The picking and packing process of any warehouse is a vital part of keeping the cogs turning, and an effective strategy can help reduce costs and save time. To ensure your operations run as efficiently and smoothly as possible, follow these steps to improve your picking and packing process instantly:
Make sure your business is packing products as efficiently as possible. This process can undoubtedly be assisted by packaging machinery and while the upfront cost is considerable, the time and resources that can be saved are sure to outweigh the initial cost.
While it is important to package products promptly, you’ll want to make sure that this process doesn’t compromise the end product. With that said, you might find it beneficial to learn how packaging contributes to brand identity.
While simple in principle, this step can become compromised as workload increases. Ensuring that staff double-check orders is vital, particularly during the picking and packing process. Errors can easily be overlooked, and double checking takes minimal time, even within working environments that are pushing strict deadlines. It is essential to reinforce the need of being thorough and implementing extra checking steps that can help prevent mistakes.
Organising warehouse inventory into a database helps save time in the picking process, making it easier for staff to locate particular items when orders are being processed. Furthermore, a specific practice for packaging should be implemented to ensure the packing process is organised, again, to help save time, as well as resources. Regardless of your business size, make sure that your warehouse space is arranged meticulously to ensure that future expansion is always a possibility. However, make sure that you evaluate from time to time as circumstances change.
Establish a Picking Method
If you haven’t already established a picking method in your warehouse, it’s crucial that you put one in place. Lacking an established method can potentially lead to wasted time, as well as confusion. Here are some picking methods that you might find useful:
1. Discrete Picking
Typically used by smaller businesses, the Discrete Picking Method is the most basic method; simply completing the pick and pack process, one order at a time.
2. Zone Picking
This method is commonly used by bigger businesses where there is a high rate of inventory turnover. The Zone Picking Method consists of different employees assigned to different zones, where they only pick from their zones, meaning orders may have to go through several zones before they are completed.
3. Batch Picking
Batching involves the picker having a group of orders, only collecting single SKUs at a time. Therefore, if you had five separate orders to process, instead of completing each order individually, you would complete them simultaneously, collecting matching SKUs on multiple orders at the same time.
It’s always beneficial to have a picking method outlined, regardless of the size of your business. It may be tempting and natural to ignore this process if your business is small, however, as your business grows, a picking method can grow with it.
Once a picking method is established, ensure that all members of staff are aware of it. Failure to do so and lack of communication will take you back to square one. Relaying the method is simple in practice but requires commitment and can typically fail over time, so be sure to keep an ongoing conversation to ensure all operations work as intended.
Following these tips can help your operation work like a well-oiled machine. Talking of machines, here at Kempner, we have the expertise to provide you with packaging machinery with polyolefin shrink film that is suitable for many business needs. Contact us on 020 8952 5262 to speak with a member of our team today.