It starts with the notification on your phone that someone or something is at your door. You check the door, spot a package, bring it in, open it with great care, only to find that it’s nothing remotely close to what you ordered. Someone at the warehouse goofed. The picking error has struck again.
As a warehouse manager yourself, experiencing the consumer side of a picking error should help you understand the importance of intercepting and preventing those errors in the warehouse. Picking errors diminish customer satisfaction—just think back to how you felt when you received the wrong box. Rectifying those errors costs your company money while wasting valuable time and labor, and time, as we all know, is money. That’s why knowing how to reduce picking errors in your warehouse is so important. Here are a few of the strategies we recommend.
Quality Control for Labels
Proper labeling is where it all begins. You’re familiar with the phrase “garbage in, garbage out,” right? It’s an axiom in programming, but it suits logistics just as well. If your stock has incorrect labels, nothing can go right from there. However, with scanners identifying the correct barcodes, there’s a lot less that can go wrong.
One of the best ways to reduce picking errors in your warehouse is to replace tired human eyes with robotic counterparts. Contrary to what you might expect with getting into a groove, human error has a way of creeping up over the course of long and repetitive tasks. Visual and cognitive fatigue make it all too easy for workers to select the wrong item from the racks, which means a big mistake and an unhappy customer. Reducing picking errors is but one benefit of increased automation practices at your distribution center.
More Intuitive Design
A warehouse, like life itself, is what you make of it. You have an incredible amount of latitude in how you arrange your racking systems, conveyors, and other pieces of critical warehouse infrastructure. Within that latitude, it’s up to you to come up with the design that best suits your traffic flow. By keeping popular stock within easy reach of pickers, whether human workers or collaborative robots, you can reduce errors by keeping your hot properties easily accessible and separate from the general inventory. Keep SKUs together rather than putting them wherever there’s space.