Can paperless picking really reduce warehouse costs by improving warehouse efficiency?

Can Paperless Picking Really Reduce Costs?

Tuesday April 18, 2023 | Posted at 10:09 am | By Harriet Pritchard
April 18, 2023 @ 10:09 am

You don’t need to be a business mastermind to know we’re in a tough commercial market. Increased costs of goods, utilities, and transport, alongside competitive price expectations from consumers, are taking their toll on ecommerce businesses. Finding cost cutting strategies is a high priority as we battle these external pressures.

The pick, pack, dispatch process can be optimised to improve warehouse efficiency and reduce warehouse costs. Paperless picking simplifies warehouse processes and yes, it can save you money.

What is Paperless Picking?

Also known as order picking automation, paperless picking removes the need for pick tickets by digitising the process. A good paperless picking system will improve the warehouse picking route whilst integrating with your internal management systems to track inventory levels in real time.

How Does Paperless Picking Reduce Costs?

By Cutting Labour Costs

Warehouse with reduced labour costs

When time is money, optimising time efficiency can have a huge impact on reducing warehouse costs – but cutting labour costs without negatively affecting productivity isn’t easy.

Paperless picking maintains high work standards whilst implementing time-saving strategies. Using picking automation can save time in the following ways:

  • Optimising the picking routes whilst considering order prioritisation
  • Automatically updating stock information to reduce manual input times
  • Simplifying hand-over training when employing temporary workers during your peak periods
  • Providing insight into the picking performance of each individual member of staff – offering clear visibility of areas of improvement

By Increasing Customer Retention Rates

Ecommerce customer becoming a repeat customer

Optimising time efficiency not only cuts labour costs, but it does so whilst improving fulfilment times. In a world where customers expect purchased items to appear at their side 20 seconds after pressing ‘order now’, ensuring a rapid fulfilment process is vital in obtaining customer satisfaction.

Simply put, happy customers are more likely to become repeat customers. Acquiring new customers can cost up to five times that of customer retention. Paperless picking enhances the customer experience, increases the likelihood of repeat custom, and therefore improves the cost-efficiency of customer acquisition.

By Reducing Returns

A delivery van filled with return parcels

Simplifying the pick, pack dispatch process reduces the likelihood of human error. When warehouse workers are responsible for managing all fulfilment processes for multiple orders from multiple sales channels, the likelihood for human error is high. Incorrect item selection results in heightened returns rates. This is not only costly to process, but also minimises the likelihood of return custom.

When warehouse staff utilise automated systems to simplify their processes, they are better able to focus on the task at hand – decreasing the risk of human error and reducing returns rates.

By Reducing Paper Usage

A stack of paper

It’s an obvious but important point to include. Paper costs money – and, like everything else, paper costs are rising fast. In May 2022 paper prices went up by 14% and price volatility continues to be forecast for years to come. Reducing paper usage lessens the negative impact these rising costs will have on your business outgoings.

In the current economic climate, reducing business costs is fundamental to maintaining financial stability. Paperless picking is just one of the ways automations can support your business by improving cost efficiency.

Interested in reducing warehouse costs through paperless picking? Get in touch for more information.  

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