Picking is one of the most basic and fundamental processes within the warehouse environment; However, whilst alone it is a simple function, picking takes many forms, and relies heavily upon order profiling. Warehouse Management Systems, can help to determine an efficient and effective picking strategy for optimum routes within your facility, and should play a fundamental role in coordinating and controlling the storage and movement of your stock.

A few basic pick requirements exist within the warehouse – Piece Picking, Case Picking, and Pallet Picking to name but a few; and a variety of equipment to choose from including different types of shelving, racking, conveyors, and barcode scanners.

But how do you know if you have selected the correct picking strategy, most suitable for your facility?

Although warehouses differ in size, type, location, and function, the basic principles are universal. Here the GH team review some of the most commonly used picking strategies. Perfect for picking inventory stored in fixed locations on static shelving or pallet racking; Following a route along each aisle until the entire order is picked, this strategy assigns picks for one order at a time, to a picker employee. Single Order Picking is very organized, so a great strategy to implement when looking to achieve efficiency with a constant picking requirement throughout the day with little variation.

An advantageous method for picking multiple orders within the same SKU; managing highthroughput, small, single-pick orders; Batch Picking is perfect primarily for consolidating tasks amongst a combination of order lines.

Pick – By – Line Associated with the grocery industry, this type of picking benefits mainly ambient FMCG stock, and high value goods, which require to be handled quickly due to short product-life, and high-cost.

Implemented in high-throughput operations, Zone Picking is fundamentally used for preparing small orders with a restricted number of order lines and short delivery times. Employees are responsible for a designated zone; and will only pick the items from this area, upon receiving an incoming order.

Associated with managing orders line by line; multiple orders are grouped into small clusters, referred to as ‘waves’. Warehouse environments looking to achieve a better streamlined strategy, opt for Wave Picking, to ensure orders are picked within collective waves, in one picking journey.

Determining the best configuration of your facility, should be rationalised against how and when orders are received, the method chosen to pick the required items, and any equipment utilised in the picking process. When selecting a picking strategy, it is important to remember that there is no one strategy to perfectly match everyone’s requirements.

Highly experienced in all aspects of Supply Chain and Logistics Operations; Distribution Network Strategy, Warehousing Operations, e-commerce Logistics and Warehouse and Distribution Centre Design; the Gideon Hillman Consulting team understand that existing processes must be analysed, improvements identified, and solutions designed and written.


Tel: 01926 430 883

Email: info@hillman-consulting.co.uk