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8 Best Order Picking Methods

Best Order Picking Methods

Order-picking efficiency is critical for warehouse operations. It entails picking and gathering things from storage locations in order to precisely and quickly fulfill client requests. 

Optimizing order-picking procedures may substantially influence a company’s bottom line in today’s competitive industry. This article investigates several warehouse order-picking strategies, providing insights into their benefits, drawbacks, and best-use scenarios.

Order Picking Methods

1. Discrete Order Picking

Because it is straightforward and easy to grasp, this is the most popular sort of order choice. One order-picker chooses one order, one line at a time while using a discrete order-picking process.  Furthermore, there is only one order scheduling window available throughout a shift. As a result, orders are not planned and can be picked up at any moment during the day. 

The benefits of employing this type of order picking include simplicity, excellent for paper-based picking, quick response time for order fulfillment, and the ability to readily track order picker accuracy.  

However, this is the least efficient way since it needs more travel time than other methods, and warehouse picking rates lag behind.

2. Zone Picking

Order pickers are allocated a physically defined zone in the pick area. Each zone’s picker is responsible for choosing all SKUs located in the zone for each order. If an order involves SKUs located in different zones, the order is filled after passing through each zone. 

This is also known as the “pick and pass” approach. There is just one scheduling period for each shift in zone selection. This implies that there is a deadline for orders to be queued into the order selection process, and any orders received after that deadline will be completed during the following shift. 

3. Bulk Picking 

When one picker chooses a group, or batch, of orders at the same time, one SKU at a time, this is known as batch picking. This is useful when there are several orders with the same SKU. When this happens, the order picker only has to go to the pick location for that particular SKU once to fill the many orders. 

The major benefit of using this strategy is that it reduces travel time, which boosts productivity. Batch picking is frequently utilized when the normal order profile has only a few SKUs (under four) and the physical dimensions of the SKUs are minimal. Batch picking, like zone picking, requires only one order scheduling window for each picking shift. 

4. Cluster Picking 

Picking into numerous order containers at once is referred to as cluster picking. Totes holding order batches, discrete order shippers, or discrete order totes might be used as containers. 

Cluster picking is beneficial to two different piece-picking methods. Among the various options for building your warehouse picking process, this one provides options for both human and automated picking:

Pick-to-cart operations, in which a cart is filled with numerous totes or shippers, and the picker makes one trip through the pick zone and sorts to the pick containers, minimizing unnecessary travel. 

The picker would create the pick container batch, which would commence the mechanized pick modules, and the items would be sorted to the right pick container using vertical lift modules (VLM) or carousel operations utilizing the independent zone picking approach. By reducing the amount of machine cycles, this strategy is utilized to optimize the VLM and carousel pods.

5. Wave Picking

Wave picking is similar to discrete picking in that just one order, one SKU, is picked at a time. The scheduling window is the primary distinction. There is no scheduling window in discrete picking, but there is in wave picking. Orders may be scheduled to be picked at specified times of the day, which helps to coordinate and optimize the picking and shipping processes. 

6. Zone-Batch Picking

This is a hybrid approach in which pickers are allocated a zone, similar to standard zone picking, but they are also told to batch-pick inside their zone. Because zone-picking and batch-picking both have a scheduling window, zone-batch picking does as well. 

7. Zone-Wave Picking

Zone-Wave Picking is a system in which pickers are allocated a zone and each picker inside their zone selects all SKUs for all orders stored in their zone, one order at a time, with one scheduling window per shift.

8. Zone-Batch-Wave Picking 

The most complicated combination of order-choosing techniques. Each picker is allocated a zone and is responsible for picking all SKUs for orders stored in that zone. Furthermore, the picker selects more than one SKU at a time, and each shift has numerous scheduling windows.


Order-picking efficiency is at the heart of efficient warehouse operations. It’s a key procedure with ramifications ranging from consumer happiness to the bottom line. As we’ve seen, each order selection approach has its own set of pros and downsides, making it suited for different cases.

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Things You Need to Know about a Logistics Career Management

Logistics Career Management

The job duties of a supply chain include inventory management and developing relationships with suppliers who ensure that all the materials are transported within the given timeframe by understanding the needs of the customers and finding ways to minimize the cost of moving goods and materials.

You might be having a basic understanding of what the supply chain field is all about, but you should also know about supply chain management careers before you make any big plans for your future.

