Choose Put Walls for Store Replenishment and E-commerce Order Consolidation
July 9, 2019
We are often asked, “Why would I need a put wall in my distribution center?” The answer is simple: regardless of your business requirements, put walls provide an efficient and accurate means to complete the order fulfillment process. This flexibility means that they work as well in a store replenishment environment as they do in the fast-paced, high-velocity world of E-commerce — and everywhere in between.
What’s a put wall?
Put walls are essentially stationary (or mobile) cabinet-like structures divided into compartments (aka cubbies) where orders are consolidated prior to pack-out. Typically, an operator is stationed on each side of the put wall: one to place products into their respective order cubbies, the other to pack out the orders and place them on a take-away shipping conveyor.
Modern put walls are equipped with light-picking technologies to enable efficient light-directed putting and pack-out.
How would they work in store replenishment?
In a store replenishment scenario, each cubby might represent an order for each particular store. Here, products may come from a cross-dock process where they are pulled from split cases from the receiving side of the DC and distributed into specific cubbies at a put wall. These orders are then packed out and shipped to stores, facilitating an efficient store replenishment process.
Improving E-commerce accuracies and process efficiencies
As high order volumes and the proliferation of SKUs continue to drive E-commerce, direct-to-consumer fulfillment processes, labor-intensive unit picking (aka each picking) and putting can increase labor costs and the potential for errors. This is why put walls have become more widely integrated to improve both order accuracies and process efficiencies.
In a typical E-commerce fulfillment scenario, put walls enable tighter coordination of picking or order consolidation processes, especially to handle batches (or waves) of orders. This starts with picking all the items related to a specific batch from various zones within a DC, where a series of full, mixed-SKU totes are then delivered to a put wall. The put wall processor pulls items from these totes to build multiple orders. Light-directed instructions ensure that each item and required quantity are placed into their respective order cubby.
Instead of trying to manually match all of these different SKUs and quantities to different orders — as is still the case in many DCs today — put walls deliver much-needed automation to this process. And by integrating the picking and putting tasks into a cohesive process, DC operators can fulfill orders faster and more accurately, all while reducing inefficient and costly labor requirements.
Flexible, configurable put wall solutions
Put wall solutions from Honeywell Intelligrated combine durable put wall hardware with intuitive end user configuration software to help DC operators adapt to changing SKUs and order profiles. We even offer configurable cubby sizes for maximum put wall utility throughout peak and off-season fulfillment requirements. These flexible systems can be integrated into our Momentum warehouse execution system to enable dynamic, real-time put wall allocation decisions.
View our video to learn more about our robust put wall solutions.
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