Order fulfillment has seen a rise in technology in 2015 and there is now a large offering of advanced products to help make your warehouse function more efficient. With software plugged into your warehouse management system, picking and shipping orders has become a lot more accurate. The result is a better operation that will save you both time and money. Chirag Patel from Fairway Fulfillment & Logistics explores three popular pick and pack shipping systems in 2015. Also the benefits of each of the shipping system and potential suppliers to advance your warehousing operation.
1. Warehouse Control & Order Fulfillment Software
Order fulfillment software is a popular option in helping to automate the pick and pack process. With this software, you can ensure that production is efficient and that you aren’t wasting any time with fulfillment. Another benefit of using software is that it gives you billing management tools to increase order efficiency.
Before purchasing order fulfillment software consider the kinds of products you are working with as well as the degree of customization you require. Also, think about your requirements for billing.
When looking for the best software consider the following:
- Price quotes and their importance to your fulfillment requirements
- The amount of products that will need to be customized
- Whether or not you will require time-based billing
- Mass production of products for future provisions
Popular order fulfillment packages include the following:
- Fishbowl Inventory: direct integration with Quickbooks helping you process orders
- Dematic: Integration of logistics installations through advanced software. Reliable, flexible & cost effective.
- Snapfulfil: Warehouse management software system that is great for a range of materials.
- U Route: Transportation Management System to shorten the tie between shippers and carriers. Easily accessible by anyone on the internet.
- JDA Software: Favored by retailers and distributors who want to advance their inventory and fulfillment management processes.
- ShippersEdge: Multi-carrier shipping software that helps you manage outbound, inbound and drop shipping
2. Voice-Directed Picking Systems
The voice-directed picking system uses voice technology and speech recognition to let workers interact with the warehouse management system. Workers wear wireless headsets and a microphone and hear instructions by voice. They then verbally affirm their actions to the system. This happens when the voice system connects with the warehouse management software through a radio frequency.
This is best used for:
- Efficiency and productivity in order picking
- Goods receiving
- Pallet put-away and let-down
- Stock checking
Any improvements you see once using a voice-directed picking system will depend on how you were doing things in the past and your previous method of picking. However, if you are moving from a paper-based system to a voice directed one then picking errors will be dramatically reduced.
You will also notice improvements in:
- Order picking accuracy
- Administrative productivity (less paper, printing and lists required)
- Employee productivity
- Increased safety
- Less time spent on training workers
- Increased job satisfaction
- Cost savings in removing paper picking labels entirely
- Customer satisfaction
Popular voice-directed picking systems include:
- Motorola Solutions: hands free wearable products and specialist partner applications to integrate with your warehouse management system
- Demantic: hands and eyes-free operation, use of check digits during picking, speaker-dependent solutions, rapid ROI
- Voxware: open service oriented architecture-based voice software product
3. Mobile Cart Picking Systems
With a mobile cart picking system, there is a combination of pick-to-light features, voice automation, and RF scanners. This system can be quickly fitted to your existing system and often can be installed to your existing carts. You can integrate a mobile cart picking system with your warehouse management system.
One major benefit of using a mobile cart picking system is the opportunity for real-time shipment efficiency. The system organizes orders by pick location using a sophisticated method. With the use of light direction and real time control there is a greater level of efficiency compared to a paper system.
- Pick to light equipment that can be added to your existing carts
- Faster rate than ordinary picking methods
- Increased accuracy
- Decreased cost per SKU than normal picking
- Can be used with an endless amount of SKUs
Popular mobile cart picking systems:
- Working Machines Corporation: featuring a SwiftCART system for pickers to pick and pack numerous orders as they pass through a pick zone
- Demantic: offering pick carts for split-case and small item use
Other popular systems not mentioned in this article include pick-to light, put systems and unit sortation. If you have the opportunity to invest in a new system, consider getting rid of the paper system and adopting new technology. You will increase efficiency and save money.