Picking by Order vs. Batch Picking: What’s the Difference?


There are actually many ways to pick an order from a warehouse location. However, in this article we’ll focus on two picking methods: picking by order and batch picking. You may already guess the difference from the names of these activities, but let’s explain in more detail.

Picking by order, or discrete picking, implies visiting a picking location individually per each order. For example, two customers order the T-shirts with the same SKU, and two different orders are created. As a result, when processing these orders, a warehouse employee should visit the picking location two times, to pick the T-shirts for two separate orders. This is the most common and straight-forward order picking method.

On the contrary, batch picking combines the lines from different orders into a so-called “wave” by using the inventory management software. As a result, the warehouse employee should visit the picking location only once, and it significantly saves time. After the picks of individual products is completed, products are sorted by order, packed and shipped.

Each picking method has its own advantages. Picking by order is simpler but it takes more time, whereas batch picking saves time, increases productivity, and reduces labor costs, but required two coordinated steps – pick and then sort.

You should choose the picking method based on your loads and workflow. For example, batch picking is perfect for you if the same SKU with relatively small dimensions is frequently ordered from you by different customers. In other cases it’s better to use the traditional method of picking by order. Despite the fact that it requires more time to pick, it actually speeds up the response time for order fulfillment.

Delivrd, the inventory management software, supports both picking methods to give the clients more convenience and flexibility. No matter how many orders you have, Delivrd will help you with any order profile. More details are coming soon!

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