What is Order Picking?
Order picking refers to the picking up of products from a warehouse or fulfillment center. It is done to fulfill an order placed by a customer. It is the first stage in fulfilling the order of a customer, and hence, its smooth completion is essential for successfully executing the other stages.
Significance of Order Picking in E-commerce and Shipping
Order picking is crucial because it’s an essential step in completing consumer orders. The speed and effectiveness of the order-picking procedure can impact how quickly a customer’s order is delivered. The major benefits of order picking are:
- With the right picking and packing strategy, companies can exceed customer expectations.
- When done correctly, order picking can help save unnecessary costs.
- It helps in making order management easier.
Pre-requisites of Order Picking and How It Works
Here are some prerequisites for order picking in a warehouse or fulfilment centre:
- Picking cart
- Mobile scanner
Some popular order picking methods are:
- Zone Picking: In this case, a warehouse is divided into different zones, and assigned warehouse workers will pick up ordered items from their designated zones.
- Discrete Picking: Here, order pickers collect the ordered products from different locations throughout the warehouse. Usually, only one item is picked at a time.
- Wave Picking: Wave picking involves picking different orders at the same time. In this case, different orders are clubbed into a ‘wave’, and subsequently, warehouse workers pick those orders.
- Multi-order Picking: In this situation, multiple orders are picked at the same time. Workers combine the same product from different orders and pick all at the same time to fulfill picking faster.
Use Cases With Order Picking
Consider a company receiving an order for apples and oranges. The warehouse of the company has different zones for these fruits. Thus, to fulfill the order, the workers in the ‘apple’ zone pick the required number of apples, while those in the ‘orange’ zone do the same. Subsequently, the picked items are combined and packed, thus, fulfilling the order.