Wave or Waveless Picking?
As warehouse managers look to what's ahead for 2019 -- the concept of waveless picking is something to consider.
While our industry is certainly driving us toward faster response times and increasing worker productivity -- I believe warehouse managers should be asking the question if it would be worth considering going waveless.
Most warehouses today pick in waves of orders that are often processed in batches -- distributed to workers at the beginning of a shift or a portion of the shift. Orders received during this shift are queued up for the next wave or shift change. Critical orders are assigned to certain individuals to pick. There are often challenges to this process for example, if in the middle of processing an order - a change or addition to the order comes in from the customer while that order is being processed.
Waveless picking eliminates this challenge as it provides a continuous flow of orders allowing for a new order to be inserted into the flow of existing orders that are already being processed. This allows you to be more responsive to rush orders and offers a seamless process where new orders are automatically inserted into the pick path, allowing workers to reduce travel time and be more productive.
This article in DC Velocity discusses the many benefits of waveless picking.
I always counsel my customers to focus on discovering what areas of your process need improvement and then look for the right technology and software that provides the right solution for you.
So, before you hop on this new wave of technology, let me help you explore if waveless picking is the right solution for you in 2019.