For faster order fulfillment, consider software-driven automated picking

Improved workflow processes and automation technologies can provide immediate improvements.

For many manufacturers and operators of industrial processes, competitive pressures are driving the demand for faster, more accurate order fulfillment.  To meet the growing demand for near-real-time access to replacement inventory and spare parts to ensure uninterrupted operation, some distributors and inventory management warehouses are looking to automation technologies and improved workflow processes.

Automation technologies are a good start for improving the accuracy and speed of picking processes, but these technologies are best coupled with improved workflow procedures surrounding order fulfillment, picking and shipping.

According to Kardex Remstar, a provider of automated storage and retrieval systems for manufacturing, distribution and warehousing, automation and improved workflow procedures related to parts picking and order fulfillment offer several positive impacts.

First, by bringing products right to the picking personnel, automated picking systems reduce the time and effort required for manual search-and-retrieve efforts, significantly boosting picking efficiency, worker productivity and overall throughput rate and volume at the facility.

Improved picking accuracy is another benefit. Today’s software-driven automated picking systems can improve picking accuracy, in some cases to above 99 percent. This speeds order fulfillment and allows for later cutoff times each day without compromising same-day and next-day delivery guarantees.

Additionally, software-driven automation picking systems maximize the use of underutilized overhead space from the floor to ceiling. In fact, today’s dynamic storage and retrieval systems can reduce traditional floor space requirements by 65 to 85 percent, says Kardex. In many cases, this newfound floor space can be used to add inventory or to bring existing inventory that is currently stored offsite back under the same roof.

Finally, automated picking systems are designed with the worker in mind, reducing unnecessary foot travel throughout the day and offering an ergonomic design on automated carousels that presents items to workers at waist height.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Shane O'Halloran

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.