Even if you seem to have mastered the simple rules of the warehouse, you never stop learning and improving processes in logistics. That’s why today we’re going to take a look at 2 operations that are critical to warehouse operations: picking and packing. In our article, we will delve into the definitions of picking and packing and the key tactics to consider to optimize these processes.
Definition and differences between picking and packing
The terms picking and packing have entered the global logistics vocabulary to some extent, denoting work teams that have a place in every warehouse or distribution center.
Order picking in the logistics environment
The term picking is widely used in logistics as a synonym for preparation of requirements. Review and prepare the order for shipment.
However, if we adhere to the strictly English meaning of picking, as opposed to packing, this interacts with the action of picking up or removing objects, for which it would cover the first stages, being the movement of the operator towards the shelf is highlighted. and subtracting the given product.
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Packaging or conditioning requests
Packing refers to the process of preparing and packing requests for their next shipment.
When the goods leave the pallet warehouse, the packaging process also includes the assembly of the pallets, which includes packing boxes, wrapping them with straps and/or stretch film and labelling.
In addition, depending on the picking process in the warehouse, there may be an intermediate phase between picking and packing. This occurs, for example, when batch picking or wave picking is used.
The relationship between picking and packing operations in the warehouse
In warehouses with a basic level of order preparation, it is common for certain employees to be tasked with specific picking tasks (picking and moving) and others with packaging (checking and destroying the packaging).
Picking and packing are usually sequential tasks, although it is possible to approximate them in time when using the pick-to-box method.
How can picking and packaging processes be made more efficient?
A warehouse management program opens up a multitude of modalities for optimizing the picking and packaging processes.
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Limit the number of movements and contact points.
The more you reduce the number of manipulations and movements, the more efficiency you will achieve. In addition, second chances are quite expensive: Ideally, picking and packing must work right the first time.
To limit the number of movements it is recommended:
Have a picking program: the system integrates a digital x-ray of the warehouse layout and is able to design the lists of requests to be made, taking into account, among other things, the location of the products and the idealization of the shipments other points logistics. limits
Ensure that the picking stations or dedicated area are equipped with all the necessary groups and packing materials to have everything at hand and avoid disruption in the processes.
Get to know the efficiency of the picking process
The management program allows data to be collected and displayed as KPIs for studying and evaluating warehouse operations.
The triumph of improving picking and packing lies in dividing the two operations into sub-processes and calculating the standard times used in all of them.
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Evaluate automation resolutions
Picking, understood as the removal and transport of loads, already has a long tradition in logistics systems.
The storage and retrieval machines remove the loads from the shelves and transport them, which automates picking.
The storage and retrieval machines remove the loads from the shelves and transport them, which automates the picking process.
Don’t forget the packaging
In order to optimize packaging, we do not have the ability to override the packaging materials used in the warehouse.
The installation of automatic packaging machines: systems that produce paper or windsock fillers deliver it directly to the operator who packs itsimply put it in the packaging.
The parameters between selection and packaging are often fluid, as the material flow in the warehouse is heavily intertwined.
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