Training a new warehouse employee takes, on average, 6-8 weeks to get them up to speed, which means warehouses are spending thousands of dollars on onboarding costs per new hire. With labor at its highest cost ever, warehouse picking accounts for 60 percent of operational costs - millions of dollars per year, per warehouse.
Also known as pick-by-vision, this contemporary approach to warehouse picking works by providing order pickers with guided visual cues projected on their Head-Mounted Displays (HMD) throughout the picking journey. If there’s an error, the mistake is flagged and the picker can correct it immediately. This saves retailers from making costly mistakes brought on by returned orders.
The rise of buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS), microfulfillment centers, and eCommerce has many companies rethinking their fulfillment strategies to ensure they remain competitive. Speed, accuracy, and efficiency issues compound as order increase, making it more essential than ever for companies wanting to increase business to adapt.
Order picking accounts for 55% of the annual $60 billion spent on warehouse operations in the United States. Reducing human-induced errors in the order fulfillment process can save warehouses and distributors significant costs. We investigate a radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based verification method wherein wearable RFID scanners, worn on the wrists, scan passive RFID tags mounted on an item’s bin as the item is picked.
This method is used in conjunction with a heads-up display (HUD) smart glasses to guide the user to the correct item. We compare this RFID verification method to pick-to-light with button verification, pick-to-paper with barcode verification, and pick-to-paper with no verification. We find that pick-to-HUD with RFID verification enables significantly faster picking, provides the lowest error rate, and provides the lowest task workload.
Wondering how to improve your warehouse pick rate? You’re not alone. As eCommerce and retail grows, every warehouse wants to improve the efficiency and accuracy of their employees by moving the needle on warehouse picks per hour.
It might be time to look at your technology.
If you’re using clipboards and old school scanners, it’s more than likely reaping havoc on your picks per hour. It’s the least efficient method of warehouse picking because pickers are forced to look back and forth between inventory and paper to get and confirm the product info, opening them up to errors.