Warehousing: How to Reduce Picking and Packing Errors

In the world of shipping and warehousing, pick and pack errors come up fairly frequently. Pick and pack errors refer to any mistakes made in the fulfillment process between warehouse storage and shipment to the consumer.

Errors in picking and packing can slow down the workflow of a warehouse and cost your company small amounts of money that add up over time, but luckily, they aren’t too difficult to prevent if certain precautions are taken. In order to reduce the amount of pick and pack mistakes in your warehouse, here are a few steps to follow.

Identify the source. The fulfillment process involves warehouse storage, ordering, picking and packing, shipment, and delivery. If you are experiencing picking and packing errors, the problem may not stem directly from that step in the procedure. For example, check your ordering system to make sure no errors are occurring that could be interfering with picking and packing accuracy.

Streamline your storage. Inefficient warehouse storage can cause issues with picking and packing. When warehouses are messy, mistakes are much more easily made, and poor housekeeping can lead to reduced productivity of warehouse personnel as well as loss or misplacement of product. Even if your warehouse is generally kept neat and tidy, your layout could be less than optimal, leading to simple mistakes in picking and packing. Make sure that your warehouse flow is designed for optimum accessibility and ease so that employee error is greatly diminished.

Update your technology. If your company still records orders manually, your entire fulfillment process is prone to human error. Simple mistakes like misspelled names and addresses or misheard information can cost your company valuable time and money. Also, use of manual labor for a job that an automated system can perform even more efficiently is an unnecessary drain on your labor budget. Switching to an automated order recording system can greatly reduce error and increase efficiency and organization in your picking and packing process; just make sure to keep all software up to date to avoid any issues with your automated system’s function.

Explore alternative picking methods. There are three common types of picking in warehouse settings:

  • Zone picking: In the context of this method, the warehouse is divided into separate zones. Each picker will be assigned a zone and will then pass along the product to the next employee in the line of fulfillment.
  • Batch picking: Sometimes referred to as multi-order picking, this method requires pickers to combine items by SKU. This involves multiple orders being filled at once by pulling large amounts of inventory together.
  • Wave picking: This method separates orders into windows throughout the day and can generally be used in tandem with either zone or batch picking.

Depending on the setup of your warehouse as well as the amount of labor available, do your research and determine whether or not a new picking method might be what your company needs to reduce pick and pack errors.

Looking for high-quality warehouse services on the Eastern Seaboard that are convenient, flexible, and cost-effective? Contact Overflo today for more information.