New Articles

Warehouse Management: Top 6 Order Picking Problems and How to Solve Each 

Damotech warehouse security soundproofing

Warehouse Management: Top 6 Order Picking Problems and How to Solve Each 

One thing easily stands out when it comes to warehouse management: you must be prepared to organize, maintain and manage it as best as you can. But while this may sound like an easy-to-do job, the truth is that you can’t do it on your own.

While optimizing the entire process may help, your business may still be exposed to errors that slow down its operations and affect its bottom line. If your business has started experiencing order-picking problems, it is time to learn how to fix them.

As a warehouse executive, you can showcase your leadership skills by teaching your team how a warehouse management system can assist in addressing the issues at hand. Below is a look at the top six most common problems you’ll likely face and how to handle each.

1. Accidental Redundancies

A cursory look at any warehouse operation shows multiple operations happening at any one time. Every ongoing process follows a particular order which ensures that nothing goes wrong. In an ideal situation, none of these operations collides or get repeated severally.

The presence of redundancies in your operations will only lead to mistakes and lost time.
To address this, implement a warehouse management system to automate your operations. With it, you can rest assured that employees won’t pick, mark, and mistakenly ship one order multiple times. Integrating barcoding tech into it will assist in preventing duplication.

2. Misplaced Items

How often do your workers head to where a product is supposed to be, only to find that it has been moved? Marking and placing items in the wrong bin or category causes your pickers to spend additional time trying to trace the missing item. This, in turn, affects trucking efficiency!
Improper marking leads to delayed orders, delayed shipping, and frustrated customers.

A frustrated customer will, in most cases, leave a negative review affecting your conversion rates. You can increase efficiency by using a warehouse management system. The system tracks the location of every product in the warehouse, allowing for better order fulfillment.

3. Employees Choose the Wrong Product or Quantity

When an employee fulfilling an order chooses the wrong product or quantity, you hope that the packers will notice the issue. Regrettably, these are some of the problems that go unnoticed in warehouses where speed is critical to order fulfillment.

Sending out an incorrect order is expensive and makes your business look unprofessional, especially when there are too many returns. Remember that too many complaints online regarding your order fulfillment rates will affect your overall business reputation.

Once again, you can solve this issue by ensuring all products being fulfilled get scanned using a barcode scanner. The scanner will send a notification to the pickers ensuring this mistake gets rectified before the product gets to the hands of the packers.

During dispatch, the packer can then scan it again to confirm all its details are correct.

4. Your Warehouse Layout Is a Mess

A 2018 survey on warehouses by Logistics Management established that only 68% of all warehouse space is well utilized. And the clearest indication that something is wrong is when you find that your vertical space is open, aisles are cramped, and employees are confused.

The first thing that you’ll ask yourself here is how a warehouse management system can help solve this mess. What you may not realize is that many such programs can use gathered data and 3D modeling to provide layout recommendations.

Using the information the system provides can also offer a glimpse into which products will soon go into demand, depending on the season. From this, you can have the employees update the warehouse locations and layout of items accordingly, bringing the in-demand items closer.

5. Relying on the One Order Per Picker System

Whenever a new order comes in, what’s the recommended action? Does one picker search the warehouse for every product on the order list, or do you send multiple selectors to look for different products? While at it, have you considered using warehouse zoning for product pickups?

Different strategies work differently for each warehouse. But regardless of how you look at it, having a picker locate one product per run is ineffective. It will lead to the wastage of valuable resources making the whole order fulfillment process last longer than it should.

Often this happens in warehouses where pickers have to wait for printed order papers before scouring for products. With a sound warehouse management system, you can reduce the time wasted by using coordinated workflows.

The system will assign specific runs to one employee, enabling them to collect multiple items simultaneously. In such a scenario, the person on that run will get all the items on their order sheet from one zone, leading to better order fulfillment rates.

6. Who Selected a Certain Order?

Lack of proper accountability in the warehouse leads to increased irresponsibility. Your people will become demotivated, and their productivity will begin to decline. A functional warehouse needs visibility and accountability.

