Warehouse Management software, or WMS, can fully automate many of the daily processes and controls necessary to run any size of warehouse. Among the most important tasks that become more efficient through the installation of such software is ordering picking. Let’s first look at a few of the most popular types of order picking so we can better understand how a WMS is able to utilise various technologies to make order picking much smoother.
The picker to part method refers to a strategy in which a warehouse worker gathers everything that is needed for one order. The warehouse employee simply loads the pallets involved for one specific order at a time. Depending on the arrangement of the warehouse and the number of items carried, this method can be inefficient under certain circumstances.
When referring to zone picking, we are referring to a system in which each employee has a zone and they load the various orders for the day with products from their specific zone. Software can definitely have a huge impact on such systems.
Wave picking is similar to the aforementioned method with the notable difference of one employee visiting each zone and loading what needs to be loaded from that particular zone for the various orders of the day.
The most important thing that a WMS is going to do is use state of the art logistics to assist the order picker(s). The software can come up with a picking routine that will greatly enhance the speed of order filling for all three of the methods discussed here as well as any other order picking method.
It is also important to consider that most packages will be able to send virtual display screens right to the fork lift or any other location where the order picker would require them. Some systems even send audio directions to the picker via wireless headsets. The most advanced WMS applications are going to naturally monitor their logistical behaviour via RFID tagging. A heavy duty WMS application combined with RFID can cut order picking time down to levels that warehouse managers never though previously possible.