What is paperless picking?

Paperless picking is picking that uses only electronic tray displays or devices instead of a paper pick slip.

Definition and explanation

In paperless picking, there is no picking list. The employee is directly assisted in picking the goods by a system with various devices directly at the storage location. Various picking methods are available for use.

In this article, we explain in detail how paperless picking works in logistics or production. We will also show you how orders are started, picked, posted and completed. In addition, we will also show you some advantages and disadvantages of paperless picking. All this in comparison with classic picking with a pick list.

If you want to learn even more general information about picking, then continue reading on Picking - Wikipedia.

Goals of paperless picking

The introduction of paperless picking has the following goals in a company:

  • Minimize costs and increase efficiency by increasing picking performance
  • Improve quality by reducing the error rate
  • Easy training of new employees    

As a standard (Pick-by-Scan method) is worked with the help of MDE devices with barcode scanners. However, there are many other methods that support paperless picking.

The picking process

Different picking methods are used depending on the type of demand and process:

  • Pick-to-Light
  • Voice Picking
  • Pick-by-Frame®
  • Pick-by-Point®
  • Pick-by-Scan
  • Pick-by-Tablet
  • Pick-by-Watch®, etc.

Which system is best suited for this must be determined based on the criteria. As a system provider, LUCA Logistic Solutions supports all these procedures and offers the optimal solution. Contact us.

The electronic pick list

The basis of all procedures is an electronic pick list, which is processed in the process. Often the pick list is still printed out as a backup solution or even sent to serve as a delivery bill.


Acquisition of the orders

The paperless recording of picking orders in a company today is done with computers. The result of the management in a warehouse management system is an electronic pick list. However, the pick list is not provided as a pick slip, but as a data record for the picking systems. The process is simple to understand.

The picking process

Paperless picking is realized as a process in different ways. With the help of various methods, the picker is guided to the storage compartment and assisted in removing the goods. The most commonly used methods include the following solutions: Pick-to-Light, Voice Picking, Pick-by-Frame, Pick-by-Point, Pick-by-Watch, etc.

The picker does not have to write down his picks from the warehouse on the pick slip with a ballpoint pen and has his hands free.

Posting of withdrawals

Posting of withdrawals takes place directly after the withdrawal confirmation. The advantage of this is that the stock levels are always up to date.

Completion of paperless picking

Once all items in an order have been picked, the warehouse can start working directly with the next order.

Advantages and disadvantages

Each paperless picking method has certain characteristics that have advantages and disadvantages. Thus, the general classification is only conditionally definable.


  • Fast and efficient picking by minimizing search times
  • The effort in the picking process is reduced (reading of the picking list is eliminated)
  • Minimization of errors in the removal of quantities
  • Always up-to-date stock levels through direct data acquisition
  • Optimal material flow
  • Environmental protection and reduction of costs for paper, printers, maintenance and service


  • high investment costs compared to a pick sheet
  • Limited flexibility due to technical equipment


Even though paperless picking involves investment, the ROI is very short. The connection of the different picking methods to a WMS or SAP system is no problem. The advantages in the picking process are clear. One of the best methods is clearly Pick to Light.

Talk to us. We will help you find the right solution for paperless picking, although the data glasses for warehouse workers that have become popular in recent years are not suitable for this in our view.

Which picking system suits your company best?