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The Prolog Advantage: Streamlining Order Picking Efficiency

Streamlining Order Picking Efficiency

Advanced Warehouse Picking Strategies

Fast and accurate order fulfilment is vital for leading brands in the fiercely competitive online marketplace. Efficient order picking plays a crucial role in ensuring timely deliveries, meeting customer expectations, and creating shareable unboxing experiences. For this reason, developing advanced warehouse picking strategies are a priority for fulfilment centres, and Prolog’s solutions are already providing a competitive advantage to our clients.

At Prolog Fulfilment, we have long recognised the importance of streamlining the order picking process for the premium brands we partner. By reducing order processing time and minimising delays, we help our clients achieve lower operational costs and make optimal use of their resources. This enhanced efficiency ultimately strengthens their competitive edge, enabling them to thrive.

A Quick Definition of Order Picking

A Quick Definition of Order Picking

Order picking is the process of retrieving specific items or products from a warehouse or fulfilment centre in order to fulfil customer orders. The goal is to gather the requested items accurately and efficiently for each order, ensuring that the right products are selected and prepared for shipment.

Successful picking relies on a combination of technology, such as barcode scanners, inventory management systems, and well-designed procedures to maintain consistently high order accuracy rates.

What Are The Benefits of Streamlining Order Picking?

Prolog has found that applying a process of continuous improvement to our order picking offers a range of benefits to customers, clients and employees working within our fulfilment centre. These include:

  1. Higher Customer Satisfaction. Delays and errors in picking can result in missing or incorrect items, which leads to unhappy customers. A poor order accuracy rate directly impacts customer support enquiries, negative reviews, and exchange/return rates. Getting the warehouse picking stage right, therefore, reduces these risks, enhances customer satisfaction, and increases the lifetime spend of customers.
  2. Lower Warehouse Costs. Order picking can be costly because it’s often a labour-intensive activity. Warehouse management systems (WMS) can play a crucial role in tracking customer orders and generating automated picking lists. These streamline the process for pickers and provide cost savings which benefit clients.
  3. Improved Accuracy For Employees. By automatically assigning optimised routes and a WMS ensures accurate item selection whilst also reducing the time spent on each pick. This helps employees, makes their order picking more efficient, and reduces the potential for error in the course of their work.

Which Order Picking Strategy is Right?

There are a number of order picking strategies, each designed to accommodate fulfilment centres of different sizes, diverse inventories, varied storage facilities, and available picking resources. Selecting a particular strategy may also be driven by the need to align with personalised order fulfilment, taking into account the unique characteristics and demands of each business.

Which Order Picking Strategy is Right?
  • Zone picking assigns pickers to specific areas of the warehouse, where they exclusively pick SKUs within that zone. For orders containing items from different zones, separate pickers handle each zone, resembling an assembly line. This method suits warehouses handling complex orders or a mix of complex and simple orders.
  • Wave picking is used in warehouses with extensive SKU inventories. It employs a schedule-based approach, taking into account availability of packers, shipping dates, delivery times and carrier availability. Optimised waves of order-picking enhance fulfilment efficiency.
  • Sorting Systems are employed in larger fulfilment centres; the order picker stays in one place and an automated system, such as a conveyor, brings the products to them. This method streamlines the picking process by eliminating the need for manual movement within the warehouse.
The Prolog Advantage – Streamlined Order Picking Efficiency

The Prolog Advantage – Streamlined Order Picking Efficiency

Order picking doesn’t stand still as a strategy. As eCommerce evolves so do the strategies that support it. At Prolog Fulfilment we continually evolve our order picking processes to meet new challenges as they emerge. This involves investing in new equipment and training our employees in order to provide the optimal environment for our clients.

Below are 4 ways that allow us to guarantee streamlined order picking for clients:

1. Our Warehouse Management System

The Prolog WMS has allowed us to improve the overall efficiency of our operations, without compromising on our accuracy. Our system generates pick lists, provides real-time data on orders, manages inventory, and assists with the management of our available resources.

2. The Right Equipment For The Job

Prolog prioritises infrastructure investments to meet clients’ evolving needs. Our picking operation combines cutting-edge automation technology with skilled order picker employees. This combination enables us to execute personalised order fulfilment processes.

By using advanced automation and trained employees, we ensure efficient and accurate picking operations that align with individual customer requirements.

3. Warehouse Optimisation

Given the range of operations that make up the order fulfilment process, an optimised fulfilment centre is essential. Prolog’s fulfilment hub is designed to maximise efficient picking routes, optimise storage locations for each SKU, streamline the handoff from picking to packing, and integrate new equipment seamlessly.

We actively seek ongoing improvements in these areas in order to enhance expedite order fulfilment for our clients and their customers. Continuous improvement ensures that our fulfilment centre is agile and adaptable, enabling you to meet the evolving demands of your customers and maintain a competitive edge in the market.

3. Warehouse Optimisation

4. Tracking Metrics

Identifying and tracking distribution metrics provide insights into overall performance and areas for improvement:

  • Inventory turnover
  • Time to ship
  • Total units in storage
  • Average warehouse capacity use
  • Order picking accuracy

Ready to Streamline Your Order Picking Efficiency?

Prolog Fulfilment takes pride in consistently maintaining a 99.97% picking accuracy. If that’s something that you think could benefit your business, we would love to talk to you. Prolog has an established fulfilment centre at the heart of the UK, and 30 years’ experience of partnering premium brands.

At Prolog we offer a tailored fulfilment process bespoke to your brand. We’re designed to deliver exceptional service to you and your customers.

Would you like to find out what makes us different? Call Prolog Fulfilment today on 01623 724000 to speak to a fulfilment expert.

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