In the fast-paced world of eCommerce, efficient order fulfilment is the key to success. Many businesses are now turning to advanced systems to streamline their fulfilment processes and for good reason. Picking systems, in particular, offer a range of advantages that can boost productivity, enhance customer satisfaction, and ultimately drive growth.

Speedy Processing

Picking systems expedite the order processing, reducing the time it takes from order placement to shipment. This quick turnaround helps meet customer expectations for prompt deliveries.

Enhanced Accuracy

With automated picking systems, the likelihood of human errors is minimized, resulting in more accurate order fulfilment and a decrease in costly mistakes.

Increased Productivity

By automating picking tasks, employees can focus on other essential fulfilment aspects, leading to a more efficient and productive warehouse environment.


Picking systems can accommodate the growth of your business, easily adapting to higher order volumes and evolving requirements without significant disruptions.

Inventory Optimization

Real-time tracking and integration with inventory management systems allow for better control of stock levels, preventing stockouts and overstock situations.

Reduced Labour Costs

Automated picking systems can reduce the need for additional labour, leading to cost savings in the long run.

Order Customization

Advanced picking systems enable the assembly of customized orders efficiently, catering to the growing demand for personalized shopping experiences.


Picking systems offer various picking methods, such as batch picking and zone picking, providing the flexibility to choose the most suitable approach for different order profiles.

Minimized Downtime

With streamlined processes and minimized human intervention, the likelihood of operational downtime is significantly reduced.

Data-Driven Insights

Picking systems generate valuable data and analytics, allowing businesses to identify trends, optimize processes, and make data-driven decisions.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Faster, accurate, and customizable order fulfilment contributes to higher customer satisfaction levels and increased customer loyalty.

Integration Capabilities

Picking systems can seamlessly integrate with other eCommerce platforms and software, ensuring a smooth flow of information across various business systems.

Order Prioritization

Advanced systems allow for prioritizing urgent orders, ensuring they are processed and shipped promptly, improving overall customer experience.

Reduced Returns

Improved order accuracy and faster processing times result in fewer returns due to incorrect shipments or delayed deliveries.

Competitive Advantage

Embracing picking systems positions businesses ahead of competitors by optimizing operations and meeting customer demands more effectively.

Warehouse Organization

Picking systems often incorporate optimized warehouse layouts, which further streamlines the fulfilment process and minimizes travel time.

Real-time Tracking

Customers can receive up-to-date tracking information, enhancing transparency and reducing customer inquiries related to order status.

Error Tracking and Resolution

In the event of any picking errors, advanced systems can quickly identify the issue and facilitate prompt resolution.

Seasonal Handling

During peak seasons, such as holidays, picking systems can handle increased order volumes seamlessly, preventing bottlenecks and delays.

Cost-Effective Investment

Though implementing picking systems may require upfront investment, the long-term benefits and cost savings justify the initial costs.

What is Order Picking?

Order picking is the essential process of retrieving multiple products from warehouse inventory to fulfill individual customer orders. Though seemingly straightforward, it is critical to get it right. A streamlined picking system is crucial for swift and cost-effective order fulfillment in the supply chain.

The order-picking approach varies among businesses, and while competing with eCommerce giants may be challenging, understanding your products and implementing robust inventory management practices can significantly enhance warehouse throughput.

To optimize the picking process and minimize errors, businesses can introduce consistent product labeling, barcode/scanner systems, and reliable storage solutions. At the cutting edge, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) offer unparalleled efficiency with some leveraging software and robotics for added advantages.

Optimizing Order Fulfillment

Efficient warehouse organization is key to optimizing operations. Arrange the warehouse layout to follow the natural flow of inventory, starting from receiving, then storage/putaway, replenishment, order picking, sorting/consolidation, packing, and finally staging for shipment. Logical progression between areas minimizes unnecessary backtracking and enhances productivity.

Implement best practices like clear signage to aid associates in identifying locations and navigation. Provide maps for new employees or during layout changes. Maintain tidy and organized storage areas and ensure unobstructed and adequately sized aisles to prevent congestion and maintain smooth operations.

Utilize Shelves

Whether you utilize shelves, racks, or automated systems for storage, incorporating reusable plastic bins, totes, and dividers can significantly improve efficiency. These storage solutions offer the advantage of subdividing inventory, facilitating quicker item retrieval. Particularly useful for organizing bulk quantities of small items like nails, washers, and O-rings, they maximize storage capacity while ensuring easy access to items.

With proper labeling, totes, bins, and dividers reduce search time during the picking process. Additionally, they safeguard their contents from dust, debris, and damage, ensuring a clean and protected inventory.

Reduce Steps

While teleportation might still be a distant dream, minimizing unnecessary steps in warehouse operations is within reach. Alongside a well-organized facility, strategic planning can further cut down on walking time. Consider locating frequently picked items together, such as staples and staplers or shampoo and conditioner, to minimize travel between different areas.

Another practical approach is to have associates pick orders directly into shipping cartons, bypassing the need for a consolidation zone. By doing so, travel time is reduced, and valuable time is saved during the order fulfillment process. These simple yet effective measures enhance productivity and create a more streamlined and efficient warehouse environment.

Selecting the Right Picking Strategy

Beyond the traditional one-person, one-order approach, selecting the right picking strategy can significantly accelerate order fulfillment by enabling multiple picks to be completed simultaneously. Three effective strategies include batch picking, zone picking, and wave picking.

Advanced Picking Systems Used by Big Companies

Big companies often employ advanced and sophisticated picking systems to optimize their order fulfillment processes. Some of the common types of picking systems used by these companies include:

Batch Picking

Batch picking involves picking multiple orders simultaneously in one pass through the warehouse. Workers pick items for several orders at once, which improves efficiency and reduces travel time.

Zone Picking

In zone picking, the warehouse is divided into specific zones, and each picker is assigned to a particular zone. Pickers only pick items from their designated area, streamlining the process and reducing congestion.

Wave Picking

Wave picking involves grouping orders into waves and processing them in scheduled intervals. Pickers focus on fulfilling orders in each wave, allowing for better planning and efficient use of resources.

Pick-to-Light System

This system uses lights and displays to direct pickers to the correct items and quantities to be picked. The lights indicate the location of items and the number of units to pick, reducing picking errors and increasing accuracy.

Voice Picking

In voice picking systems, pickers wear headsets and receive voice instructions directing them to the right locations and quantities to pick. This hands-free approach enhances productivity and accuracy.

Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS)

ASRS utilizes robotics and automated machinery to store and retrieve items from high-density storage systems. It significantly reduces the need for human intervention, leading to increased efficiency and accuracy.

Pick-to-Cart System

In this system, pickers have dedicated carts with multiple orders to fulfill. They pick items directly into the cart, which organizes the orders for easy packing and shipping.

Goods-to-Person System

Goods-to-person systems use automated technology to deliver items directly to pickers at a workstation, eliminating the need for pickers to travel to find items. This speeds up the picking process and reduces manual labor.

Sortation Systems

Sortation systems automatically sort and direct items to their designated packing or shipping areas, reducing the time taken to process and ship orders.

Mobile Picking Solutions

These systems utilize mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, to guide pickers to the right locations and provide real-time order updates. It improves accuracy and enables quick adjustments to changing order volumes.
Big companies often invest in a combination of these picking systems to create a highly efficient and customized order fulfillment process tailored to their specific needs and order volumes. By leveraging advanced technology and automation, these companies can handle large-scale operations with speed, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness.