Pick & Pack

With accuracy, the items on an order will be pulled from your inventory and packed professionally with care

Accuracy is key when it comes to this fulfillment process that's why this is one detail is our bread and butter

There are two main types of picking.

  1. Primary: This is the first picking of goods. In some cases, the first picking is delivered directly to a staging area or packing bench for finalisation, consigning and dispatching, thus the first picking becomes the last picking.

  2. Secondary: This is a second picking process. Some primary picks are subject to a second picking process, particularly where picked goods must be allocated to clustered orders (bunch of orders), or discrete orders (single orders) via a sortation process or system. With the boom in online sales across many industries, far more companies are conducting secondary picking processes than ever before.


Once orders are received, it is common for orders to be released ‘real-time’ or in ‘waves’. Real-time orders are downloaded as they are received. Orders accumulated for specific picking times and transport routes are called ‘waves’.


Waves can be released at the discretion of the DC manager according to criteria that they determine. As alluded to above, picking may be discrete, i.e. one order at a time, clustered, i.e. multiple orders at a time, or batched, i.e. picking all the goods at once to sort to specific customer orders.


Often, companies may use all three types of picking. With increasing online orders, companies are increasingly installing picking apparatus such as put walls, put-to-light systems, goods-to-person systems and cross-belt sortation systems, to cope with the larger volume of small orders.

What about accuracy of picking? This is one of the most common questions asked by warehouse managers. Should you scan the product or location, or both during picking?

This depends largely on the degree of accuracy required. If both are scanned accuracy increases, but picking velocity will be lower compared to simply scanning the location. Where voice systems are used, no scanning will be used, but check digits at the location serve to ensure the operator is at the correct location. Voice picking obviates the need to scan at all, but with a touch of risk. The risk lies in the operator achieving the right count, upon picking, without making a mistake.


While companies worry about the accuracy issue, evidence suggests that voice picking and/or scanning the location only, gives a surprisingly high level of accuracy, without impeding

Deep recovery breath....(onto packing)

There are scores of ways that goods are packed within distribution centres. Rather than delve into the specific details of packing processes, it’s suffice to follow six rules for successful packing:

  1. Goods picked must be traceable in terms of location from which they are picked, plus relevant ‘use-by’ dates and/or ‘batch’ dates and codes.

  2. Accuracy and QA checks must be built into the process.

  3. Goods picking from different zones within the warehouse must be easily ‘combined’ and system-managed to ensure order completeness.

  4. Goods must be packed according to their size, quantity, temperature, toxicity, value, fragility, hygiene and legislative requirements.

  5. Consignments must always be system-traceable to documents and/or invoice numbers for future traceability.

  6. Securely packaged or packed to prevent property damage

 

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