It calls for you to have a way to know who picked what order and at what time.
An ideal warehouse management system can help you set up detailed workflows. The workflows allow you to track the progress of each order. Using it, you can communicate with your people, monitor their performance, and send notifications whenever necessary.

Besides communication and alert notifications, such a system also increases order traceability. If a problem occurs with the order, you can use the system to track its progress to try and determine when the issue may have happened and take measures to prevent a recurrence.


Warehouse management is among the most essential processes that typically occur in a warehouse. Given its importance, this is not something that you can afford to implement incorrectly.
Considering that most processes in the warehouse are linked in a way, a problem in one phase can lead to costly mistakes in the subsequent phases. All the six problems mentioned above provide a clue about what can go wrong in a warehouse at any time.

Fortunately, you can prevent this by educating yourself and your people on the warehouse challenges you will likely face and how to deal with each. In the long run, you can implement a warehouse management system to reduce the damage they may cause or prevent them from happening.

Author Bio

Sean Richardson is the owner of Complete Plumbing Solutions, a full service plumber in Cork.

BBI north warehouse Myfbaprep

5 Practical Ways to Reduce Human Errors in Your Warehouse

Human errors often undermine warehouse productivity. Profit and reputation are slowly eroded with each mistake that occurs. Everyone makes mistakes; any member of your workforce could go to the wrong location, forget to scan an item, or inadvertently pick up an incorrect quantity. These errors may be considered acceptable for running a warehouse, but they can be mitigated with the right strategies.

While human error may be responsible for some mistakes, the root cause most likely lies in your systems, processes, technology, environment, or equipment. Identifying and addressing the underlying issues can significantly reduce these errors. Here are five practical solutions that have proven highly effective:

1. Evaluate Your Storage Strategy

Take the time to periodically assess your storage methods and make necessary adjustments to optimize efficiency and utilize your warehouse space effectively. This strategy can considerably reduce human errors and should be one of the first things to take care of. Put in place the following:

High-demand items should be placed in easily accessible locations near the packing area. But do not lose focus – popular products will likely change over time. Make sure you regularly review your stock to understand trends and relocate the new in-demand items when needed.

Check to ensure proper labeling of all storage lots, slots, and bins has been carried out: every storage location should be clearly and accurately signed to avoid confusion and prevent misplaced items.

Use individual bins for each product and avoid storing multiple items within one bin, which can lead to picking complications. Each bin should contain only one type of product to simplify picking.

Conducting routine inventory checks is vital to help identify mislabeled or misplaced items, which are common causes of picking errors. Addressing mistakes during replenishment prevents downstream issues.

Consistently assign the same location for items with the same SKU. Keeping products with identical stock-keeping units in dedicated locations reduces the chances of errors during picking.

2. Implement a Warehouse Management System for Automation
Utilizing technology is a surefire way to reduce human error in the warehouse. The right technology can enhance workforce productivity and efficiency, leading to increased profitability. A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a specialized software package designed to streamline, regulate, and optimize warehouse operations. The best systems organize and control every aspect, from when items enter to when they are shipped out.

An outstanding feature of a WMS is the capability to generate smart pick lists. These lists provide employees with the most efficient route through the warehouse, optimizing their picking process and reducing mistakes. By leveraging the power of a WMS, you empower your workforce to operate with error-free precision.

Other exciting technological advancements in warehouse management include using drones and robots. Keeping abreast of the latest knowledge and innovation is essential to improving accuracy and reducing errors.

3. Checks, Measures and Validation
To effectively reduce mistakes, measuring their frequency during specific periods is crucial. Choose a consistent measure, such as the percentage of accurately picked orders on the first attempt, to help your analysis. Also, consider factors beyond the warehouse, like return and complaint rates. A reliable WMS system can assist in measuring and reporting these errors.

Emphasize responsibility and involvement by holding warehouse staff accountable for their errors. The use of labels and barcodes helps to identify workers or products that cause specific issues. Look for trends and take action – it may not be an individual but  a problematic process or location.

