In part 1 of this post, we talked about what even just a 1% mispick rate is really costing you (a possible $1,560,000 per year in lost revenue). Here we will provide some helpful information, technology, and strategies you can use to eliminate human error and reduce the number of mispicks in your picking process as much as possible.
Previously, we mentioned the use of light-directed solutions and automated storage and retrieval systems to boost picking accuracy. The automated systems equipped with pick-to-light technology negate human error by helping operators with four basic functions:
- Picking a specific or active item.
- Putting the item in an active order or specific location.
- Communicating the quantity or description of the item.
- Completing the pick and moving to the next one.
Pick-to-light technology has evolved into complete message centers that can communicate multiple variables to the operator: the precise location within the carrier of the item to be picked, where it can then pinpoint the exact location and direct picking or storage of the item, and indicate the required quantity of the item being picked. Less picking mistakes mean happier customers.
Types of Picking Technologies
This technology can help boost your picking accuracy up to 99.9%. The following includes the types of light-directed technologies that can be added to automated storage and retrieval systems:
Transaction Information Centers are for vertical carousels and vertical lift modules (VLMs). This is a dynamic pick-to-light system that displays item identification in 1/10 inch increments, descriptions, quantities, and other messages to help an operator pick the correct item and amount for order fulfillment.
Light pointers are used with VLMs and deploy an LED or laser light that is mounted on a slider. The sliders move horizontally on a guiding system within the opening of the VLM. The light pointer, which is software-driven, swivels to project a light beam into point to the position of the item to be picked within the storage tray. The light identifies the precise location of the item to be picked or restocked.
Position indicator light bars are incorporated into the access openings of VLMs and vertical carousels. The LED lights illuminate in alignment with the position of the required item within the storage tray to be picked.
Light towers can be integrated with horizontal carousels to house picking display models on extruded upright towers. The displays indicate to the operator the carousel, shelf level, tray location, and quantity to pick. A single software-driven light tower can serve two horizontal carousels within a picking pod.
Put/batch lights can be used with both horizontal and vertical carousels as well as VLMs to direct an operator to put or store items in a specific location when restocking items. They can also be used for order consolidation, batch picking, and batch sorting at workstations.
In addition, AS/RS systems can also be incorporated with radio-frequency (RF) scanners for quick barcode verification of picked items, voice-directed picking modules that verbally direct operators to the pick in a head-set, or scales that automatically verify the correct number of small parts based on their weight.
Increasing picking accuracy by just one percent can lead to dramatic improvements in your operations. Not only will it result less picking mistakes, but it will also lead to exceptional cost savings per year and even per day, and increase customer satisfaction. For a production line at 250 lines per hour averaging 3 SKUs per order during an eight hour shift, a 0.1% mispick rate from a 1% rate reduces revenue lost per year from $1,560,000 to $1,404,000—a 90% yield in cost savings. For even greater accuracy, inventory management software with AS/RS systems is an efficient and easy way to keep track of your inventory and monitor stock levels in real time.
Contact Us for More Information About Reducing Mispicks
Convinced that you need to start reducing your mispick rate? Southwest Solutions Group can help. Our dedicated and experienced team can help you get the technology and techniques you need so your company can save money, enhance productivity, and increase your valued customers’ satisfaction. To prove our dedication to you, we will even provide you with a free consultation. To learn more, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.