In a previous blog, I covered the order release process through the Netsuite WMS wave release feature. The feature comes standard with Netsuite’s warehouse management software and among its toolset provides several options to specify how warehouse pickers should pick assigned orders. If you’re considering Netsuite WMS, or perhaps already use it, you may want to know the different methods available to pick orders and how they differ. If so, this blog is for you! Let’s jump right in and see what’s available in Netsuite WMS.
Three Picking Types
There are three methods of picking orders, each distinct from one another.
- Single Order Picking
- Bulk Picking
- Multi-Order Picking
Single Order Picking
Single order picking is your basic picking process option. Orders are assigned to the warehouse operator, who then goes out to the warehouse to pick each order one at a time. In Netsuite WMS, a pick task record is created for each item on a sales order, and there is no consolidation of pick tasks between orders. The warehouse operator picks the order and stages the order before they can move on to the next order. Generally, this pick type will result in more laps around the warehouse as the operator will need to revisit a given location multiple times for each order containing the same item.
Next, we have multi-order picking. With this picking method, orders are assigned to the warehouse operator but now the pick tasks are consolidated by item. The result is the warehouse operator will take less trips around the warehouse. Instead, they will be able to pick any item present in multiple orders in one trip, instead of several. From a WMS perspective, multi-order picking differs from bulk picking in that while you only visit a location once (for a given wave), you are required to scan and enter the item quantity for each order (the bin is only scanned once). This is ideal if you pick to carton/tote, as this allows the warehouse to pick an organize inventory into their corresponding totes as they pick, all without using paper.
We end our picking options review with bulk picking. Bulk picking, like multi-order picking, consolidates pick tasks by item. This streamlines the picking process by allowing the warehouse operator to pick all orders with the fewest number of laps around the warehouse. The key difference between bulk picking and multi-order picking is in the picking process itself. With bulk picking, picking for a given item is performed in one go. Scan the bin, item, enter the entire quantity for all orders, and proceed. Contrast this to multi-order picking, where you scan the bin, item, enter the quantity for order A, enter the quantity for order B, ect, then proceeding to the next wave. With bulk picking, you save time pulling the inventory and tend to defer order organization to the end. This process may require a pick report to help organize inventory to the correct orders.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it insightful. Be on the lookout for future articles as we delve deeper into Netsuite’s WMS solution and cover standard processes and customizations to the WMS application. Have a WMS or Netsuite need? Contact our team of professionals who can help guide and support you to achieve your desired result!
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