This article is the first of a three-part series dedicated to educating you about low-cost, high-impact lean solutions available for eCommerce and fulfillment. Each article will focus on a different portion of your warehouse’s process, from picking and restocking to assembly and inspection to repackaging, packaging, and shipping. If you have questions about any of the solutions mentioned in this series, contact the Geolean USA team.
3 eCommerce Warehouse Picking Best Practices To Optimize Your Facility
Optimizing warehouse picking best practices has always been a priority for any eCommerce warehouse or fulfillment center. But as consumers continue to change the ways they purchase, and as orders become smaller and more frequent, warehouses and e-commerce fulfillment centers are looking for new ways to stay ahead of consumer demand and improve efficiency. As you’re working to overcome common warehouse management challenges, these eCommerce warehouse picking best practices can help you optimize efficiency, and keep work moving.
01. Organize Your Warehouse With a FIFO Mentality
The best way to make sure your warehouse team is able to pick orders quickly is to have a great warehouse organization strategy. That starts with the implementation of a first-in, first-out stocking and restocking process.
First-in, first-out means that you’re organizing your warehouse to ensure that the very first product that enters your facility is the very first to leave. So, if you had two shipments of T-shirts, you’d make sure that all of the T-shirts from the first shipment are out of the warehouse before you break into the second.
When you organize your warehouse with a FIFO picking mentality, you’re ensuring no product is wasted, and you’re training your team to acknowledge and optimize how products move through your warehouse. The more organized your warehouse, the faster it is for your fulfillment team to find and pick products efficiently.
02. Choose Effective, Easy-to-Install Product Picking Solutions Over High-Tech Ones
As warehouses and fulfillment facilities across the country look for ways to improve fulfillment efficiency, there are plenty of companies out there selling high-dollar automation implementation plans. While automation can do a lot for your warehouse in the long run, it’s important to remember that these systems take years to implement and cost millions of dollars.
In most cases, you can achieve similar levels of efficiency just by improving the storage and organization solutions your warehouse is already using.
03. Optimize The Warehouse Picking Materials and Solutions You Already Have
Before you implement an expensive automated system, take a look at how your warehouse is functioning. Are there inefficiencies in your picking and packing areas? How can you improve existing flow racks and pallet racking to optimize both space and time?
Even if automation is on the horizon for your warehouse, it can’t deliver the results you’re looking for if your warehouse isn’t already optimized for it. So, start small by identifying how your warehouse picking process works now. Which spaces are costing your team additional time, and how can you reduce that? What solutions — whether they’re flow racks, pallet racking, or more — can help your team pick and fulfill eCommerce orders faster? What changes can you implement quickly that will help to fund the future state?
eCommerce Warehouse Picking Best Practices: Solutions You Can Implement Now
To help you answer that question, let’s look at a few key solutions that can help you implement these warehouse picking best practices quickly and cost-effectively. Here are three solutions you can implement to better observe the eCommerce warehouse picking best practices listed above:
If you manage a fulfillment facility or warehouse, you’ve seen a flow rack. But, what many eCommerce warehouses don’t know is that by making a few simple changes, you can turn a basic flow rack into custom warehouse picking solution that is optimized for your unique order fulfillment requirements.
Tube and joint flow racks are endlessly customizable to suit any material in any space. With a few simple modifications, you can optimize those flow racks to accommodate any product and any picking process. Present materials in virtually any orientation, create flow racks to fit unique spaces, bring materials to any space on your warehouse floor, and save space with supermarket-style flow racks that make picking small, high-volume products simple.
Roller deck or roller bed flow rack solutions enable you to flow virtually any material — in a container or not — more easily through your picking process. Custom roller decks are made to suit a variety of flow rack shapes and sizes, making it easy to flow whatever you need seamlessly throughout your facility.
Tube and joint configurations deliver rapid implementation and custom solutions to ensure your warehouse gets exactly the picking support and structure you need, when you need it. And because tube and joint is simple to reconfigure, your custom solutions adjust and adapt as your warehouse’s needs do.
Improved Pallet Racking
Get more out of your existing space by modifying your pallet racking to better suit your picking and restocking process. Have boxes and packaging sitting on the floor? Products and pallets blocking aisles? Need to improve flow? Just not enough pallet racking space to store every product?
Easily create a space for every part with solutions that allow you to customize your pallet racking to fit each product exactly. When your pallet racking is right-sized, you’ll quickly see you have more space to reduce the clutter and optimize your warehouse picking spaces.
Let Geolean USA Help Support Your eCommerce Warehouse’s Picking Best Practices
eCommerce warehouses are increasingly forced to do more with less. Pick, pack, and ship more orders, stock more of the right products with less space, and do it all with fewer warehouse employees. As consumer demands change and as eCommerce warehouses are working to satisfy those customers by filling more smaller orders, faster, you need fast, affordable solutions you can implement now.
Get ahead of warehouse picking optimization with help from the Geolean USA team. No matter what type of product you’re flowing, we have a solution. And our solutions are rapidly implemented at the lowest cost. We’re here to help find the most effective, most efficient solution that you can use now — not months down the road.
Optimize your eCommerce warehouse efficiency with these picking best practices, and choose Geolean to help you make it happen. For more information about our customizable picking solutions, from flow racks to pallet racking, get in touch with our team.