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The Hidden Costs of Inefficient Order Picking and How to Overcome Them

UNEX carton flow and flow racks for order picking

In today's fast-paced business world, maximizing efficiency is essential for generating steady profitability and long-term success.

One crucial area that often gets overlooked is the order picking process. Whether you run a warehouse, distribution center, or retail store, your order picking process significantly impacts your bottom line - even if you don't realize it.

Let’s explore the three most common problems that businesses face when it comes to order picking, including maintaining an accurate inventory, ensuring efficient product arrangement, and optimizing throughput.

We'll also introduce you to three powerful tools to instantly upgrade your order picking outcomes. These tools are easy to operate and implement and can help your entire warehouse system improve outcomes, minimize expenses, and maintain top-notch operational efficiency. 

If you've been searching for proven strategies to optimize your order picking process, reduce errors, cut costs, and boost productivity, this article is for you. Let's get started!

How Ordering Picking Impacts Your Bottom Line

Inefficient order picking can harm multiple aspects of your business, from productivity and customer satisfaction to labor costs and worker retention. Even more worrying is that these issues can - and often do - compound over time, significantly draining your warehouse efficiency and success.

Think about it: poorly optimized order picking processes are almost always unnecessarily labor-intensive, struggle to maintain inventory accuracy, and waste valuable warehouse space.

As a result, your warehouse experiences reduced throughput and a higher occurrence of order picking errors, leading to negative customer experiences that damage your brand image. And let's not forget about the impact on your workforce. Order pickers dealing with inefficient pick paths and poor space optimization are more likely to develop injuries and leave, contributing to high churn rates. 

See what we mean by snowball?

The good news is, you can minimize inefficiencies, cut costs, and improve productivity by leveraging the right tools. Whether you run a warehouse, distribution center, or retail store, optimizing your order picking process by arming your staff with the right tools at the right time and places is crucial for long-term success.

Learn how to save space in your facility. Download The Guide To Optimizing Warehouse Space Utilization!

UNEX Guide to Optimizing Warehouse Space

Three Tools that Instantly Upgrade Order Picking Outcomes 

Modernizing your warehouse with productivity-boosting storage, organization, and picking tools can yield outsized results. 

Unlike static shelving and rack systems, UNEX's dynamic storage solutions like Pallet Track, SpanTrack, and SpeedCell are designed to solve order pickers' most pressing issues by transforming basic or outdated, inefficient shelving and rack systems into highly effective storage. 

These solutions empower warehousing and distribution operations to reduce labor costs, improve productivity, optimize space, and provide employees with a safer, less physically demanding environment and workflow. 

Efficient Order Picking Solutions

Pallet Track

Pallet flow tracks enable effortless integration of pallet positions into your pick line, providing a streamlined approach to quickly select your fastest-moving, perishable, and time-sensitive SKUs while reducing restocking requirements by an impressive 50%

UNEX Pallet Track uses gravity to automatically flow fresh pallets to your pick points, minimizing foot travel and repetitive reaching, bending, and lifting while supporting FIFO (first-in, first-out) storage. 

Pallet Track’s warehouse efficiency-boosting design provides a versatile solution for order picking spaces of all shapes and sizes. Pallet Track can be mounted on existing pallet rack beams or directly to your warehouse floor, allowing you to strategically and conveniently enhance existing carton flow locations. Pallet Track also supports easy customization with various track lengths and roller types, allowing you to build a unique solution that will meet the needs of your operation. 

If you're interested in eliminating bottlenecks caused by time-consuming restocking or inefficient travel paths, or if you're struggling to keep up with time-sensitive, high volume, or perishable SKUs, Pallet Tracks could be the ideal solution for enhancing your order picking process.


SpanTrack is a modular, dynamic carton flow solution designed to instantly integrate into new and existing pallet rack structures to provide an instant warehouse efficiency boost.  

SpanTrack provides 300% more product contact than plastic wheel systems and features interior notching that saves vertical space and supports safe product stacking. Light, standard, and heavy-duty capacity options allow you to build a carton flow solution customized to your SKUs. 

SpanTrack Lane and SpanTrack Wheel Bed, are available in inch-to-inch increments and can be customized with a wide range of end styles to provide one-of-a-kind solutions tailored to your unique needs. Knuckled end treatments ensure comfortable user ergonomics that support strong productivity while minimizing chances of injury. 

If your order pickers are experiencing issues with inefficient carton flow, track hang-ups, or lackluster throughput, SpanTrack can help improve your warehouse's efficiency. Its robust design supports seamless throughput of a wide range of SKU shapes and sizes, thanks to 4x more carton contact than traditional tracks. Plus, its ability to support stacking makes SpanTrack the ideal solution to elevate your order picking outcomes.


SpeedCell is a dynamic, high-density storage solution that increases storage density by 40-60%, reduces labor costs by up to 40%, and supports accurate inventory management. 

SpeedCell is the ultimate storage solution for any warehouse looking to maximize efficiency and optimize space to significantly increase SKU density. Its seamless integration with any standard pallet racking allows you to easily condense 200 ft of standard rack or shelving storage into a highly efficient 40ft area. With this space optimization, you can significantly reduce order picker travel time, making your inventory management more efficient than ever before. 

The ergonomic design of SpeedCell reduces the need for deep bending, stretching, lifting, or ladder use, leading to improved worker efficiency and fewer order picking injuries. SpeedCell's high-strength, flame-resistant industrial textiles are durable, ensuring your new storage solution withstands years of warehouse abuse. 

If poor storage density, inefficient inventory management, and rising labor costs have been impacting the profitability of your warehousing operation, SpeedCell can help. SpeedCell's high-density shelving is the perfect way to maximize warehouse space, reduce picking and restock times, minimize foot travel, and ensure accurate order picking and inventory management. 

Pallet Track

Durable pallet track rollers or wheel rails create a dynamic pallet flow system for fast movers. Our high-quality pallet tracks optimize flow, increase efficiency and storage density, and can be customized to fit an operation’s unique needs.

SpanTrack Lane Carton Flow Rollers

Efficient, durable, and dependable, SpanTrack Lane carton flow rollers drop into existing structures to create the ultimate carton flow rack system for manufacturing facilities and order picking operations.

SpanTrack Carton Flow Beds

SpanTrack wheel beds are flexible carton flow beds that drop into existing structures to create the ultimate flow rack system for order picking operations, manufacturing facilities, and more.

SpeedCell Dynamic High-Density Shelving

SpeedCell is a dynamic high-density shelving solution that maximizes space utilization within standard pallet racking, helping warehouse and backroom operations improve pick speed and accuracy for valuable time and cost savings.


Improve Order Picking with UNEX

Don't settle for inefficient order picking! Maximize productivity, cut costs, and optimize your warehouse space with UNEX's Pallet Track, SpanTrack, and SpeedCell solutions. 

These dynamic storage solutions will empower your staff to streamline the order picking process, reduce labor costs by up to 40%, improve inventory accuracy, and support strong warehouse efficiency. 

If you're ready to transform your warehouse into an efficient, top-performing operation, contact us today. Our space and efficiency optimization experts can’t wait to help your operation reach its full potential.

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