The pick, pack and despatch process can be optimised by defining suitable workflows for the different types of orders that are received and automatically allocating incoming orders to the appropriate workflow. For example, the client might choose to define the following workflows and handle each differently:
OrderFlow can be configured to support cross-docking (Wikipedia entry) of incoming stock. This allows stock received in incoming deliveries to be matched with pending orders and immediately packed. Incoming stock items for which there is not an immediate requirement are put away into warehouse locations in the usual way.
Cross docking of orders can significantly improve the efficiency of the warehouse by reducing the proportion of items that need to be handled twice. If cross docking is not supported stock will have to be putaway into a warehouse location even if it is required by pending orders.
Mixed batches of single line orders
SKUs required for single line orders can be picked in location sequence using a consolidated picking list or a handheld terminal (HHT), significantly reducing the picking time and distance walked. The stock is then presented to the packer who can scan any item to be taken to a packing screen to print the courier label and paperwork before marking the order as packed and scanning the next item.
Batches of single item orders for the same SKU
If the client order profile includes a significant proportion of single item orders for specific SKUs OrderFlow can be configured to group these orders into single SKU batches. All the orders in a batch will then be for the same SKU. This batch type is very quick to pick as all the associated orders require the same item.
Batches of multi-line orders
Stock for multi-line orders can be picked to order using picking notes or handheld terminals (HHTs), the packer can then scan the barcode reference on the picking note to navigate to the packing screen where the required paperwork and label can be produced.
Orders for products identified as requiring careful packaging
Orders for products that are identified as requiring special handling can be grouped and processed together.
All of the examples given above can be sub-divided further so that orders are grouped by priority, courier option, postal sort group or any other order attribute. The configuration of the required workflows will be done as part of the implementation of the client system.