Picking area: The importance of designing the best order picking system

Trying to understand the case “Papeleria DotCom” I have asked myself many basic questions.   The problem we had to solve this week was about picking. Before demoralizing me trying to solve the problem, I learned the meaning of this term, and I want to write about this.

In the logistics, warehousing and distribution of merchandise services of a company, picking is the process of selecting and collecting material from the warehouse efficiently and effectively. In other words, it consists of collecting the goods from the warehouse (stored in different locations), which must be used to prepare orders and transport them to the area where the customer will pick them up.

Given the exigency of consumers, the activity of picking is essential, while the customer wants a fast service, without errors and that preserves the quality of the product. For the advantages offered by this system it is clear that the preparation of orders consumes up to 2/3 of the operating cost. Therefore, it is important to analyze the procedure followed in the storage, studying the reason why orders are delayed, see the shortest routes for operators, place the goods according to the frequency in which they are requested and adjust them according to the demand. Without a doubt, reducing the impact of picking can mean becoming a competitive company in the market.

The biggest impact is on the preparation of orders. For this it is convenient to optimize the collection flow of the products, in an orderly manner and with the help of the use of technology. This will result in lower costs, faster order delivery and greater customer satisfaction.

In order to reduce the movement of workers and make the best use of space some equipments can be implemented, like the vertical carousel. This equipment is usually made up of a load-bearing structure in which the entry and exit of the goods are automated thanks to an extractor and lifting mechanism. Furthermore, the implementation of the carousel vertical is recommended for homogeneous loads, high quantity of references, and high complexity orders and and the main disadvantage of this system is that it is expensive and it needs reliable information systems.

So, maybe, this is not the best equipment for the case “papeleria Dotcom”, although this system is widely used in the pharmaceutical and electrical components industry.

This video has helped me to understand the basic operation of this equipment:

Undoubtedly, the issue of picking is very interesting, because it allows companys to apply different strategies as well as technologies depending on the warehouse and types of products.

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