Picking errors are deeply annoying, we can all agree on that. They delay processes, make customers angry, and costs your business huge amounts of money. But keep calm, there are plenty of things you can do to make the errors fewer and your profitability higher.

So what is the solution? Firstly, you need to have accurate measurements. Don’t just look at replacement and shipping costs – consider the entire chain. Then start at inbound goods and work through to exit, analyzing potential error points throughout your inbound and outbound flows.

At inbound, weight and scale dimensioning as well as scanning can improve processing through to put away and beyond. This gives you added traceability from the moment the product enters the warehouse.

For picking, what systems can you implement to boost accuracy? Consider voice control that guides workers on where to go and what to pick, or improved instructions to prevent picker to get 10 pieces instead of 10 boxes. Or RFID tags that enable you to track each item’s precise location in the warehouse. Introducing extra verification during picking, by EAN, location or package ID, is another suggestion.

Then you have your outbound flows. During packing, can you use smart scales to verify accuracy based on weight? And scanning on dispatch to provide a final check before exit.

When you take a holistic look at warehouse operations, you can perform an accurate cost/benefit analysis to make sure you’re investing in the right systems. An effective warehouse management system will ensure you can optimize the whole process of picking, packing and sending. This enables you to offer better service and more value to customers while protecting your business from the costly effects of a simple picking mistake.

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