Depending on the severity and frequency of errors, you may need to decide whether additional steps are necessary. Weight checks or triple signatures involving the picker, checker, and driver are alternative options depending on your process, workforce, and available technology.

When you have accurate numbers, it’s easier to spot trends and issues. A robust and measurable system must be implemented to collect good data. Don’t leave it to guesswork.

4. Improve The Working Environment
A fatigued and uncomfortable workforce will likely make errors. Simple changes like providing comfortable floor matting in areas where employees stand for extended periods can make a significant difference. Air conditioning, heating or better lighting may also add to your staff’s comfort. Don’t consider it an expense; view it as an investment in your people. Show your team that you care about their well-being as they operate the warehouse.

Make sure that all storage areas are easy to access. If you hold large, heavy items, such as engineered wood flooring or furniture, the product must be easy to move by forklift. When shifting things is difficult, errors occur because staff are reluctant to complete the work correctly.

5. Take a Look at Employee Satisfaction
When staff feel demotivated, they are not invested in your company, and workers who are pushed to reach unachievable targets cut corners. Both of these factors lead to mistakes that hurt your bottom line.

Ensure that your workplace is open and honest. Allow workers to admit errors without fear of the repercussions – establish a reporting route or process that is easy to use. Take error admission as an opportunity to improve things and lower the rate of mistakes.

You can raise morale in many ways; put steps in place to ensure your workforce is engaged, motivated, accountable, and adequately rewarded. Drive down mistakes and increase productivity in a more original way – a blame culture is never successful in the workplace.

In Summary
Reducing human errors in your warehouse is critical. Mistakes impact productivity, efficiency, and overall success. You can make a considerable difference by implementing a series of practical strategies and regularly reviewing the impact.

By adopting these practical approaches, you will develop a culture of accuracy, continuous improvement, and efficiency in your warehouse. Embrace these strategies and pave the way for a thriving, error-free warehouse environment.
green warehousing

Meeting Sustainability Goals with Green Warehousing

Warehouses are essential for many businesses. They also keep the e-commerce industry running. At the same time, warehousing has a significant ecological footprint and environmental impact. To be sustainable, warehouses need to adopt green practices. This is where green warehousing offers an opportunity for sustainability-minded businesses. 

What is green warehousing?

Warehouses protect products in storage. Done properly, warehousing reduces the risk of contamination, spoilage and waste. Another important aspect of warehousing is having products in the right place to meet demands or requirements.

Warehousing requires a lot of resources and generates waste that is not always recyclable. Storage space, packaging materials and much more are needed to fulfill orders. Lighting, climate control and other activities related to daily operations consume energy and costs. Warehouse operations also create non-recyclable waste.

Green warehousing involves reducing energy consumption with sustainable practices and materials. This might include, for example, creating a distribution network that reduces transportation. It also focuses on managing inventories and moving goods and people across warehouse floors in an efficient way. 

Thinking about green logistics beyond warehousing

An eco-friendly warehouse is the main component of any green warehousing strategy. Green warehousing is just one element of a sustainable approach to shipping and distribution. Businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint should think about a broader green logistics approach.

Sustainable warehousing is just one part of the supply chain. Businesses should consider how raw materials are sourced and how products are manufactured. Sustainability can be achieved, for example, by processing materials and producing products in an energy-efficient way. Eliminating waste during these steps in the supply chain is also key.

Green logistics also involves improved product distribution. This might involve eco-friendly packing materials and processes. For example, space can be optimized in containers and on pallets when transporting products. This reduces fuel consumption during shipping. 

The benefits of green warehousing

Cost savings are one of the main benefits of green or sustainable warehousing. With lower consumption, energy bills will be reduced. These savings can be used to invest in more environmentally-friendly upgrades or other aspects of your businesses. That said, the benefits do not stop at cost savings.

Consumer loyalty

More and more consumers are making conscious decisions about their purchases based on environmental and social impacts. A company’s actions on sustainability are increasingly tied to consumer loyalty and preferences.

Products making environmental, social and governance (ESG) claims, for example, averaged 28% cumulative growth over the past five years compared to 20% for products that made none. In North America, 70% of consumers value brands that operate sustainably.

