How to Optimize Warehouse Order Picking with Mobile Workstation Carts
Order picking is a significant warehouse cost center, and order picking errors hurt profits. Every picking error adds cost and subtracts profit from your enterprise. Even with a well-trained workforce, numerous obstacles can get in the way of fast, efficient order picking. Picking errors pile on shipping, repackaging, help desk, lost sales, and inventory discount costs to existing overhead. And on top of all that wasted labor, sales costs rise incrementally as companies pivot from business development to remedial and recovery activities.
For distribution centers dealing with supply chain issues, labor shortages, and rising inflation, the need for agile, accurate order picking has never been higher. Unfortunately, researchers found companies pay an average of $50 to $300 for picking errors, decreasing profitability by 11 to 13 percent. A mobile workstation cart can transform your order picking from a cost center to a profit center by reducing these costly errors and improving accuracy by enabling your warehouse workers to pick, pack, label, and ship at the point of task.
Warehouse picking carts can relieve distribution centers by eliminating hundreds and even thousands of wasted steps between fixed computer workstations and other warehouse areas. When mobilized workers can execute tasks from wherever they are situated, workflows accelerate, and productivity soars. Mobile order picking is a welcome change from industrial-era workflows and fixed workstations that require workers to walk back and forth to get pick lists, packing lists, and shipping labels.
By mobilizing technology, warehouse order picking carts have measurably minimized workplace fatigue, increased worker safety, and improved efficiencies, saving companies time and money. Warehouse order picking carts eliminate extension cords and wasteful steps and give workers the flexibility and tools they need to quickly and efficiently get their jobs done. In addition, empowered mobile workers have access to computers, printers, scanners, and enterprise software, enabling them to interface with WMS and ERP systems and networked applications from anywhere in the facility. These benefits boost worker productivity, job satisfaction, and worker safety.
Reduce cost per pick:
With unprecedented labor shortages and increased demand for greater throughput and quicker delivery times, recruiting and retaining skilled warehouse workers is a constant challenge facing supply chain leaders. Order picking carts enable employees to get more done in less time, directly decreasing labor costs and improving the bottom line. For example, when a mobile workstation empowers a worker to pick an order in four minutes instead of five, that increases 20 percent in worker productivity per order.
With mobile workstations, distribution centers can increase the average number of picks per shift per worker. Facilitating order picking at the point of task improves accuracy by enabling a picker to fulfill an order without making separate trips and having direct access to real-time inventory item locations and status within easy reach. In addition, warehouse order picking carts promote accurate order picks, cycle counts, labeling, inspecting, and cataloging. An empowered, mobilized workforce can accomplish more tasks in less time, reducing the potential for errors and improving employee morale and customer satisfaction.
Increase order accuracy and eliminate preventable errors:
An efficiently run warehouse gives workers more time to thoroughly do their jobs and double-check the quality of their work. Mobile picking carts can improve overall operations by minimizing worker footsteps and reducing inevitable distractions that lead to careless work and avoidable mistakes. Mobilized workers can complete tasks, end to end, by picking entire orders at one time while verifying accuracy. This thoroughness accelerates workflows and increases productivity as well as worker satisfaction.
Increasing order accuracy reduces the potential for picking errors, leading to lost sales, returns, dissatisfied customers, and related recovery costs. According to a global survey, mis-picks cost companies an average of $22 per order costing distribution centers nearly $400,000 per year. As a result, order picking was a key focus of workflow process reviews for 47 percent of companies surveyed. Fortunately, worker mobility improved workflow profitability by 76 percent in the United States and 84 percent in the United Kingdom.
Warehouse order picking speed and accuracy are essential for modern distribution centers, and every order picking error adds cost and subtracts profit from your enterprise. So if you’ve been searching for ways to improve productivity in your warehouse, consider mobilizing your workforce with a purpose-built, powered mobile picking cart.
As primary drivers of productivity, mobile workstations reduce order picking errors, save time, eliminate waste, and enable your workforce to do more with less while staying focused and organized. In addition, transitioning from fixed workstations to advanced technologies has helped numerous DTG partners optimize internal processes, including receiving, picking, and shipping. For more information on our mobile cart workstations, contact DTG today.