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Picking orders more efficiently? Stop planning, start assigning

03 Jun 2020

3 min read

How much time do you usually spent on planning and combining different orders? Do you or your colleagues often lose track of the orders? You are not the only one. Especially when you focus on a lot of small orders, it is difficult not to lose control. But don’t worry. The solution is closer than you might think.

How does assigning orders work?

In the orderpick process, the planning of the orders is usually extremely time-consuming and the planning department is fully occupied doing it. Contrary to the usual methods, in which planning is leading, with orderpick assignment the order pickers decide themselves when they start a new orderpick task. When the warehouse employees are signing in, he or she automatically asks for new assignments. Next, the best set of orders is assigned and the order picking can start.

How to define the best set of orders

The (set of) orders assigned to the order picker, can be designed and optimized by the key-users themselves. When doing so, the key-user can, for example, keep the inventory in mind, as well as the maximum capacity per set (wave). What opportunities are there when optimizing the best set of orders?

Direct assignment

As the name says already, direct assignment assigns an order directly to the order picker. In the assignment, different things are taken into consideration. For example, the inventory is automatically checked. When the inventory is adequate and does not cause any bumps in the process, orders can be assigned until the maximum capacity of the wagon used is reached. The maximum capacity can also be optimized by the key-user based on maximum weight per wave or the amount of big/small orders that fit on a wagon. When the set is complete, the assigned documents are cleared and the picking can start.

An extra round? Definitely not

Besides the capacity, assigning orders makes it possible to assign orders to an employee per zone. In this way orders can be picked from the same part of the warehouse, preventing the order picker from needing long routes through the entire warehouse in just one wave. Taking the routes of the order picker in mind, the time of a wave is drastically reduced.

Ordered today, delivered tomorrow

Furthermore, assigning orderpick makes it possible to prioritize the orders. This can be done by implementing a time-gap. This function uses the planned end date of an order to prioritize them without conflicting with normal pick orders. The priority orders are sent earlier and therefore picked earlier too.

Successful e-fulfilment starts with a good orderpick process. Do you need help with optimizing your warehouse processes? Or would you like to know what assignments would be best for your orderpickers? Or how you can implement this in your WMS? Contact us, we are glad to help!

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