Smaller, more specialized order picking is time-consuming and expensive. So, what can you do to optimize order fulfillment and still meet customer demand and expectations? A lot of order processing and distribution facilities are turning to technology for support. Automating all or even part of the order picking process helps reduce labor costs while assisting your team to pick more orders, faster and with greater accuracy.
Automated systems, such as pick-to-light, streamline the order picking processes by adding light displays and push-buttons to identify individual SKU locations. Workers are directed quickly to the correct pick slot by the light display vs. searching for the bar code or product label. Pick-to-light can also be used for faster, more efficient putting, sorting, and assembly.
Benefits of Pick-to-Light Applications
- Increased pick rates for full case each picks
- Improved accuracy with quick SKU identification
- Simple to install on static racking, carton flow rack and mobile carts
- Can be stand-alone or integrated with WMS, EPR or other warehouse control systems
- Easy to train workers to use
- Step 1 – Containers or shipping cartons are labeled with barcodes. The barcodes are scanned to trigger the system display.
- Step 2 – The pick location lights up to guide the worker to the appropriate SKU and indicates pick quantity.
- Step 3 – The item is picked, placed in the container and then the worker presses the button to confirm the pick has been completed.
Supercharge Your Pick-to-Light with Carton Flow
While pick-to-light technology is a cost-effective way to amp up your order picking operation, paring pick-to-light with carton flow rack is like putting your operation into hyperdrive.
Carton Flow Rack Benefits
- Add up to 60% more SKUs vs static rack and shelving
- Compress pick area footprint by 20%
- Reduce labor costs up to 75%
- Improve pick accuracy
- Boost pick rates
Carton flow rack optimizes warehouse space with efficient First-In/First-Out (FIFO) gravity flow storage. Carton flow offers edge-to-edge shelf coverage to allow for more pick locations vs. standard shelving while maintaining SKU/lane differentiation with snap-on entry guides or full-length guides. The choice of either wheeled or roller tracks is dependent on the inventory and carton specifications. Carton flow’s orderly pick lanes with automatic pick-face replenishment is an ideal complement to pick-to-light technology.
Pick Module Efficiency
Carton flow and pick-to-light are often seen integrated within pick modules. A multi-level pick module uses a combination pallet rack, carton flow, pallet flow, and conveyor systems to condense a large number of SKUs into a consolidated warehouse footprint. Pick modules can increase SKU capacity by up to 50% while increasing efficiency and reducing travel times.
Mobile carton flow in conjunction with pick-to-light is available for small parts packaging, assembly, and seasonal or fluctuating SKU needs.
The gravity flow experts at Mallard are here to help you find the best solution to meet your needs. Our team is adept at solving warehouse challenges in the most cost-effective and long-lasting manner, so give us a call today for a free consultation and systems quote… and let’s put the power of gravity to work for your team.