Technology has proven to be game changing for many industries and, in particular, fulfillment and logistics. Warehouse management, picking and packing and product selection can be time consuming and expensive when handled traditionally. However, thanks to the use of a range of technology in warehouses, there are ways to streamline these often-laborious processes, to reduce the effort involved and to help cut costs.
Case study: pick to light
Pick to Light is a great example of the way in which technology is providing a wider range of options to improve both accuracy and productivity when it comes to order fulfillment. This is a very efficient system for paperless picking, putting or sorting and assembling products. It uses light to direct operators to stock locations with more accuracy and efficiency than many traditional methods of product selection in warehouses.
How does pick to light work?
Light indicator modules are mounted to storage locations, such as shelving, workbenches or pallet racks. Pick to light is a simple system whereby the light in the right area is turned on when a product is needed from that part of the warehouse. The operator can then select the product in the right quantity and then confirm that the action has been fulfilled be pressing the light button. The system is simple to set up and requires little or no training for operators, as the way that pick to light works is intuitive.
Where is pick to light already being used?
The retail industry has already begun to invest in pick to light technology for warehouses and it is also being used in pharmaceuticals, health and beauty, automotive and IT. The catalog sector has also been using pick to light, as have businesses in the high tech electronics sector. The technology has such an obvious advantage in efficiency terms that it’s likely to continue to gain in popularity.
How does pick to light streamline product selection?
- Improving accuracy – the operator goes straight to the correct product and makes the right selection, including the volume required.
- Boosting productivity – the clarity provided by pick to light means that operators can achieve more in a shorter space of time.
- Simple to customise – pick to light technology can be simply configured to add performance and efficiency to many popular order picking methodologies.
- Increasing speed – this kind of technology is ideally suited to high-speed sortation processes that require significant levels of accuracy and focus.
- Optimising existing processes – pick to light can be used to maximise throughput for retail store order distribution.
- The 80/20 rule – pick to light can help to increase productivity and accuracy across a wide range of environments and is particularly appropriate where the 80/20 rule applies i.e. 80% of a distributors item level picking volume comes from 20% of their SKE base.
If your fulfillment operations could benefit from the input of cutting edge technology we can help – contact us to find out more about the solutions that you could have access to.