By using ERP systems (enterprise resource planning systems), efficient automation of picking can be achieved. These systems integrate various aspects of business operations, including warehouse, order and delivery management. With their help, the entire order picking process can be monitored and managed from one central location.
When implementing picking automation, it is important to focus on a few key topics. The first is the proper configuration of warehouse processes and space in the ERP system, and it is best to use an ERP with an integrated warehouse management system for this. It is essential to define the optimal warehouse layout, product placement and stock unit parameters to efficiently identify, pick and ship orders. Inventory management is also important. Automation enables monitoring of the availability of goods and automatic order recall from suppliers based on set rules. This minimises the risk of shortages and ensures a smooth picking process.
Integration with transport companies is another key issue. ERP systems allow direct communication with the shipping companies, making it easier to transmit orders and track their delivery status. This ensures fast and reliable transportation of goods to customers.
Monitoring and reporting is part of the automation of picking. ERP systems provide tools to track key performance indicators such as order processing time, delivery accuracy and more. This enables continuous process optimization and identification of areas for potential improvement.
Automating the picking of orders from an online store is an indispensable step towards an efficient and competitive operation. The use of ERP systems and careful focus on key areas results in improved speed, accuracy and customer satisfaction. It's an investment that can pay off in the long run and contribute to the success of your ecommerce business.
Oh, and not to write in theory, here are some practical tips that can help you automate order picking from your ecommerce store, regardless of the system you use:
- Define a clear and optimized picking process: establish clear rules and procedures for receiving, processing and picking orders. Consider the use of automated warehouse systems and technologies to increase efficiency.
- Leverage the features and capabilities of your system: Explore and take advantage of all available picking-related system features and modules. This includes warehouse unit management, inventory tracking, supplier order automation and integration with transportation companies. Spend time familiarising yourself with the system you are using. It can save you a great deal of time and money in the future.
- Monitor KPIs: regularly monitor and analyse key performance indicators related to picking, such as order processing time, delivery accuracy and stock levels. Use data and analytical tools to identify trends, seasonal patterns and improve performance. For example, you can track the most frequent products, highest value orders, or top performing suppliers.
- Automate: Integrate your ERP system with suppliers and shipping companies to take advantage of electronic order transmission and delivery tracking. Automate inventory processes. Consider implementing automated warehouse systems such as auto-lift racking systems, conveyors and robotic handlers.
- Don't neglect the human factor: even with automation, it's important to have skilled personnel who are familiar with picking processes. Provide training to employees and make sure they are able to use the ERP/warehouse management system and picking technology effectively.