Employee satisfaction

Many workers are concerned about environmental ethics and impacts. A UK study found that 65% of workers are more likely to work for a company with a strong environmental policy.

A company’s sustainability record can impact decisions about where people want to work and can impact a company’s turnover rate. Adopting sustainable practices like green warehousing can be important in attracting and retaining talent.

How to adopt green warehousing?

Green warehousing requires commitment at all levels. Some changes like recycling packaging materials are relatively low-cost. Other changes like sustainable construction or improved lighting will require investments. In the longer term, these changes will result in lower energy costs and other benefits.

Designing a sustainable space

The design of a warehouse is essential for sustainability by reducing the building’s carbon footprint. This might include powering the space with renewable energy like solar panels and using sustainable building materials. Rainwater infiltration systems also help reduce water consumption.

Introducing green spaces reduces energy consumption and indoor temperature changes. Placing plants on the roof of an uninsulated building reduces energy consumption from heating by up to 5% during the winter and from cooling by up to 33% in the summer months.

Green spaces like green roofs, walls and interior decoration also provide additional benefits. Outdoors, they create ecological diversity for wildlife. For workers, green spaces create more welcoming areas for breaks. 

Updating your warehouse fleet

Choosing the right equipment to transport goods is another important step in green warehousing. Electric equipment is a green alternative to using equipment powered by propane or natural gas. This reduces emissions by avoiding the use of fossil fuels.

Multi-purpose forklifts also reduce carbon footprints since they help reduce the number of vehicles needed in a warehouse. Attachments can be used for different tasks on the floor while reducing the space required to store vehicle fleets. Forklift manufacturer Combilift, for example, found its customers created up to 50% more storage space with a multi-purpose forklift.

Updating warehouse lighting and ventilation

Proper lighting is a must to ensure warehouses are safe. Switching to eco-friendly options like light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and automated lighting helps with energy consumption. Thanks to their high efficiency and directional nature, LED lights are increasingly common in industrial and commercial settings. They also last longer and use at least 75% less energy.

Improving ventilation in a warehouse space also helps improve efficiency. During the winter, heating travels upwards and leaves the warehouse floor cool. This can be uncomfortable for workers and require the heating to be constantly on to maintain a more comfortable interior temperature.

Industrial high-speed, low-volume fans help address this problem by redirecting rising hot air. In the summer, they also help circulate cool air. These fans will help increase comfort and reduce energy use.

Using sustainable materials and recycling

Warehousing requires a lot of packaging. It is not surprising that this creates significant amounts of waste each day. Introducing a recycling program ensures that packaging materials are disposed of correctly.

Reusing pallets and storage materials also helps reduce waste while also cutting costs. Keeping materials out of landfills also means companies reduce disposal costs.

Space optimization

Storage optimization and inventory control help increase efficiency on the warehouse floor. For example, storing products in a way that minimizes space ensures you make the most of your warehouse.

When it comes to inventory, properly labeling, packaging and storing products minimizes damage. This decreases the risk of spoilage and waste. Stacking products on pallets also helps forklifts move them effectively.

Transitioning to green practices in your warehouse

For businesses looking to save and reduce the environmental impacts of their operations, green warehousing is an important element of any sustainability approach. From changing the machinery you use to upgrading lighting and ventilation, green warehousing helps businesses reduce energy consumption and waste. At the same time, these practices can improve a company’s bottom line by attracting consumers and talent while reducing costs.

warehouse management You Need to Communicate Your E-Commerce Forecasting to Your Fulfillment Center

Warehouse Management Systems: 5 Steps to Modernize Your Warehouse

Warehouse management is one of the most important facets of supply and chain management. It encompasses all the processes involved in running a warehouse, including storage, inventory management, shipping and distribution. In this post, Brosnan Property Solutions (facility management company) and Global Trade Magazine will discuss more regarding warehouse management systems and how you can use the technology to modernise your warehouse.

Managing a warehouse is relatively straightforward in a small-scale distribution setting. If the business is small, distributors can get away with a simple approach to running day-to-day warehouse operations. But as the distribution business expands, warehouse management becomes more complex.

