Warehouses aren’t for storing inventory, they’re for moving inventory.
Efficient warehouses will find the fastest path to keep inventory flowing. There are a number of different strategies to accomplish this, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Some of the commonly used procedures include split picking, bin allocations for direct picking, zone picking, and of course, the topic of this article, which is wave picking/receiving.
Wave picking and receiving are processes that pre-determine the way you move throughout the warehouse to maximize productivity. Items for multiple orders are picked in one pass, minimizing pickers’ “footprints” and keeping inventory on the move.
Let’s break down the two sides to the wave concept. You may find that both are options that could streamline your operations, or perhaps just one or the other. Every warehouse is different.
Waves allow you to group multiple POs together to receive by item. For example, if you receive a large shipment that has multiple items for multiple POs, there’s no need to sort items by purchase order before recording receipts. Simply scan the items in, and they’ll be allocated to the appropriate PO.
Related and based on the wave receiving concept is ScanForce’s new Container Receipt Management (CRM) offering, which is the answer to efficiently receiving items from multiple POs that all arrive together unsorted in a single container. CRM allows you to receive items in a container while it’s still in transit, then verify contents once it arrives, as well as track container details such as container ID numbers and other shipment related info.
For Picking, waves allow you to pick multiple orders at one time using the most efficient path through the warehouse. With wave picking, your picking order is sorted by bin location rather than SO. This lets you walk the warehouse ONE TIME, rather than duplicating efforts and making multiple trips to the same locations.
A simple analogy for wave picking involves going grocery shopping armed with a shopping list. If your list is in alphabetical order, you will end up going back and forth through aisles, hitting some aisles multiple times. You might go to the produce section for bananas, then over to the meat department for chicken, then back to product for grapes. And so on. Not very efficient!
But if your list is sorted by aisle, and the aisles are sorted in location order on your list, you’ll achieve a seamless single path through the store and be on your way!
Read more on this concept here: A Warehouse Nightmare
Fully integrated with Sage 100 / Sage 100cloud
As with all ScanForce solutions, wave picking and receiving in ScanForce are seamlessly integrated with Sage 100, including Sage 100cloud Multi-Bin Basic if you have items in multiple bin locations. Information about quantities picked and received populate the inventory records in Sage for full visibility into whats been picked or received.
Want to learn more? Watch this 20-minute recorded webinar, and we’ll explain what wave picking/receiving is, and what types of warehouse operations can benefit from it. And we’ll show you how easy it is to implement in ScanForce and Sage 100.