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Order Pickup

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Order picking is the process by which a warehouse worker collects the items described on the delivery note that are in the warehouse. What the worker then does, known as picker, is to prepare the order to send it to the customer or for internal use. In addition, the picker must indicate in the inventory the item that he has collected and, frequently, this same employee is the same one who is responsible for delivering the order and replenishing the goods in the warehouse.

The term order picking comes from trade and production, but can also arise at any company warehouse. Order collection is inherently linked to warehouse management. An ERP system for wholesalers or for production automates these two tasks.

Different types of order pickup:

Sequential or parallel collection

Sequential collection means that one or more delivery notes are completed by one person. Sometimes, a team can also be occupied, but then the delivery note is passed. Pickers that use this method never work at the same time in the same order.

Parallel collection employs more workers to collect items at the same time for the same delivery note. The advantage of this method is that pickers can work in their own area. In this way, road distances are limited.

Order pickup per order or item

With the collection by order, a complete delivery note is made before moving on to the next one. This can be done sequentially or in parallel. You never work on two orders at once.

With the collection by article one works in several delivery notes at the same time and it's redistributed by article or, occasionally, by location of warehouse. Each picker is assigned an item or zone. Employee number 1, for example, collects all the vegetables from the refrigerator, employee 2 collects the spices, and 3, is responsible for cooking the necessary trays. This process can also be performed both sequentially and in parallel.

The use of technology to facilitate the collection of orders

There are different types of technologies and software to make order picking more efficient. The best known technological method is probably the scanner. Pickers use manual scanners to read barcodes and RFID tags " Radio Frequency Identification ". The code on the delivery note can, for example, indicate the location of an item. The barcodes or labels of the articles of the article itself send confirmation to the ERP system that the correct article has been collected, and immediately updates the new stocks in the system.

In recent years, apart from the scanner, another technology also appeared in the warehouse. For example, headphones for voice-directed storage, also known as voice pick-up, were released. The picker is guided by voice to the exact location of the warehouse, and confirms the collection with voice commands. In this way, the picker has the hands free to pick it up himself.

In some cases, order picking is completely automated. Here there is no more physical picker, but the work is done by order picking machines or through a conveyor belt. This is done in companies that have many identical orders. A storage automation and order preparation system is often referred to as an automatic warehouse or with the term Automated Storage and Retrieval System " AS / RS ".


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