The Benefits of Paperless Picking and Order Picking Automation For Your Business

The Benefits of Paperless Picking and Order Picking Automation

Tuesday April 11, 2023 | Posted at 7:08 pm | By Harriet Pritchard
April 11, 2023 @ 7:08 pm

When your ecommerce business begins selling product across multiple marketplaces, your sales volumes are likely to increase. This is one of the huge advantages of employing a multi-channel sales approach. However, before you have a chance to pat yourself on the back and buy the bar a round of drinks, you’ll also notice that an increase in orders means an increase in warehouse complexity and costs.

With an exponential rise in business costs, ecommerce businesses require streamlined practices that boost productivity, simplify their processes, and capitalise on their existing resources. By recognising the pick, pack, dispatch process as an area that can be simplified through automated warehouse management systems, business owners are empowered to make impactful decisions that improve their warehouse efficiency.

In this post we discuss how paperless picking can improve warehouse productivity and maximise warehouse efficiency.

What is Paperless Picking

Paperless picking, or order picking automation, is a digital approach to order fulfilment. It replaces the traditional picking process of relying on printed pick lists, with the use of digital devices that integrate with warehouse management systems.

Paperless picking not only removes the need for pick tickets, but it also optimises warehouse navigation by plotting the most time efficient picking route for warehouse workers.

How Does Paperless Picking Work?

The picking process may vary slightly depending on the software being used, however an efficient order picking automation will work as follows:

  1. The process begins as soon as a customer places an order through the ecommerce platform. The order is transmitted to the warehouse to begin the fulfilment process.
  2. When the warehouse employee begins the pick process, they will perform a search based on specific criteria. The digital picklist will include an itemised list that matches their criteria.
  3. The software creates a logical pick route based on the picklist and the priority of fulfilment.
  4. The user scans each product as they follow the route – this automatically updates the inventory to ensure real-time inventory accuracy.
  5. The items are moved onto the packing and dispatch process.

The Benefits of Paperless Picking Over Manual Picking

Reduced Likelihood of Human Error

A dropped ice cream signifying human error

Humans make mistakes. In life these mistakes help us grow – in business, these mistakes hinder our growth. Paperless picking removes the need for manual recording and cross checking data.

Warehouse workers can rely on digital systems to simplify their activity and can therefore focus solely on the task at hand. This reduces the risk of incorrect item picking, customer dissatisfaction and returns.

Increased Time Efficiency

Gold clock

The simplification in warehouse staff activity not only reduces the likelihood of human error, it also saves valuable time. By optimising the warehouse picking route and reducing manual activities, such as searching for items or manually record data relating to inventory management, the time taken to fulfil orders is reduced.

Reduced fulfilment times results in an increased number of satisfied customers and a greater chance of profitability.

Insight Into Individual Performance

Individual warehouse worker

Order picking automation provides insight into the picking performance of individual staff members. This highlights staff members who may need for further training to be at their most efficient.

By understanding individual performance, business owners can better recognise areas of improvement and further enhance the efficiency of their warehouse staff.

Compatibility With Automated Inventory Management Systems

Two jigsaw pieces fitting together

Paperless picking methods can integrate directly with your automated inventory system. The digital device feeds information directly into the system, tracking inventory levels in real time. This avoids any sticky situations caused by stock shortages, reducing the risk of lost sales and capital.

As a business owner, you can utilise paperless picking methods in your warehouses to improve internal warehouse efficiency. To recap, the core advantages of an automated paperless picking system are; reduced likelihood of human error, improved time efficiency, insight into individual staff performance and integration with automated inventory management systems to improve visibility of stock position. These factors will have an overall positive effect on profitability by improving warehouse efficiency.

Looking to improve your warehouse efficiency through paperless picking? Drop us a message via our contact page for more information.

Explore more News and Views