
What you need – as the saying goes – is “more speed, less haste”.
Easy fixes for warehouse picking challenges
Many of the issues busy warehouses face come down to the systems they use to store and then locate items. It can be as basic as using a clear, strategic inventory database, integrated with consistent warehouse labelling and signage.
If you have a legacy system or a warehouse that has evolved, changed or become busier, you may need to review the entire layout.
Or, you may be able to solve a lot of problems by introducing and new and improved labelling system for aisles, racks, shelves and pallets. There are now inexpensive warehouse labelling products that can suit both human and autonomous picking activities. More on this later.
More ways to speed up warehouse picking
Other efficiency improvements for warehousing include:
– Constantly refreshed training and communication, to help employees locate items more smoothly.
– Time and motion studies to check whether pedestrians, off-road vehicles and warehouse machinery are all flowing around the site efficiently. Would new directional signage help facilitate this?
– Stocking up on more auxiliary products that support warehouse picking such as bins, totes, and ingenious rack sacks that boost efficiency.
– Spot checks to see if picking strategies are appropriate, and being used effectively by everyone in the team.
How to speed up warehouse picking with labels and signs
This is undoubtedly the simplest and most low-cost way to improve warehouse efficiency and capacity. It is vital to regularly reassess – and update – warehouse labels and signs, and ensure the system used matches your software listings flawlessly.
Even when you buy good quality safety and directional signs and markers, they will need to be regularly assessed. This would evaluate if floor markings are degrading, for example, but also if other wall and floor signs have been blocked, or impacted by a change in layout.
Holding a good stock of safety and directional signs, directional signs, stickers and tapes will ensure you can quickly replace signalling that supports the flow of your warehouse.
It also makes sense to hold stocks of magnetic labels and shelf holders. These are tried and trusted warehouse labelling products. They also offer you an ideal way to be both versatile and thorough in how you support warehouse picking.
Help on products to improve warehouse efficiency
With ever-increasing pressure to meet time targets and avoid errors, it can be easy to overlook the basics of how to speed up warehouse picking. Efficiencies can be found by simply taking time out to ‘walk the walk’ and check your signs – from aisles to shelves – are clear and consistent.
Give us a call for help in compiling a complete list of cheap but essential warehouse efficiency aids.