“Picking” is the preparation process of non-unit orders in a warehouse, and ranges from the collection of the various products that an order involves, to the final packaging for shipment or transport.
This is a fundamental process in any logistics or warehouse company. The productivity of the warehouse depends on the optimization and performance of this process.
How is the picking done?
The first step of this process is the collection of the products from the shelves; this can be done in several ways:
- By displacement of the operators; they pick up the elements of the order in trolleys
- By automated means: the product is automatically collected and taken to the operator who prepares the final order at the picking tables
- Combinations of both systems. For example, automated collection from the shelf but manual collection from the forefront of the storage.
According to the dimensions and characteristics of the products distributed by a warehouse, the picking process may involve the use of specific machinery (load elevators, forklifts, platforms….) as well as installations and structures for the movement of goods (belt or roller conveyors…)
If we do not undertake an adequate planning, the picking process could suppose a high cost in time and manpower. To make it efficient, we have to take into account;
- The correct organization of the warehouse.
- Accurate control of your stocks and the location of products on the shelves (inventory management)
- A planning of the routes that operators or machines must perform. It is essential to have the correct labelling of the products as well as their location. This is done through manual or incorporated code readers in automated systems or through more advanced geolocation methods. All these data must be updated and integrated into the warehouse management software; this will allow planning the most efficient routes for picking
Last stage of the process: the picking tables
In the last step of the productive process, we will find the picking tables. Once all the products of one order are assembled, the final preparation and packaging for their shipment is carried out. The picking tables are designed and manufactured specifically for the requirements of each type of company and allow multiple customization options (dimensions, height, spaces, scale, etc.).
They are spaces where the operator can efficiently perform the entire process of packaging and final preparation of the order. They have various structures that allow an easier access to packaging boxes, sealing tapes, labels, protective material for order, etc.
Once the order is prepared and packaged, the picking process ends and the merchandise will be ready for distribution.