Warehouse operations often get busy and hectic, resulting in a loss of productivity due to excessive movement and inefficient processes in the facility.
One solution to this is adopting the zone picking method, which involves dividing the warehouse into fixed zones, most commonly by product type or sequence.
A dedicated employee, who is familiar with the products, is responsible for order picking within each zone — the familiarity speeds up the picking process while the zoning minimizes the time spent on shuttling between the warehouse aisles.
Using this method, multiple orders can also be picked quickly before they make their way to the next zone to be combined with more parts or items needed for delivery. This sequence is also typically referred to as the “pick-and-pass” method.
Zone picking has proven to be the most effective in large-scale operations with a greater quantity of stock keeping units (SKUs) and number of orders.
However, as the picking process is largely a collaborative effort, identifying the root cause for any errors may be tough due to the sheer number of people involved in each order.