Zone picking is one of the order picking tools where the warehouse is divided into various zones and products are stocked accordingly. Each zone is assigned a trained employee who picks up the products as per the order only from his/her zone.
The products are at times collected from various zones to add and collate the goods as per the requirement. Products are generally stacked in flow racks or shelves. The process is generally automated which saves the time spent in walking and collecting in huge cartons.
It also helps in collecting goods for several customers in one go which facilitates in saving time and costs for the business. It helps in efficient inventory management as the numbers of transactions recorded will be less and more clear.
- As each employee is assigned a single zone they will be familiar with the way goods are stacked. This knowledge will help them pick the goods faster and thus saves the overall time.
- Once the picker collects the goods from the particular zone the carton then travels to the next zone. This process helps to ensure that the aisles are not blocked and the collection process becomes swift. The pickers will actually be so comfortable with their assigned zones that they might re-arrange their zones making it easily accessible.
- There are chances that items might get wrongly picked and since a huge number of pickers are involved it gets difficult in identifying the problem area unless it is brought to the notice of the managers.
- Since pickers have the freedom to re-arrange the zones the structure according to which the business stacks its goods may alter.
- As it is still a manual process it requires time and has its own space for errors. It is also tough to assign an equal amount of work to every picker. The reason being the fact that some zones might have a huge demand while some others might not.
Get more definitions about zone picking and other ERP related terms here.