Piece Picking: The Daily Definition
What is piece picking?
Piece picking is an order picking method in which individual inventory items (or “eaches”) are picked, as opposed to larger quantities of items, such as pallets or cases. This style of order picking is common for B2C warehouses, or for companies who sell repair parts and the like. Piece picking is also referred to as broke-case picking.
Let’s say that you are a hygiene products company who distributes products to retailers but also accepts online orders from individual customers. You receive an order from a retailer for nine cases of lotion and three cases of shampoo. You also receive an order from a loyal fan of your products for two bottles of lotion.
The retail order can be picked using a forklift or similar equipment. But the individual customer order needs a gentler touch — it needs to be piece-picked. A warehouse employee (or maybe a nifty warehouse robot) has to hand-pick each piece of inventory from an open or “broken” case.
Our two cents:
Warehouses who need to use piece picking methods are a prime example of warehouses that need to pay close attention to how they organize their products. All warehouses do, but especially warehouses dealing with inventory that is harder or slower to pick. You want to offer your customers the option to purchase these items from you, but not if fulfilling these orders slows you down too much.
Why is your warehouse organization system so important, you ask? It’s all about efficiency! Your warehouse organization strategy has the potential to transform your productivity and ramp up your overall performance as a company. Take a deep dive into your current setup, then consider how you can improve on that. Depending on your warehouse’s needs, a seemingly small change in inventory organization could make a big difference.