Order picking is one of the most important procedures in any large retail facility. For good money to come in, there has to be a reliable flow of goods between the business, suppliers and the customers. This way, you will ably gain the trust of your customers because they can count on your business to deliver regardless of the circumstances in question. Warehousing machines such as forklifts are elemental for guaranteeing efficiency in order picking. Here are some of the things you must know to get the most of your order picking procedures:
How have you arranged and laid out the items in your business facility? This has a big influence on the level of efficiency achieved by your storage and warehousing personnel. You should keep your costs low by reducing the cycle times and work place hazards that can lead to unprecedented liabilities and expenses. An easy way to do this is to demarcate the facility into zone picking, wave picking and batch picking zones. These zones denote the sections that will be frequented by forklifts or pedestrian workers. They have the following implications:
- Zone picking: all forklift operators will work within this section and they will only pick the products here.
- Batch Picking: products are arranged in batches and the forklift operators can pick multiple orders, especially for different clients who order the same type of goods. Batch picking reduces the number of back-and-forth trips that forklift operators have to do.
- Wave picking: this is a hybrid method of managing order picking, combining both batch and zone picking. Picking is done in batches at specified points to minimise traffic and keep the costs of operation low. It is the most ideal of the three techniques discussed here.
Safety is paramount to getting the most of your order picking operations. First, put up warning signs in areas frequented by forklifts. In this way, visitors and other workers will be aware of the impending danger. This will reduce the possibility of accidents in the warehouse. To add on that, you should be aware of forklift parts that are highly likely to break down. The first culprit is the mast or lifting mechanism. Look out for worn out parts and replace them when necessary to guarantee optimal lifting and lowering capacity for the machine. Additionally, always make sure that workers carry out basic routine checks before they start operations. For instance, they should always check the level of the steering fluid before using the machine.