To improve the productivity and performance of a logistics company, there are strategies and technologies to achieve better results. In the supply chain, order preparation is a step that holds great importance for the rest of the process. Pick-to-light is one of the methods that optimize this part of the supply chain. Discover in this article everything there is to know about pick-to-light.
What is pick-to-light?
Le pick-to-light ou light signal sampling system is a picking strategy that assists the warehouse operator with an order computer. This command execution technology is equipped with several lights that allow to guide managers through the warehouse and pick the right items and the right number. Pick-to-light then allows agents to work more precisely and quickly. Workers in the picking area are guided by LED lights of different colors. Indications can also be series of letters and numbers.
The lights or numbers and letters that serve as indications make it possible to avoid certain steps that can slow down the order picking process. This concerns, for example, the establishment of lists of papers to determine the elements to be sampled or the programming of software. Thus, sampling is facilitated, because the operator only has to follow the information given by the lighting or the letters and numbers.
Pick-to-light: how does it work?
To optimize picking during order preparation operations, pick-to-light technology operates according to certain provisions. In effect, the live shelving channels are equipped with light beacons with buttons. These are controlled by a WMS or warehouse software. The manager first scans the barcodes of the products that are attached to storage containers. These are most often reusable and temporary containers. The software then turns on the displays showing the number of items needed for the order and guides the operator with LED light strips on the way to the storage location.
The manager then picks the items and stores them in the reusable storage container. To validate the operation, the latter presses the button present on the luminous beacon. The picking stage can thus continue by following the same procedures through the different storage areas to bring together all the products requested. It is important to specify that each article must be placed in its respective container, because the products can have different natures. Moreover, it also makes it easy to tell them apart.
In addition, the pick-to-light system is very versatile and thus makes it possible to adapt to many situations. The latter can for example ensure the preparation of several orders at the same time with several preparers. Indeed, a light strip can be assigned to several managers in order to perform different tasks.
What are the advantages of pick-to-light?
Pick-to-light is a picking system that offers many advantages for the logistics company. This solution is now used by more and more companies because of the optimization of the order preparation stages that it allows.
Improved business performance
Indeed, pick-to-light is a solution that greatly improves the performance of the company. It allows the operator to work more efficiently by indicating the path to take as well as the number of products during sampling. Orders can thus be prepared in good conditions without risk of error during picking thanks to the indications given to managers. This system therefore considerably improves the company’s productivity.
Speed of execution
One of the great advantages of pick-to-light is surely the speed of execution of the various stages of order preparation. All the operations are facilitated and the speed of production is improved. The WMS software defines the picking path for the operators in order to minimize movements that can slow down the picking process. For cases of multiple orders, the system assigns a light strip for each manager and the different tasks can then be carried out at the same time. Assigning several operators to carrying out several orders is also the best way to make the system profitable, because it is very effective for this scenario.
On the other hand, a classic order preparation requires the setting up of lists which are used by the reference operators to determine the products to be picked. With pick-to-light, the work of employees can be optimized, as the time normally spent on reading, writing and checking orders can be used for other tasks.
More precision in order preparation
Errors during picking are often common in a logistics company. However, they can greatly harm society as a whole since they are not only a waste of time, but also a financial loss. With pick-to-light technology, the picking process is almost 100% accurate. Indeed, all the information is directly made available to the operators. They then just have to follow the instructions on the reference and the number of products needed. Of course, the precision in the execution of these operations guarantees the