Managing a warehouse is a full-time responsibility. Not only do you have to be aware of everything happening on the warehouse floor, but you also have to keep an eye on everything working behind the scenes. Delays in order processing, data entry errors, and other system hold ups have the potential to impact your productivity in big ways, and – in order to remain successful – you need to stay proactive in all that you do. Automating the processes you do have control over, therefore, is always a good idea. You’d be surprised at the difference a little automation can make in the grand scheme of things.
Before you try to tackle implementing a full-blown automation project in your warehouse, focus on the area that needs your most attention. For most warehouses, this would be the picking process. Hundreds of dollars in wasted productivity are lost every year due to inefficiencies in the picking process. Errors are made daily, resulting in the delay of shipments or inaccurate shipments altogether. If ever you needed to improve a process, this would be the one to choose.
Our newest Sage 100 mobile (formerly Sage MAS 90 mobile / MAS 200 mobile) application, Wave and Directed Picking, can help you achieve the automation you desire; however, before you can understand the benefits it can bring to your warehouse, you need to have a clear understanding of the wave and directed picking process.
What is Wave Picking?
Many smaller companies use a batch picking model to group orders together to minimize picking times; however, for medium to large-sized companies, this model doesn’t always reduce the time spent picking enough. For companies who have outgrown batch picking, wave picking is the ideal method. Wave picking, the quickest method for picking multi-item orders, entails picking all zones at the same time and later sorting and consolidating items into individual orders and shipments. Because items are not sorted according to individual orders when they are being picked and – therefore – tend to be more uniform in shape and size, the picking cart can hold more items, enabling more items to be picked in one go-around.
What is Directed Picking?
Directed picking, essentially, eliminates the paper trail involved in the picking process. Directed picking allows you to maximize the efficiency of the picking process by using pegged supply, cross-docking, specified picking rules and detailed zone assignments to suggest the ideal storage locations from which to pick stock. Using either a voice directed system or warehouse management software, pickers are guided through the warehouse to the correct picking locations, eliminating guesswork and wasted time in the picking process.
How Can Combining Wave and Directed Picking Improve Your Warehouse Efficiency?
When combined, wave and directed picking can help you maximize the time spent in the picking process and improve your order accuracy. Using our innovative Wave and Directed Picking mobile application, you can create order waves to see how much labor you need to allocate and how much time it will take to complete each wave. This Sage 100 mobile app gives you the capability to group multiple orders from one screen to optimize your picking and eliminate having to walk back and forth throughout the warehouse. The application also includes intelligent warehouse mapping with direction guidance so your pickers know exactly where to find the items they need to pick. This takes the guesswork out of where to go in the warehouse and allows you to complete orders faster, delivering them into the hands of your customers in record time.
If you could use some improvement in the picking process, contact us today. Our Wave and Directed picking app can improve picking productivity and maximize your efficiency so you can focus your attention on more pressing issues in the warehouse. To learn more about Wave and Directed picking, download our product brochure here.
As you work to complete and ship orders on time, what are additional ways you can save time in the picking process? We’d love to hear your suggestions – just leave us a comment below!