Leveraging a Color Picking Strategy to Improve Order Fulfillment 

Frequently fluctuating order volumes and increasing customer requirements make it challenging to manage order fulfilment and get growth under control. The pressure to fill orders faster to meet customer delivery requirements can quickly overload your workforce, increasing the risk of incorrect picks. The result: a higher number of returns and an increase in dissatisfied customers. Implementing scalable and intuitive pick-to-light technology along with a color picking strategy to an existing automated order picking operation is helping warehouse and distribution centers to manage demand fluctuation through higher picking throughput and maximum labour efficiency.  

A colour picking strategy is as simple as it is intelligent. Based on the visual combination of orders (batch picking), batches of orders are filled according to a colored light directed picking process. When the operator starts the batch, the system dynamically assigns a colour to the batch cart. All automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) with order lines for this batch show the matching colour and move to retrieve the stored articles required for the batch. Since the articles required for the batch of orders are stored in several ASRS devices, the cart is moved through the aisle after all articles have been removed from each ASRS. As the cart moves past an ASRS, a new batch is created and started behind it. The ASRS devices then move to retrieve the articles of the new batch. This allows multiple batches to be picked simultaneously from one work zone. Following the colored lights on the storage devices, the operators simply pick the articles from the ASRS storage device and put them into the batch cart with the matching colour.  

Kardex has standardised this offering in the Kardex Colour Pick System – specifically designed to help organisations handle spikes in order demand by allowing any number of order pickers and carts to be added into the work zone as required. If labour shortage occurs at one batch cart, other operators can jump in flexibly to support the batch and guarantee a smooth and fast fulfilment process. When the order demand decreases, these additional operators can return to their previously assigned warehouse tasks and the work zone can be managed with less operators. As the technology is intuitive, only minimal training times are required. 

Its simple design provides an easy integration with a Kardex Compact Buffer Module, Kardex Shuttle or Kardex Megamat through Kardex Power Pick System Inventory Management Software. There is no new ASRS equipment needed – only an update of software and the addition of batch carts. The Kardex Colour Pick System is an efficient and cost-effective solution for warehouse and distribution centers to manage spikes in demand achieving higher throughput and maximising labour efficiency. 

To learn more about Kardex colour picking solution click here.

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