From Eaches or Pieces Order Fulfillment, Design, and Operations Handbook

Other Factors That Influence Efficiency and Cost Effectiveness

Other factors that influence efficiency and cost effectiveness of a small-item pick operation are:

  • SKU profile or SKU location on a pick line, pick aisle, or in a pick machine Pick tote or carton fill rate

  • Pick zone or aisle design

  • Pick/pack equipment layout

  • Pick position type

  • Common or unique SKUs

SKU Profile or Pick Position Location

The first factor that influences pick performance in a small-item or flatwear order-fulfillment operation is the SKU pick position or location on a pick line, pick aisle, or in an automatic pick machine. The SKU profile concept was reviewed earlier in this chapter.

Pick Methodology

One factor that ensures an efficient, cost-effective, accurate, and on-time order-fulfillment operation is to ensure that SKU pick quantity matches CO pick tote/ carton or sort pack station capacity. The pick quantities can be projected manually or by computer. In a dynamic order-fulfillment operation, the computer-projected quantity is the preferred option. For a pick and pack operation, the computer determines the SKU cube pick quantity that fits into a CO pick tote or carton. This is determined by the internal dimensions of the carton, actual cube and weight of SKUs, desired carton utilization rate, and CO delivery truck company standard carton weight.

Tote or Shipping Carton Space Requirements

An important factor in the efficiency of the pick line is to ensure that the spatial data on your SKUs is accurate. This includes the actual length, width, height, and weight of...

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Products & Services
Pick and Place Systems
Pick and place systems are manipulators that lift, move and place objects in a desired location.
Inventory Control Software
Inventory control software is used to manage stock levels, record physical inventories, and track trends in item movement and location.
Automated Storage/Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)
Automated storage/retrieval systems (AS/RS) are automated systems that store and retrieve products from an inventory location. They are used for unloading, sorting, put-away, storage, order-picking, staging, and loading.
Case Equipment
Case equipment is machinery used to form, pack, seal, or unpack cases of products.
Sprue Pickers
Sprue pickers are industrial robots that are designed to remove sprue from molded parts.  The term “sprue” refers to the passage through which liquid or molten material is introduced, and to the excess material that forms. During plastic molding operations, the material in the sprue solidifies and must be removed from the finished part. 

Topics of Interest

Introduction In a small-item or flatwear order-fulfillment operation, in addition to receiving, shipping, storage, pick and pack activities, other important activities are trash removal, vendor...

Multiple Small-Item or Flatwear SKUs for Customer Orders A small-item order-fulfillment operation has to pick multiple SKUs for COs, which may be either single COs or COs that are batched or grouped.

Picked SKU Transport Concept The SKU transport concept that is used depends on how SKUs are sorted. With SKUs that are sorted in a pick area, the transport concept moves picked and sorted SKUs as...

Order Picker Concept Work flow for order pickers may be: A single CO is completed by a single picker. A single CO is completed by several pickers. Batched or multiple COs are completed by a single...

Sortation Concepts There are different concepts for sorting batched COs. CO sortation location design parameters are: Determine the peak, most frequent, and average CO SKU or piece number and cube.