Most warehouses in Utah are still using RF or paper based order picking solutions, in spite of the massive efficiencies and expense reductions that are possible with automated picking systems. Only about 20% of warehouses throughout the country use advanced solutions like voice directed or pick to light systems. These types of solutions can have a significant influence on productivity.
The Business Case For Automated Picking Systems
In a lot of warehouses, picking is a laborious process where a picker gets an actual paper list of instructions laying out the products to be picked and their locales. They proceed to the specified storage slot, review their paper list to figure out the number of products they need from that pick face, get the items, scratch the product off of the checklist, and then transport the items for fulfillment.
Just moving around a warehouse can take up to 65% of a manual order picker’s day as they walk or ride about the building. These inefficiencies make order picking the most labor-intensive task in an average warehouse. In most cases, the majority of an average Salt Lake City warehouse’s operating costs can be linked to order picking. That number is effectively increasing as e-com drives even more picking demand from warehouses.
Almost all warehouses have some picking requirements. Nearly 50% manage a combination of pallets, cases, split cases and pieces. In truth, less than 10% of all storage facilities throughout the nation deal with strictly full pallet orders. And although the majority of warehouses bear massive picking expenses, only 20% have moved away from conventional RF and paper-based picking solutions.
Developments in Picking Technology
In the last 10 years there have been great advances in picking innovation, varying from IoT+ RFID to enhanced reality smart glasses. The 2 most widespread and developed innovations, however, are light directed and voice directed picking options. Each has a convincing use case in certain situations, and some storage facilities even use both techniques.
Fully actualizing technology-based picking solutions can be capital intensive. ROI models for picking automation can be convincing. Most programs have a fast payback and can create substantial cost reductions in labor and pick inaccuracies for many years to come. A 2018 research study showed that businesses that employed voice, light or RFID based picking options decreased pick mistakes by an average of 67%.
Pick To Light
Pick to light solutions are perfect for zone picking or high order volume, high speed warehouses. Racks are furnished with LEDs that signal selection quantities and locations, and workers tap these lights to confirm picks and volumes as they make their way down a pick path.
Light directed systems are less versatile and more costly than voice directed solutions, yet when executed properly they can considerably improve picking speed and accuracy. According to MHI, most pick to light implementations achieve an average of 30-50% in pick rate productivity.
Voice Picking System
Voice picking solutions are perfect for warehouses that keep a greater assortment of SKUs spread throughout larger buildings. Employees can move about a building hands-free–they don’t need to carry a handheld device or sheet of paper.
Picking instructions are relayed by the warehouse management system through earphones, and the order-picker replies verbally to validate each pick. There is no device to hold, no screens to review, no barcodes to scan, and no confirmation buttons to click. The whole process is performed through voice commands and spoken confirmation.
Salt Lake City Picking Automation Solutions
2181 South 3200 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84119
Serving Alta, Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Grantsville, Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Millcreek, Murray, Ophir, Riverton, Rush Valley, Salt Lake City, Sandy, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Stockton, Taylorsville, Tooele, Vernon, Wendover, West Jordan, West Valley City