Order Picking Systems | Seattle, WA

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Raymond West is a King County warehouse automation consultant. We design, install and maintain order picking solutions.

Call us today at (253) 333-2100.

The majority of warehouses in the United States are still using RF or paper based order picking solutions, despite the enormous efficiencies and cost decreases realized by automated picking systems. In truth, only about 20% of storage facilities throughout the country make use of advanced services like voice directed or pick to light systems. These kinds of solutions can have a tremendous effect on profitability.

The Business Case For Automated Picking Systems

In a lot of facilities, picking is a laborious job where a picker receives a physical paper list of instructions laying out the items to pick and their specific locations. They move to the specified storage slot, review their paper list to determine how many products they require from that pick face, get the products, check the item off of the list, and then transport the products for fulfillment.

Simply getting around a storage facility can take up to 65% of a manual order picker's day as they stride or ride about the building. These antiquated methods make order picking the most labor-intensive function in an average warehouse. In most cases, more than half of an average storage facility's operating costs can be traced to order picking. That number is actually rising as e-com spurs even more picking demand from storage facilities.

Practically all storage facilities have some picking requirements. Nearly 50% handle a mix of pallets, cases, split cases and pieces. Less than 10% of all warehouses throughout the country manage strictly entire pallet orders. And even though many storage facilities bear massive picking expenses, just 20% have moved beyond conventional RF and paper-based picking systems.

Developments in Picking Technology

In the last 10 years there have actually been great advances in picking technology, varying from IoT+ RFID to enhanced reality smart glasses. The 2 most prevalent and mature technologies, however, are light directed and voice directed picking options. Each has a convincing use case in specific situations, and some storage facilities even utilize both techniques.

Fully actualizing technology-based picking solutions can be capital intensive. ROI cases for picking automation can be convincing. Many projects have a rapid payback and can create considerable savings in labor and pick errors for years to come. A 2018 research study revealed that businesses that employed voice, light or RFID based picking options lowered pick errors by an average of 67%.

Pick To Light

Pick to light systems are ideal for zone picking or high order volume, high speed facilities. Racks are furnished with LEDs that signal pick quantities and slots, and employees tap these lights to validate picks and volumes as they make their way along a pick path.

Light directed systems are not as flexible and more costly than voice directed solutions, but implemented correctly they can considerably improve picking speed and precision. As reported by MHI, most pick to light applications gain approximately 30-50% in pick rate productivity.

Voice Picking System

Voice picking options are ideal for warehouses that fill a more substantial assortment of SKUs dispersed throughout larger warehouses. Employees can move about a storage facility hands-free--they do not need to carry a handheld device or piece of paper.

Picking directives are relayed by the WMS through earphones, and the order-picker replies verbally to validate each pick. There is no equipment to hold, no screens to view, no barcodes to scan, and no confirmation buttons to click. The whole process is completed through voice commands and verbal verification.

Order Picking Automation Systems Near Me

If you would like more information on order picking innovation for your warehouse, call a Raymond West automation specialist today!

Raymond's Seattle service operation includes most of Western Washington, including Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Bothell, Woodinville, Lynnwood, Everett, Tukwila, Renton, SeaTac, Burien, Kent, Federal Way, Fife, Sumner, Auburn, Tacoma, Lakewood, Puyallup, Olympia, Lacey and surrounding areas.

Raymond West | Seattle Material Handling Equipment Supplier

6607 S 287th St
Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 333-2100