What is a Picking Method?
A picking method refers to any one of the ways in which businesses can pick orders to fulfill them. Generally, picking is done to sequentially take all products destined for a specific location, regardless of the row in which they are located. There are several types of picking methods, like single order picking, batch order picking, wave order picking, and so on.
Significance of a Picking Method in E-commerce Logistics
A picking method is an essential step of the order fulfillment process which can increase product delivery accuracy. Some of its benefits are given below:
- Picking methods enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the picking process.
- It reduces the picker’s travel time, ultimately resulting in business cost savings.
- Assigning picking methods according to different kinds of orders helps businesses fulfill multiple deliveries in one go.
How Picking Methods Work
The different picking methods and their protocol are given below:
- Zone picking method: In this picking method, businesses divide their warehouse into different zones based on stock-keeping units. Subsequently, workers are assigned to each zone and are responsible for picking orders from their respective zones.
- Pick and pass method: This picking method also works on zonal segregation. Each picker picks their products from a zone and passes them to the next picker after putting them into a container.
- Single-order picking: In this method, the picker focuses on picking one single item at a time.
- Batch order picking: In this method, the picker picks items to fulfill more than one order simultaneously, saving time.
- Sorting system: In this system, conveyor belts are used. On these belts, the ordered items are placed and sorted automatically. The pickers simply pick the items and arrange them accordingly.
- Wave order picking: In this picking method, orders are picked in batches or ‘waves’ according to any common factor like manufacturing date, shipping date, and so on.
Use Case With Picking Methods
Suppose a company receives an order with multiple items. Subsequently, a warehouse worker scans the barcode of each product to find its location. Next, the worker picks each product from its respective shelf in the warehouse and finally, packs the order after all the items are picked. This is a use case with a single-order picking method. While this method is time-consuming, it is very accurate and leaves little room for mistakes.