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Order Fulfillment Optimization

Pick-to-light fulfillment within a warehouse

For a fulfillment operation thinking about making the transition from manual paper picking to paperless processes, two key questions inevitably arise. First: When is the best time to make the move from manual paper picking to paperless picking, such as goods-to-order (GTO), pick-to-light (PTL) or voice picking? Second: What can we expect if and when we make the move?

Today’s distribution center (DC) managers face a host of challenges. Many of which stand between a DC manager and his or her goals of achieving increased productivity and higher accuracy. When paper picking places limits on accuracy rates, RF technologies and automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) combined with lights and/or voice technologies are among the most economically viable methods to achieve desired accuracy improvements.

Additionally, DCs are facing newer challenges such as the need to accommodate non-native English speakers in the labor pool, and also the need for increased flexibility to adapt to the ups and downs of growth, economic influences and higher seasonal demand curves.

Knowing where to start and what to expect from automated fulfillment can be difficult. This white paper outlines the factors to consider when contemplating a move to paperless picking, the benefits of current automated picking technologies available, and reviews some of the efficiency improvements and return on investment (ROI) possibilities these technologies can bring to an operation.