Logistics Start Small: The Importance of Picking and Put-Away

organized warehouse with good put-away and picking KPIs

When it comes to logistics, it’s easy to think of the science of organizing and transporting goods as something that happens on the level of a national military or massive world economic engine. The thing about science is that it is scalable, and can apply to a small business just as equally as large. The logistics process often breaks down in the middle stages – between receiving the goods and putting the products on a truck to a customer.

This intermediate stage is where smaller businesses need to tap into tools, that in the past, have only been available to larger-scale players on the level of Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other large movers of merchandise.

Play with the Big Boys

Let’s get something out of the way.

Nobody is going to be the next Amazon. It’s unfair to measure small businesses next to Amazon – even if Jeff Bezos did start in a garage. However, the boom in e-commerce has made technology, previously out of reach for smaller entities, available to all. For example, barcoding, live inventory and warehouse management systems, as well as pick-to-light technology can help reduce the “oops factor” while being affordable for small business owners.

Let’s look at put-away as the stage after receiving, and at picking as the stage before shipping while evaluating some key performance indicators (KPI) for both.

Put-Away KPI

The time between receiving materials on the dock  and unboxing

The time between unboxing and quality control check

The time between QC and entry into inventory

The time between entry into inventory  and placement on putaway cart

The time between cart and putaway shelf

Picking KPI

The time between order ticket generation and giving it to a picker

The time between a picker taking the ticket and start of pick

The time needed to fill pick lines until the order is complete

Calculation of fill rate and back-ordered items

Time between the end of pick and start of packing

How many minutes and hours are being eaten up during these steps? Time, the old saying goes, is money. When a business has live inventory in place, it can shed light on ordering cycles, “dead” inventory, and help to keep ordering under control.  However, another step is needed to optimize put-away and order picking.

Pick to Light Solutions

Using a wireless pick-to-light system no longer refers to a red-to-green light on a shelf. Flexible wireless units from Voodoo Robotics can light up in one of six colors, display up to five lines of text, barcodes, QR codes, arrows, or icons, and can be deployed on carts, bins, shelves, and any other place where attention is needed. By using pick-to-light in a zoned putting away plan, KPI in all categories will show improvements. Schedule a demo to see what  Voodoo Robotics can do for you.

Get Started

Let’s have a conversation so we can better understand your needs.  Schedule a demo or contact us and get control of your mispicks!

If the system avoids just a few mispicks, it’s paid for itself!

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