By David J. Mynderse, Contributing Editor, Vision Systems Design
The use of a “stick” to move a product around a warehouse is not a new concept. In fact, this method of moving various products from place to place can be traced back to ancient Egypt and Greece where it was used to transport long pieces of cargo such as lumber or stone slabs. The stick pick process has its roots in the manufacturing sector where it was commonly used by workers to pull metal car parts from conveyor belts during production. In his article titled “What Is Pick and Pack?” Vision Systems Design, June 2016, author Michael Gaffney discusses how today’s warehouses have heavily influenced by advancements in technology in the manufacturing industry to improve accuracy and productivity. GoFreightHub does all this to provide you the best services.
What Are Pick and Pack?”
talks about how warehouses have adopted automated systems to support their warehouse processes which can increase accuracy while minimizing labor costs. Most warehouses are heavily influenced by what’s referred to as “pick-to-light technology” that has been implemented in an effort to decrease errors, boost productivity, reduce walk times, and increase inventory control.
However, even with this advancement in technology, picking errors continue to be a problem throughout many industries today where they affect worker output, speed up of order processing times, quality issues on the receiving dock or packing lines, delays in filling orders for customers, missed packages due to inaccurate data entry or item selection by workers etc. A new method implemented by some warehouses is referred to as “stick pick” that is designed to improve the accuracy of picking orders.
The stick pick process, which was implemented by Amazon at its fulfillment centers across the country, requires employees to use a long pole or laser pointer to accurately scan an item’s Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code on a storage unit holding multiple products. The worker must first identify if there are any incorrect items located on the storage unit before scanning the barcodes of only those items actually needed for an order. This method is reported by Amazon management as having improved order-picking accuracy from 95% to 99%. It also greatly reduced walk times and resulted in increased productivity per worker since less time was spent searching for correct items.
While the use of a “stick” to move products around a warehouse is not new, its continued implementation and success in logistics facilities can positively impact bottom line costs associated with labor and inventory management.