At a time when the focus is on adopting more automated processes in the DC, it’s important for system planners and managers not to lose sight of the benefits improving manual picking methods can provide. For example, in discrete order fulfillment operations that ship product to the same locations on a recurring basis,Product-to-Person technologies may offer a greater range of control, accuracy, and efficiency at a minimum cost.
In a typical Product-to-Person system (also referred to as put system) instead of pickers frequently walking past products that are not needed, lift truck drivers retrieve containers and/or pallet loads of required products and delivered them to aput order fulfillment zone. Each zone is equipped to serve several different store/customer orders. The operator assigned to that zone is directed to “pick and pack” the required quantity of the product into customer specific, bar coded shipping cartons. RF scanning, Put-to-Light, and Voice Directed technologies (or some Multi-Modal combination thereof) can be used to direct the operator and to insure inventory and order fulfillment accuracy.
In large facilities (+300K sq. ft.) it may be...