An increase in product lines leads to a larger facility and more locations to be monitored. With all these changes and increasing demand in your warehouse, brick-and-mortar management practices might soon prove inefficient in meeting the needs of your consumers. That’s why you need to invest in a warehouse management system (WMS).

What is a Warehouse Management System?

A warehouse management system (WMS) is a sophisticated software platform that gives you an all-in-one way to handle all your warehouse operations. Its primary purpose is to ensure your warehouse operates most efficiently and cost-effectively by simplifying various functions, such as inventory tracking and storage.

Implementing a warehouse management system offers a wide range of benefits for your distribution business. For instance, it helps reduce human errors and promotes better customer service. So, if you feel the competition is always a step ahead of you, it might be time to invest and reap the benefits of a warehouse management system.

How to Modernise Your Warehouse Using a Warehouse Management System

Here are a few steps to modernise your warehouse and enhance operations using reliable warehouse management systems.

Evaluate Your Current Warehouse Management Systems

Before you take any step, it is essential to evaluate where your warehouse is in the modernisation journey. You need to assess current warehouse management systems and identify your strengths and areas that need improvements. It is important to note that warehouses (with varying capacities) have different feature requirements.

If you run a small distribution company, you may need a few tools/features to automate fully. However, larger and established warehouses might need an all-in-one supply chain suite. Conducting an assessment helps you establish the current state of your warehouse and identify your feature requirements before you embark on your modernisation journey. 

Automate Data Collection and Inventory Management

Inventory management and data collection are the most basic warehouse management operations. Distributors need to document every item throughout the warehousing process. As we all know, manual data entry can be time-consuming and error-prone. That’s why it is essential to invest in various technologies to improve its overall efficiency.

Some of the technologies you can use to automate data entry include barcodes, RFID tags and paper & OCR scanners. These data-capturing technologies can help minimise human intervention in data collection, reducing errors and boosting productivity.

Besides automating data entry, your warehouse can benefit from additional technologies such as voice recognition software, AI & ML and robotic systems. A reliable warehouse management system can help incorporate these technologies to enhance the distribution process. 

Spruce Up Your Warehouse Layout

Besides modern automation technologies, your warehouse layout plays an important role in the success of its operation. The primary purpose of organising your warehouse is to properly utilise available space, increase efficiency and facilitate the smooth running of operations. It helps improve order fulfilment rates by minimising travel time and providing easy access to stored goods.

With a reliable warehouse management system, you can quickly generate an optimised warehouse layout design that arranges processes in a logical sequence, streamlining operations. Using the data collected by these systems, you can identify the most effective picking routes and determine what items should be placed close to the parking area.

You can also devise proper spacing between storage lots to enhance manoeuvrability for both machines and employees. Or, rearrange goods to ensure popular items are easily accessible while less popular ones take storage lots further down the aisle. 

Data Synchronisation in All Systems

A modernised warehouse should have synchronised data across all systems. But what exactly is data synchronisation?

Data synchronisation is the effort to establish consistency between source and target data stores. It ensures that all changes made to data in one device are reflected in the entire system.

Every modern warehouse has various systems, such as inventory tracking and shipping systems. If these systems operate separately, it can result in data conflicts, leading to poor data quality and a lack of trusted data down the line. That’s why it is essential to invest in a flexible warehouse management system that allows integration with other systems.

Synchronised systems enhance warehouse operations by ensuring information is up-to-date at every stage of the warehousing process. 

Go Mobile With Your Warehouse Management System

With the advancement in technology, it is now possible to migrate your warehouse management system to a mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone. Accessing your WMS through a mobile device makes scanning, tracking and planning your warehouse operations easier. It also allows you to monitor employee performance, even if you aren’t at the warehouse. 

In a Nutshell

Warehouse management is an ever-changing enterprise of supply chain management. With the regular introduction of new technologies and trends, it is essential to adapt to keep up with the competition. Implementing these 5 steps is one of the easiest ways to modernise your warehouse and tune the standards of your operations to the future of warehousing and distribution.