Improving the Picking and Put-Away Process
Continuing our series of customer application stories, here’s a manufacturer that found a way to automate their picking and put-away processes, increase order accuracy and dramatically reduce training time.
The company is a manufacturer of sporting goods, who used a paper-based system for picking orders in the warehouse. Many of the orders easily exceeded several pages and could take a couple of days to pick and prepare. The combination of a paper-based process and multi-line, large orders, they struggled with issues such as:
- Order fulfillment duplication
- A very slow picking process
- Large orders had to be given to more experienced personnel who knew where items were in the warehouse
- The company was seeking to find a solution that would automate processes, improve inventory, order management, and fulfillment. They wanted to use their team more effectively, such as having pickers pick items and having inventory and orders be updated in real-time
Review & Observations
During the review phase, Barcom performed an audit of the operational flow. They observed the issues the company was having, and additional issues as well:
- Extended training time for pickers
- Lack of visibility into current inventory levels
- Frequent picking errors
- Due to inventory shortages, customer orders were fulfilled with partial shipments
- Their eCommerce site did not offer up-to-date inventory levels
They also struggled with customer loyalty and repeat business due to the inconsistencies in order fulfillment. They felt they were lacking the information they needed to offer outstanding customer service and support.
Solution and Results
Barcom provided the company a total solution that included a barcode-based data transaction suite that offers real-time visibility and accuracy. The solution included Honeywell mobile computers, handheld barcode scanners, Barcom’s Transaction™ software, and more. Once implemented, the results were evident almost immediately. Results included:
- Streamlined picking process using a handheld mobile computer that provided item location information for products on the shelf and how many to pick for each order
- Upon locating the item, the worker would use the scan-bin barcode and confirm the number of items placed in the cart. Order and inventory information were updated instantly
- The company was able to gain back control on purchasing with improved decision-making and control
- Multiple pickers could now help with larger orders
- The eCommerce site is automatically updated with actual inventory levels
- Customers could check their orders in real-time to see progress of order fulfillment
- Picker training was reduced days to hours because of the mobile computer and system interface.
The company quickly realized that the same system would work for their put-away process as well to improve the speed and accuracy of the process. So they decided to deploy Barcom’s solution in that area as well.
Finding more efficient ways to operate is our business! Contact Barcom today to learn more about this customer success story and see how we can help.
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