Did you know that the average industry picking error rate is 1% - 3%, which translates to an 11% - 13% drain on a business’s overall profitability? The price tag of picking errors is hefty, considering the reduction in customer satisfaction, drop in sales, cost of facilitating returns, and additional warehouse labour costs associated with rectifying the error. Indeed, picking errors can drive a significant dent on your business’s bottom line.
What can businesses do to transform their picking accuracy? In this article, we dive into 4 approaches that businesses can take to minimize picking errors in their warehouse.
- 1. Effective labelling and identification
This might sound intuitive, yet many underestimate the efficacy of integrating a labeling step into their existing picking processes towards increasing stocking and order picking accuracy. For example, parts can be labeled with part number, lot number, serial number, and batch number, to reduce the likelihood of workers picking the wrong items. Additionally, to ensure that the right part is sent to the right person, consider bagging and tagging the parts to track the inventory throughout its lifecycle, which can help process returns in a faster and easier manner.
In addition to labelling the products, having racks labeled in the warehouse also help to eliminate errors that often occur through manual inventory tracking and recording. These labels also improve the efficiency and productivity of employees as they can easily locate the right items and shelves to prepare shipments and restocking projects.
- 2. Optimization of warehouse layout
A facility’s layout plays a big part in boosting the accuracy and productivity of warehouse activities. Since the picking process requires speed and coordination, it is highly beneficial to know where all needed items are so that the greatest number of orders can be fulfilled in the shortest amount of time.
When designing the warehouse layout, ensure the paths are streamlined, with carefully thought out workflows for good accessibility to the goods. Warehouse shelves should be organized to ensure items can be picked easily, without any safety issues. A thorough evaluation and audit of warehouse space ensures a solid foundation for efficient and accurate picking.
- 3. Scheduling regular inventory checks
It is incredibly important to conduct regular inventory checks because misplaced items in the warehouse is one of the top causes of picking errors. For instance, errors made during replenishment or putaway activities can cause items to be stored in the wrong bins or shelves, which will affect accuracy of picking in the future.
Inventory checks are also useful in helping businesses check the correctness of the stock that is kept at the administrative level against the stock that is present in the warehouse. These steps are extremely helpful towards identifying and mitigating problem areas in the inventory to prevent the occurrence of picking errors.
- 4. Adoption of suitable technologies
While the three methods suggested above go a long way towards reducing picking errors, the most effective solution when it comes reducing warehouse picking errors is undoubtedly the adoption of technologies like warehouse automation. Automated order picking methods are a must for eliminating labor-intensive processes and the inevitable occurrence of human error.
For example, the Geek+ Goods-to-Person solution uses P series robots to move the inventory shelves and pallets to the picking station, completely eliminating the redundant walking of the picking workers, improving the accuracy of the picking, and reducing labor intensity. Compared to manual picking, the picking efficiency is improved by 2 to 3 times, and picking accuracy of 99.997% is achieved.
With the use of automation technology like Geek+ picking robots, businesses can have the assurance that picking errors will be greatly eliminated. Check out Geek+’s full range of picking robots here.
Don’t let picking errors drive up your business’s costs and negatively impact customer satisfaction. With the right measures set in the warehouse and the right technology investments, picking errors can become a thing of the past. Geek+ has helped hundreds of companies across a diverse range of industries transform their picking accuracy and efficiency. Reach out to us today!