The article outlines the benefits of utilizing waveless picking in e-commerce and omni-channel distribution centers. Going waveless allows e-commerce and omni-channel retailers to adapt to shorter order cycle times, and respond dynamically to developing customer demands. Waveless picking can eliminate downtime, insert orders into pick paths reducing travel time, and balance work flow.
Gary Cash, vice president of solution development for material handling software and controls provider Pyramid, agrees. Historically, he says, building waves has allowed companies to better track and manage orders. But the system also has drawbacks—particularly when it comes to worker productivity.
“In a wave of orders, you start with a bit of work, then ramp up, and then ramp down,” he explains, noting that at the end of the wave, there is a lull in the activity as workers wait for the next batch of orders. “When you go waveless, you can create a more constant flow of work.”
This is especially helpful in today’s omni-channel environment, where distribution center personnel are working to fill a wider variety of orders in a shorter period of time, and productivity is at a premium.
“The highest labor content in a building is usually in the picking area. If we can make that better, we can keep costs down,” Cash explains. “And when we get to [the holiday season], organizations have to hire huge amounts of additional people. If we can be efficient and avoid some of that hiring because of improved efficiency, it certainly helps.”
The full article can be accessed here.