Skip to main content

How to speed up warehouse picking

in Blog

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.

Magnetic Numbers Letters

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.

Leave a Reply

Dear Customer,


We would like to thank you for all your support and business during the last 15 months - no one could have foreseen all the events that have unfolded, and we are incredibly proud of how our team have worked tirelessly with our customers and suppliers in navigating these challenging times. 


Unfortunately, we have reached a point where we need to share with you the testing circumstances that are besetting our industry. With prices for commodities, such as plastics, cardboard and paper, as well as transport costs rising in a way that we haven’t seen in our 37-year history, our supply partners have found themselves increasingly battling with growing costs and possible shortages.


From the start of the pandemic, we have been working closely with our supply partners to try and mitigate any risk of price increases. As an example, we took the decision early on to proactively pre-invest in our stock levels to lock in historic prices. However, with the continued supply & demand mismatches, and increasing industry pressures on the supply chains, we have had to evaluate our position and the impact it is having on our business. It is with great reluctance that we need to apply a temporary economic surcharge of 12% on all orders placed, effective from 22nd July 2021.


We pride ourselves on working very hard with our suppliers and customers to build strong, trusted and long-lasting partnerships, so please be assured that we will be reviewing this measure all of the time, and adapting it as we can, when hopefully market conditions become more settled for all of us.


We would like to thank you for your continued support and understanding in these unsettling times