Zone picking, also known as pick and pass, has become an increasingly popular picking system in the warehouse, and with a good reason. It is an efficient picking system used in warehouses around the world to increase worker productivity, among other benefits. Whether you’re an experienced or a less experienced zone picker, you can use the help of a reputable company to your advantage. This company offers warehousing services and also helps you determine if zone picking is right for your warehouse.
If you’re not familiar with zone picking, you may think it’s difficult and time-consuming. However, zone picking can be done quickly and efficiently if you follow the right guide. In this article, you will learn the benefits of zone picking and how it works in the warehouse.
What is Zone Picking?
Zones are predetermined areas within warehouses that have been set up to move merchandise from one point to another. Each zone has its own set of processes for moving products, which are designed to be efficient and fast.
Zone picking is a method of picking items in a certain order and at a certain speed. It’s an important part of modern logistics that allows for the quick, accurate, and efficient movement of goods. Order pickers work in agreement and pass items to the next zone until the entire parts of the order have been picked.
Types of Zone Picking
Sequential Zone Picking
Sequential zone picking is the ideal pick-and-pass method. It involves the passing of items from one zone to the other based on the order. Each zone picker picks the items in their zone and passes the items to the next zone. Therefore, the bin must visit individual zones to gather their items before packing the order for shipping.
Simultaneous Zone Picking
Simultaneous zone picking involves workers picking products in their respective zones at the same time. Therefore, instead of visiting individual zones, each bin visits just one zone. At the end of the picking, pickers from different zones will assemble at the packing area with their items. The orders are then gathered and packed for shipping. This picking method is faster as zone pickers don’t have to wait for previous operators before working on the order.
Benefits of Zone Picking
Zone picking allows workers to move large products while reducing their physical effort. This is achieved by eliminating the need for workers to stop and pick up each item individually, creating a smoother flow of items in and out of the warehouse.
It Minimizes Errors
Zone picking can improve inventory accuracy and reduce errors in picking, which often occur when employees are required to pick items one at a time or randomly. By allowing employees to pick based on their assigned zones rather than by individual items, you can eliminate these problems and ensure that your inventory is always accurate.
It Facilitates Better Organization
The warehouse is a complicated environment with different kinds of items and many people working in it. However, the zone picking system helps in better organization of items as well as workers. This system enables the workers to identify their tasks quickly and efficiently. It also helps them in transferring their work from one zone to another effortlessly.
It Saves Time
Zone picking saves time for warehouse workers because it allows them to complete multiple tasks in a short period. This reduces the amount of time they spend walking around the warehouse, which will be beneficial for the company’s profit margin.
Zone Picking Best Practices
Reduce Touches When Possible
Touching the items can be an avenue to introduce human errors like broken or misplaced items. Hence, as much as possible, reduce touching items. This will also help to save time.
Make Safety the Priority
Workers’ safety should be of topmost priority. Ensure workers are well-equipped for their jobs by providing adequate equipment like back support, forklifts, hand carts, and pallet jacks. This will reduce the risk of being injured while at work and increase productivity as a result.
Keep Fast-moving Items Within Easy Reach
Ensure fast-selling items can be easily accessed and placed within the shipping area. This will reduce the travel time for workers and also make the collation of orders easier.
Zone picking is an efficient way of completing a warehouse order. Overall, the method has been highly successful in large warehouses, and it is being adopted more widely. However, to enjoy its full benefits, you must have a warehouse management system that reduces errors from manual management and coordinates the movement of both workers and products.