Warehouse Order Picking Explained
The goal of many businesses is to expand and grow. When looking to uphold a high level of customer service and offer a range of products to your customers, having ample warehouse space is vital. As is the ability to select, package and ship goods in a timely manner to the end customer. At Radius Warehouse and Logistic Services, we offer full eCommerce fulfilment services that include pick-and-pack, storage and distribution from our warehouse facility. In this guide, we’ll provide you with all the information you need regarding these services so you can decide if it’s time to outsource your order fulfilment services.
What Is Warehouse Order Picking?
In this modern world, we are becoming more and more dependent on the internet. With this has come the rise in eCommerce businesses – companies that sell their products and services primarily online. Before the goods are purchased and sent out to customers, they need to be stored in a safe and secure warehouse. Some businesses choose to integrate these into their own in-house team. Others need to budget according to their growth forecast and cannot afford to make these significant investments right now. This is where warehouse order picking comes into play.
Essentially, it is the process of selecting the right products for order and packaging them up to be shipped on. The process seems simple at first but many logistical complications make this task overly challenging to new businesses. You could invest time and money into creating an order picking strategy that takes into account the delivery and storage of goods, accessibility to popular items and a fool-proof way to minimise the risk of mistakes – or, you can entrust these services onto an experienced business.
How Can Outsourcing Order Fulfilment Benefit Your Business?
Deciding whether an investment into your order fulfilment is the right move for your business now is an important decision. Outsourcing warehouse order picking and implementing a pick-and-pack service can help to:
- Get orders ready for shipping quicker
- Speed up delivery times
- Reduce rental and storage costs for goods
- Provide a personalised solution that holds your brand at the height of importance
- Streamline your logistics
- Provide more flexibility
- Reduces the risk of error, specifically for international shipments
Types of Order Picking
Depending on the requirements of the warehouse and the businesses using their order fulfilment services, there are different types to choose from.
- Single Order Picking – Used when an individual picker selects the entire order. This is best suited to the smaller warehouse with simple orders.
- Batch Picking – Here, pickers select multiple items in bulk to fulfil multiple orders in one go It minimises travel time and makes for quicker fulfilment.
- Cluster Picking – Again, this is where pickers pick for multiple orders at any given time. But here, they will use multiple bins to keep goods separate. This is an ideal choice for larger warehouses with bigger square footage.
- Zone Picking – This is, as mentioned above, where pickers work within specific zones.
What Is Pick-And-Pack?
Pick-and-pack is one of the most popular and common types of fulfilment for eCommerce orders. It is a service by which you use external warehouse staff to organise your shipments. This is the service we provide here at Radius Warehouse and Logistic Services – a complementary system that works alongside our freight forwarding support, helping your business to expand into new fields without compromising on customer service and upholding the name of your brand.
What happens during an order picking?
The exact system used will differ depending on the individual strategy set up within a warehouse. In general, the process works like this:
- All warehouse pickers are assigned their own zone.
- Orders come into the system and are then split out to the team.
- The pickers will allocate each individual product and ‘pick’ it.
- They will collect the goods together in a bin.
- The bin will move on to pickers in other zones to make sure all goods are collected.
- The goods will be checked against the order, making sure nothing has been missed.
- The goods will then be packaged up, with the relevant paperwork.
The internal process in our warehouse has been honed. Our system has been organised optimally to reduce the walking time for pickers and reduce the risk of injury. Not only does this benefit our employees, but it also speeds up the picking process for you and improves the speed with which your orders can be shipped out.
Warehouse services at Radius Warehouse and Logistics
In our Bristol-based warehouse, we utilise in-house web fulfilment IT systems. It allows you to dial in, check stock on-hand and select the items of stock for dispatch. You also have access to past order information and the ability to communicate with our warehouse employees for specialist requests. Over the years, we have worked hard to tailor our services, ensuring they can provide a comprehensive solution for businesses of all sizes.
One of the ways we have done this is by introducing commercial palletised storage space. There is a full guide available on this here but, essentially, it is a process that supports commercial businesses. It allows your goods to be stored for extended periods on their existing pallets, reducing the risk of loss and improving the picking process. Benefits include:
- Optimising on space.
- Reductions in damages.
- A personalised system.
- Support with order fulfilment.
- Ability to expand as your business does.
- Heightened safety.
Radius Warehouse and Logistics Services have been supporting people with international freight movement and warehouse order picking since 1996. Our warehouse plays an essential role in your logistics, providing storage space and an order fulfilment service to keep each and every customer satisfied. If you would like more information or to request a quote, get in contact with us here today.