Let us talk about what distribution managers, logisticians and supply chain managers do and what to expect from a career in supply chain management. The supply chain managers are in charge of the logistics process by managing the organization’s supply chain.

Typically, the supply chain job includes inventory management and developing relationships with suppliers by ensuring that all the materials are transported on time. 

Things to Know about a Career in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

It is also important to understand the customer’s needs and find ways to minimize the cost of moving goods and materials. 

Logistics and supply chain careers are often overlooked by the public. Let us find out what you have missed in your career search into supply chains and which kind of supply chain management is a good fit. 

Logistics is a Big Business

The logistics industry plays a huge role in our economy. The total freight is expected to reach around 27 billion tons by the year 2045 while it is expected that the value will grow to 38 trillion dollars showing how important this industry is. Given the massive size of this career, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is a steady demand for skilled logistics professionals and supply chain operations managers.

The US Bureau of Labor Stats projects the employment of logisticians to grow 28 percent till the year 2031. The overall job opportunities must be good because of the employment growth and the need to replace the supply chain workers who are expected to retire or leave the overall occupation.

Importance of Soft Skills

Although technical knowledge is essential for a career in logistics, team work, communication and leadership are of equal importance. As a logistician you must collaborate with various stakeholders, manage teams and negotiate with suppliers. It is also important to develop strong interpersonal skills that can help you excel in your career.

High Pressure Career Paths

When you are a logistician there are many people in the supply chain industry who will depend on you. Through planning and due diligence, you can do the job but you may encounter sticky situations especially when anything unexpected occurs.

Logistics itself is a challenging area especially within the supply chain management domain as most of the points of failure occur during the logistics functions. There are days when you may be on the hook for working out a back up shipping plan. This can have an impact on the organization’s bottom line.

Logistics Work Environment

It is important to ask potential employers what kind of environment you will be working in. The supply chain professionals can work anywhere from the factory setting to an office to a mobile location like pick up center or delivery.

Depending on the role, you might be required to travel to visit different facilities within the supply chain industry, another work environment factor that you would want to consider.

Importance of Technology

The rise of technology like data analytics, automation and artificial intelligence can revolutionize the logistics and supply chain management industry. As a supply chain professional, you must stay up to date with the latest technological advancements. You must also be comfortable in optimizing the logistics and supply chain processes.

It is also important to embrace technology to streamline operations, minimize costs and improve the overall efficiency of business administration.

Strong Problem-Solving Skills

As a supply chain professional, you must be facing complex challenges that require analytical skills that help you analyze data and think critically in order to develop effective solutions.

Through strong problem-solving skills you can address bottlenecks, optimize processes and get cost efficiency to ensure there is a smooth flow of goods and materials throughout the supply chain 

Building a Strong Professional Network

As a strong professional network within the logistics industry, you can provide valuable resources, connections and opportunities for advancements in career.

You can also join industry associations, attend conferences and participate in online forums that can help you connect with other professionals and allow you to stay informed about industry trends and identify any job opening.

Importance of Ethical Considerations and Sustainability

As businesses become more conscious of the environmental impact, there are logistics professionals who must adapt to ensure that the supply chain operations truly align with these values. It involves purchasing managers implement eco friendly practices by reducing the packaging waste or optimizing the transportation routes. It is also important that the suppliers adhere to ethical labor standards and laws. 

Opportunities for Career Growth

A career in logistics can offer great opportunities for growth. As you gain experience you move into managerial roles, overseeing larger teams and more complex operations.

There are some logisticians who specialize in specific areas like warehouse management and international logistics.   

Global Career for International Exposure

The logistics industry operates on a global level, which means there may be opportunities for international exposure and travel. When you work with customers and suppliers from different countries, it will help broaden your perspective, enhance cultural understanding and develop valuable skills so that it can benefit you in the long run.

Networking Boosts Career Opportunities

Building a strong professional network within the logistics industry can help provide opportunities, connections and valuable resources for career advancement.

Joining industry associations, attending conferences and participating in online forums allows you to connect with other professionals and stay informed about the industry trends and job openings.  

So, if you are wondering if logistics is the right career choice for you, then you have come to the right page. Since you know more about this global profession, you should have an idea of whether it is an option that is right for you. It is important to know that the work of a logistician is only part of the overall supply chain management career field and it is important that you know everything about logistics career management.