If you own or manage a warehouse, you know that manual picking orders can be fraught with errors and inefficiencies. This article will discuss the problems associated with manual warehouse and E-Commerce Fulfillment picking and how automating your picking process with Prime Robotics MobileShelf can eliminate errors and increase efficiency, saving you time and money throughout your operation!
Traditional Picking Process
Manual picking is the process of selecting items from a warehouse shelf or bin to fulfill an order. This process is done by human pickers who first look up the product they need to scan, walk to the location of that item, and then scan the item to confirm they have picked the correct one. They then return the item to their station to be packed and shipped. While this process may seem straightforward, surveys have shown an average of 300 orders results in one mistake. These mistakes are commonly caused by mis-picking, over-picking, and under-picking orders.
Common Problem #1: Mis-Pick Products
Mis-picking mistakes occur when the picker selects the wrong item from the shelf. This problem can happen for various reasons, such as picking the wrong size, color, or style of an item. This type of error often occurs when products are similar in appearance or are stored close to each other. When the customer receives the wrong product, it can lead to returns, exchanges, and an unhappy shopping experience. Not only does the company have to deal with the hassle and cost of processing the return, but they also lose out on future sales from that customer.
Common Problem #2: Over-Pick Products
Another common error is called an “over-pick.” This problem can be caused by confusion over the order, incorrect labels, or miscommunication between pickers and packers. Although the customer gets more products than purchased and may be happy with the error, the mistake results in inventory and revenue loss for the company.
Common Problem #3: Under-Pick Products
Under-picking, or “short-picking,” is when the picker does not select all of the products that are supposed to be in order. This problem can happen for various reasons, such as poor organization, incorrect labels, or over-scanning errors. Unlike over-picking, under-picking often results in an unhappy customer who does not receive all of the products they ordered. To compensate for the error, the company must send another shipment at their own expense, further increasing shipping costs.
Manual Picking Lacks Efficiency
In addition to human errors, manual picking is a slow and inefficient process. Because pickers have to walk between their station and the shelves, it can take a long time to fulfill even a small order. In addition, pickers can only work so many hours per shift. With the current labor shortage, finding enough qualified workers to staff your warehouse can be challenging.
Prime Robotics MobileShelf is a fully automated mobile storage system that can help you eliminate picking errors in your warehouse. MobileShelf uses a robotic automation workflow called “Goods-To-Person” to pick items from inventory and deliver them to workers at their stations. This solution eliminates the need for workers to walk around the warehouse, saving time and reducing errors. With the ability to process between 350 picks per hour, 24 hours a day, MobileShelf can guarantee to increase your warehouse efficiency by 1,000%. If you are interested in learning more about how MobileShelf can help your business, please visit www.primerobotics.com or contact us.
Author: Nate Aswege, V.P. Sales & Marketing at Prime Robotics