Put wall systems are an extremely effective means of order consolidation in high-velocity fulfillment and distribution centers dealing with an ever-expanding number and variety of product SKUs and order profiles. With more facilities forced to expand their operations to enable e-commerce fulfillment, direct-to-consumer (DTC) orders and store replenishment, put walls have proved indispensable in helping consolidate these disparate channels and achieve desired productivity and accuracy gains.
Honeywell offers not only the put wall hardware and warehouse execution system (WES) software needed to build these systems, but also the integration expertise to develop best-fit put wall systems for your specific fulfillment requirements. From manual to automated picking workflows, we can develop a put wall system that delivers maximum efficiencies in your operations.
Put wall system advantages:
- Ideal for multi-line orders with regular promotions, flash sales or seasonal specials
- Enables efficient multichannel fulfillment of both mixed- and single-SKU orders
- Software enables intelligent put and pack operations with real-time location information, adjustments and order allocation among wave, pick and put
- Adjustable hardware and configuration software that enables cubby configuration flexibility
- Flexible configurations for put-to-store, put-to-order and put-and-pass
- Single-source solution combines software, put-to-light hardware, voice and automated conveyor systems
- Light-directed fulfillment and put wall configurations designed for ergonomics and efficiency
Common Put Wall Scenarios
The integration of put walls into fulfillment processes can vary widely, often depending on the mix of technologies available and business case of the specific operation. The basic idea is that demand is aggregated via the upstream picking process, and then items are distributed to the appropriate cubby to consolidate orders at the put wall.
Put wall utilization is typically determined by the method of upstream picking and/or sortation used in the facility. Whether DCs rely on operator-to-goods batch picking, disparate zone picking processes, or opt for the mechanized precision of an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) for goods-to-operator workflow, put walls serve as points of demand consolidation to drive order fulfillment efficiencies. Common scenarios include:
- Batch pick to put wall
- Zone picking to put wall
- AS/RS (goods-to-operator) to put wall
- Pick to unit sorter, then to put wall
- Break-pack, cross-dock via put wall
Next-generation, Put Wall Configurability
Honeywell’s next-generation, configurable put wall technology is designed to address the challenges of SKU proliferation and rapidly changing product and order profiles. Combining configurable cubby sizes (hardware), user-friendly programming (software), and the ability to configure light-directed fulfillment confirmations at the put wall, this flexible solution allows operators to accommodate small to large products and order profiles in the same put wall. Put wall configurability also allows DC managers to expand their operations without having to do major material rework to their facilities.
Put Wall Operation and Enabling Technologies
For those new to the put wall concept, think of put walls as cabinet-like structures that are divided into a series of compartments, also known as cubbies or chutes. In a typical put wall scenario, one side is staffed by one or more operators who put product into assigned cubbies for their respective orders; the other side is staffed by one or more operators who then pack out these orders. In more automated environments, the put wall may also utilize an induction system and/or take-away conveyor.
Put walls from Honeywell are also enabled by order fulfillment technologies that direct an operator to place items in the correct cubby and then confirm when an order is complete and ready to be packed out. These enabling technologies include: RF handheld scanners and voice-directed, put-to-light systems. Selection of the preferred technology primarily depends on the rate of throughput required — with RF being the lowest rate, and lights enabling the highest throughput.