Picking Carts' Critical Role in Order Fulfillment
For order fulfillment operations, the need for speed has never been more important. With increasingly demanding customer expectations and ever-evolving supply chain challenges, warehouses need to optimize and enhance their order fulfillment processes wherever possible. Shaving just 10 seconds off the time it takes a team member to locate, pick, and deliver medium-throughput SKUs will:
- Increase capacity
- Reduce variable costs
- Boost employee morale (better performance, attendance, and lower turnover)
To improve picking processes and increase efficiency and throughput, you may want to consider the benefits of order picking carts. Picking carts are mobile pieces of equipment used in logistics warehouses and fulfillment centers, and to move items from one location to another. Because of their mobility, these units are critical in facilities where products need to be picked from various locations and moved throughout the operation.
Let’s take a closer look at how eCommerce order fulfillment facilities can use order picking carts to improve picking speed and accuracy, as well as boost worker morale in order to increase efficiency and cut costs.
Picking Carts Boost Speed
If a delivery is estimated to take longer than a week, 38% of shoppers will abandon their order. Needless to say, picking speed is one of the more critical elements of any order fulfillment operation. If picking speeds aren’t able to keep up with customer demand, the overall success and efficiency of your business will ultimately falter.
Order picking carts allow busy warehouses and manufacturing facilities to move a variety of items throughout their operations with greater speed. As long as you use order picking carts that work well for your particular products, you can pick multiple orders at the same time. This is when opting for a durable, more sophisticated picking cart will increase pick facings while reducing travel time.
For example, UNEX’s mobile order picking cart, SpeedCartt, enables workers to streamline order fulfillment by utilizing a lightweight yet highly configurable picking solution. With 16 different cart combinations to choose from, SpeedCartt can be tailored to match the particular needs of your order fulfillment operation and work much more efficiently than a basic utility cart.
Picking Carts Help Overcome Ergonomic Challenges
Ergonomics is the science of designing the job to fit the worker instead of physically forcing the worker’s body to fit the job. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that ergonomic injuries account for one out of every three missed workdays, and employees on average miss 11 days of work due to ergonomic-related injuries. Ergonomics and productivity go hand-in-hand, which means order fulfillment facilities must first ensure the safety and well-being of their employees before concerning themselves with other operational matters.
With the right order picking carts, workers can reduce the number of trips they have to make throughout the warehouse to fulfill individual orders. Instead of trekking back and forth to pick and pack certain products, workers can use picking carts to load up on multiple orders at once. Workers don’t have to spend as much time walking around, which in turn reduces the amount of travel needed and the likelihood of ergonomic-related injuries.
Picking Carts Optimize SKU Availability
When it comes to order fulfillment, many businesses abide by the 80/20 rule. This states that 20% of your SKUs should make up 80% of your inventory’s total value. But in reality, many fulfillment centers have too many slow-moving SKUs on hand, which in turn hampers the efficiency and success of your operations. However, for most operations, slow-movers are an inevitable, necessary evil.
Related Reading: Pareto's Bay and Order Picking
If you’re handling a wide variety of SKUs, picking carts can be a helpful solution. When using picking carts for order fulfillment, SKUs are picked to carts and transported through the warehouse where they can then be packed and fulfilled. If you’re fulfilling a plethora of orders with minimal SKUs or a lot of the same SKUs with a small pick rate, the pick-to-cart strategy can be extremely useful.
Ultimately, the type of picking cart you use will depend on the weight, size, and shape of the SKUs being stored, as well as the frequency at which they are picked. Here are some common situations that are ideal for a pick-to-cart strategy:
- You have a high concentration of SKUs stored
- Your SKUs are small and easy to manually pick
- You receive a lot of orders with common SKUs
- You have a limited amount of unique SKUs
By utilizing more sophisticated picking carts, such as UNEX’s SpeedCartt, you can increase SKU availability and unlock greater efficiency within your warehouse. Increase speed, pick, store, and move more product on a high-density mobile picking cart like SpeedCartt!
It’s Time to Upgrade Your Picking Carts
Your order fulfillment center undoubtedly has unique needs that require specialized solutions. If you’re still pushing around basic utility carts, it’s time to take consider improving your picking speed, accuracy, and cart capacity. That’s where UNEX comes in.
UNEX engineers customized picking carts that are designed to increase efficiency and throughput while improving ergonomics. Our mobile picking carts allow busy order fulfillment operations to move a variety of items throughout their facilities with speed and accuracy. Connect with a product specialist to learn how UNEX picking carts and order fulfillment solutions increase space utilization and improve picking processes.