Order processing mistakes cost a lot to both e-merchants and retailers. Optimizing your picking process is thus essential. Save time and money, enhance customer satisfaction, and generate more revenue with future purchases. Get started with our 5 tips to master picking accuracy.
1) Maintain an accurate inventory for efficient picking
First, avoid stock issues by cycle counting your warehouse inventory regularly. You can either do it manually or use automated systems like a WMS (Warehouse Management System) or even drones.
Set up picking and replenishment rules for each item based on historical data and forecasting (think of seasonal picks). Therefore, you’ll never run out of stock of your star products.
2) Use technology to minimize mistakes in your picking process
Secondly, adopt Radio-Frequency technology like picking handguns. Easy to use, they guide your operator to the right location. Barcode scanning guarantees the right boxes or pieces are accurately picked, in the right location. Plus, they track data to optimize further your warehouse flow and storage area.
Enhance your box picking process and accuracy by reading our 8 tips for retailers and e- merchants.
3) Train your agents on common mistakes and risks of picking orders
Here are the two most common mistakes that prevent picking accuracy:
- Mistaking similar and closed-by items for one another;
- Selecting too many or fewer pieces or boxes than ordered.
Avoid inaccuracy by training your employees on the best practices. For instance, focus on client satisfaction, waste hunting, inventory accuracy, contract respect. You can also communicate your KPIs’ evolution frequently to drive your teams and course-correct your management system. Think of bonus schemes related to picking accuracy to incentivize your warehouse staff.
Does your warehouse handle large volumes? Please read our article on Goods-to-man systems to optimize your piece-picking process further : Piece-picking: is goods-to-man the way to go for large-volume warehousing operations?
4) Perform quality random-checks to ensure picking accuracy
Make sure your ready-orders are valid with random checks. In fact, it’s the easiest and fastest quality system to start with.
Use a picking sheet to manually verify the orders or rely on a handgun to scan each item of the random controlled order. Portable scanners generate gaps reports to help you fix any inaccuracy.
5) Integrate a continuous improvement program for picking accuracy and quality
Finally, optimize your system continuously. As your volume grows or your orders typology changes, you might need to change your processes. Track your quality efforts and progress with KPIs. Then, install a constant learning and improvement culture among your team members (onboarding, mentoring, documenting procedures). Include them in your creative problem-solving sessions to develop better quality.