When it comes down to making the case for pick-to-light, warehouse managers know they are going to have to take on an unaccustomed role as sales rep. Making a case to spend money is always an uphill battle, but with some facts in hand, warehouse managers can bring the bosses around to the benefits vs. cost of pick to light technology.
Selling Your Manager on Pick-to-Light
Cost: Pick-to-light cost can be an issue, a number of systems have initial cost along with the long-term cost of depreciation, downtime for deployment, and costs for add-ons. One way to defray the initial cost is to use a single device for multiple locations. Voodoo’s solution supports arrows in eight directions. Starting small, say with just twenty lights for the forty fastest moving products could dramatically improve your picking rate and accuracy.
Often, the reluctance to deploy new technology has less to do with the upfront cost and more to do with downtime and resistance to change. Downtime costs money, even if it is a “soft cost” instead of a budget line item. By using wireless, battery-powered pick to light devices, the downtime lost to hardwiring for electricity and data is not a factor. In fact, pick lights can be installed in a few hours (to a couple of days) with a minimal disruption to your current order fulfillment operation.
Wireless pick to light units can be placed on carts, forklifts or pallet jacks, as well as on assembly lines and conveyors, allowing staff to route an order with a high degree of precision. Voodoo Robotics has the only pick-to-light that allows five lines of custom text, barcodes, QR codes, and icons allowing pick lights to be used in new ways.
“But will it work with _____?” Everyone has a concern. Does it work with barcode scanners or my WMS/ERP? Is it stable? When you have a pick to light that can work of something as elementary as an Excel sheet, or even a Google Sheet, you can expect that integrations will be easy! REST API is the way to go.
Enhance your current picking carts by adding wireless pick lights. There’s no need to purchase expensive custom carts with heavy batteries. Now you can use pick-to-light or put-to-light with your existing carts, pallet lifts, electric mules and more!
“We don’t have the money right now.”
“So, we have the money to cover all these returns, mispicks, and free shipping on backorders“?
Near and dear to the accounting department, the sales department, and the owner/board is the overall cost of covering all of these errors and order fulfillment problems. Compiling stats and dollars, then extrapolating the cost over a period of time is vital for closing the deal. That’s not to say that mispicks, backorders, and returns are never going to happen. Let’s not sell blue sky. They are going to happen, but with better inventory, receiving, and picking, these situations are going to be heavily reduced. It’s not going to be perfect – nothing ever is – but the number of incidents are going to be significantly reduced. Pick to light cost can be defrayed by starting small and adding on to cover additional parts of your order fulfillment process.