Order fulfilment has many aspects that firms need to capitalise on. One of these aspects is ‘Order Picking’. The entire process relies on what is called a ‘Pick List’. A picklist initiates the order picking process and helps workers in a warehouse navigate orders. How does it do so? That is exactly what we’ll be discussing today!
What is a Pick List?
Just as the name suggests, a pick list is a file containing information about the items and their quantity. A picklist can be made via a WMS (Warehouse management software) or manually; however, today, they are electronically generated where workers utilise a device having the picklist. This helps the warehouse picker to bring the right products.
How is picklist used in warehouses and shipping?
Now that we have understood what a picklist is, let’s see how it is used in warehouses and shipping. In the case of warehouses, pick lists which are mostly electronic, you can create pick lists for your warehouse pickers once you’ve received customer orders.
These lists assist in organising the order fulfilment, making the process more efficient. Having a warehouse management system (WMS) becomes a must for the process to operate automatically.
The WMS is what generates the picking list. Operators employ radio frequency scanners or picking assistance equipment (voice picking, for example) to prepare orders without error.
What does a picklist consist of?
A picklist contains the record of the products that need to be shipped to the customers that bought them. Generally, this list will include either a few or the completion of the following:
- Order Number
- Order Date
- Stock keeping unit (SKU)
- Photos of the products to be picked
- The volume of the item to be picked
In the case of a big warehouse, details such as the precise location of the counter or aisle number will allow workers to easily navigate their way to find the item to be shipped.
Best five picklist practices
A picklist is important but having a comprehensive one is a must. Also, this becomes even more important as mistakes can happen during the pickup. Hence, it’s best to follow practices that can help to improve a picklist for better efficiency.
The first basic requirement of a picklist is to have the correct order number. This will help workers identify the grouped items in the order and minimise error.
SKU, Barcodes or UPCs
The Stock keeping unit will have specific details about the size, colour, description, material etc., that distinguishes the products from one another. In short, it’s a product report that is usually accompanied by a barcode.
A universal product code (UPC) is a barcode that will bring more accuracy to the fulfilment order. Warehouse pickers can scan the barcode and confirm if the items on the picklist match the order they are picking.
Workers might find it difficult to reach the product quickly in a large warehouse unless they are told its exact location by warehouse management software (WMS). A WMS creates an electronic picklist that can be integrated with your barcode system, and some WMS models also allow warehouse pickers to report their progress on the picklist with a simple click. This crucial tool can save lots of time and effort to find a product as your inventory grows.
When a product comes along with a photo, it becomes easier for workers to pick up the items from the inventory. As a result, fewer staff will be required, which reduces labour expenses and a faster shipment process. In short, it’s an excellent way to upgrade inventory management as errors get curtailed thus, sending correct orders and achieving customer satisfaction.
Another critical part of a picklist is the quantity of the product ordered. A strategy to tackle sending out incorrect quantities of an item is by highlighting the volume on the picklist. This can also be done by a WMS that informs workers if a wrong quantity is picked.
Overall, a picklist is an essential catalogue for workers to easily identify the items in a warehouse and bring the correct quantity as mentioned. As a business grows, a picklist becomes a crucial medium to communicate about fulfilling orders and processing them quickly.
Moreover, cataloguing the products to be picked is an organised process for workers to easily identify the items that need to be shipped and load the quantity as mentioned; even small things leave a big impact on the shipment errand.