The requirements of the industry are very much quantity oriented. Fast shipment of shipments, with a maximum number of items ordered, is the goal. At the same time, subsequent deliveries should be avoided as far as possible. In a store system, a strong flow of returns is nevertheless to be expected.
Quantities or quality in eCommerce?
Depending on the item value and other specific requirements (batches, serial numbers, etc.), more or less attention is paid to quality when picking eCommerce items. The strong quantity and performance-oriented work, as well as the fast turnover of employees, require simple and self-explanatory picking systems (such as. Pick to Light Pick-by-Frame®, Pick-by-Point®). The systems and the LUCA software must therefore be very flexible and quickly adaptable. Due to the high performance Voice Picking is only suitable for this to a limited extent.
Manual or Automatic?
Strong automation is not always well suited for eCommerce. Depending on the seasonal load of each warehouse, simple and flexible systems are often better here. With a constant performance of the warehouse and constant personnel, fully automated warehouses controlled by developed conveyor technology and material flow systems are often the better solution.
This method is an order to be picked from the warehouse. The manual method, which is not very effective, is still often used today in many eCommerce warehouses where paper lists are still used. The walking distances of the employees in the daily routine are not optimal. The method is good for large orders with a lot of volume and express orders. If the method uses an automatic conveyor system with a material flow control system, performance can be significantly increased. In order to support this picking method and, above all, to ensure quality, LUCA has various systems available: Pick-by-Scan, Pick-to-Light System,Voice Picking, material flow systems. The decision which system with the LUCA software is the most suitable for the eCommerce application is worked out together with the planners and customers during the workshops.
With this method, several orders are picked simultaneously on one picking cart. Several articles for several orders are taken from one storage compartment and distributed directly to fit. In a single pass through the warehouse, several orders are picked at the same time. Picking with a paper picking list is not suitable for this purpose and should only be carried out by experienced employees because of the possible errors. The problem with the method without technical support is that the distribution of the picked items in the appropriate quantities into the appropriate compartments often leads to mix-ups. LUCA software supports this method with several well suited systems (see Pick-by-Cart or Pick-by-Frame®). In order to make a decision for the right method, various parameters and factors must first be analyzed in workshops.
In large warehouses with a varied article and order structure, it is often useful to divide picking into two stages. At the beginning, a batch with N orders is formed. In the first stage, all articles from the batch are picked from the warehouse in collection boxes or containers in a route-optimized manner. In the second stage, the articles from the activated batch are scanned (advantage: additional quality assurance, disadvantage: renewed handling) and sorted into the target compartments (orders). Various LUCA systems with the professional LUCA software are available for support in both stages.
After all picked items have been assigned to an order, the packages are packed and prepared for shipping. The packing stations are equipped with delivery bill and shipping label printers, cardboard boxes, special labels, etc., depending on the workflow and requirements. LUCA systems support here, for example, the customer- and order-specific sorting of advertising material and/or vouchers. Carton sealers and automatic labeling stations are also used on some highly automated systems.
Consolidation & Sorting
For large-volume orders, the individual cartons or even several pallets must be consolidated and prepared for shipping. Various methods are available for consolidation with LUCA solutions. The individual cartons and pallets are also sorted at the goods issue either manually or fully automatically depending on the destination, country or shipper. The outgoing goods department is often equipped with a suitable conveyor system.
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