8 WAYS TO REDUCE PICKING ERRORS
Picking errors are very annoying; we can all agree on that. They delay processes, make customers angry, and cost your business huge amounts of money. The good news is that there are strategies you can implement for fewer picking errors and higher profitability. So, let’s see 8 ways to reduce manual picking errors in your warehouse!
Consider the pickers’ perspective:
Is your warehouse “user-friendly” for your pickers? Take into account the picker’s journey in the warehouse and how you can make it as smooth as possible. Ensure there’s a logical arrangement of products, that goods are easily accessible for picking, and that pick stations are well-lit. Use clear signage and color-coded zones to guide operators.
- Introduce double-verification procedures:
Establish a two-step verification process to ensure accuracy in critical picks or high-value items. After the initial picking, assign a second operator to verify accuracy before sending the item to packing or dispatch. This added step serves as a final quality control measure.
- Perform regular inventory cycle counts:
Cycle counts can reveal inventory discrepancies and resolve issues before they cause picking errors. With a systematic cycle counting process in place, you can ensure ongoing accuracy and run more successful warehouse operations.
- Implement pick-to-light or pick-to-voice systems:
Using pick-to-light or pick-to-voice systems can significantly improve picking accuracy. These systems guide pickers to the correct locations and quantities using visual signals or verbal instructions, reducing mistakes, and boosting efficiency.
- Track and analyze picking errors:
Constantly monitor and analyze picking errors to identify trends, patterns, and root causes. Then, evaluate their impact on operations, collect the most common mistakes, and implement targeted measures to prevent their repetition.
- Automate picking:
Consider using automation and robotics in your warehouse to improve picking efficiency. Various solutions are available on the market, from automated storage and retrieval systems to piece-picking robots. These can help reduce human error and increase picking speed. What is important to keep in mind is that careful planning and integration are essential for successful implementation.
- Leverage the potential of your warehouse management system:
A best-of-breed WMS software can provide you with multiple ways to improve picking accuracy. For example, it can help create the optimal pick route for pickers. In addition, you can import product images into the system, too, which shows pickers precisely what to pick and pack. One of our customers, for example, adopted this strategy on their site and could achieve a 51% cut in picking errors in one month.
- Constantly train your employees:
Last, but not least, train your warehouse staff thoroughly on picking processes. Educate them on the layout and organization of the warehouse. Emphasize best practices and attention to detail. This can significantly reduce the likelihood of mistakes.
To sum things up, there are many useful strategies to enhance your picking processes and increase warehouse efficiency. However, it is important to remember that reducing picking errors requires a holistic approach involving training, organization, technology use, and continuous improvement.