Workers spend a good deal of their time traveling around the warehouse. Managers want to determine the best strategies for picking that eliminate redundancies and promote efficiency. Batch picking is the process of selecting small groups of orders to fill in one pass.

The goal is to prepare similar orders together to maximize time and limit trips to shelving. It doesn't work for everyone, though. Certain warehouses may benefit from batch picking if they meet these criteria:

Product size and warehouse space
Batch picking should be used in large warehouses containing smaller products.

If an employee is moving through halls to prepare multiple orders, it is important they have the ability to gather multiple items. Huge pieces of inventory are not easily collected together.
Batch picking is designed to reduce distance traveled. Small companies with limited warehouse space may not need to decrease distance, but if they are shelving very small items, batch inventory selection strategies could still save some time.

Ideally, a worker is collecting multiple pieces of merchandise in long or involved trips. Multichannel Merchant argued the right company could use batch strategies to double picking speed by cutting distance traveled by employees in half. 

Equipment
Warehouse workers need tools to transport batch picked items and equipment to view and capture data associated with orders.

When an employee is collecting numerous products from shelving, he or she must have something to help carry the items around the facility. Avery and Associates, a warehouse layout specialist, advised workers to use carts when utilizing batch inventory tactics. A segmented cart is best so different orders are grouped separately.

The employee also needs to see order details. It's important the worker has complete visibility of every order so they do not waste time selecting the wrong products or missing merchandise. A mobile warehouse inventory management software system puts digital data in the picker's hands. He or she has up to date client invoice specifics and can log each item they take off the shelf.

Reporting product selection as the worker progresses gives management supervision of the batch picking. If a mistake is made, supervisors are aware immediately. It also prevents inventory shortages, as product removal is captured by the entire system and reorders are established as soon as merchandise falls below a certain limit.

Management System
For batch picking to be truly effective, a system should be in place to capture and compare customer orders.

Integrating a software system into a warehouse using mobile devices provides inventory employees with visibility of every incoming order. Data tools can automatically create batch orders based on categories and display them on the worker's phone or tablet.

Automated systems and constant data streaming prevent wasted time. If the warehouse worker performing a pick is also contributing information to the system, it prevents other employees from attempting to create batches from the same order.

Warehouse managers can download the Warehouse Mobile Data Dynamics NAV Module Data Sheet to learn how mobile tools can assist in other strategies.