order picking

Ultimate Guide to Order Picking: Types, Methods & Tips

Order picking is a crucial process in the supply chain management system. It involves selecting and collecting products from the inventory to fulfill a customer’s order. In this guide, we’ll cover different types of order picking, methods, and tips to improve the efficiency of the process.

What Is Order Picking?

Order picking is selecting and collecting items from inventory to fulfill a customer’s order. This process typically involves identifying the items on order, locating them within the warehouse or distribution center, and assembling them into a package or container for shipment to the customer.

Order picking is an important aspect of logistics and supply chain management, as it plays a critical role in fulfilling customers’ orders timely and accurately. It is typically performed using various technologies, such as barcode scanners and automated picking systems, which help streamline the process and improve efficiency.

Order Picking Goals

Order picking is a crucial process in warehousing and logistics operations. Its main goal is to accurately and efficiently fulfill customer orders by retrieving and assembling the necessary items from inventory.

Here are some common goals of order picking:


The most important goal of order picking is to ensure that the correct items are selected and assembled for each customer’s order. This is essential to maintain customer satisfaction and prevent costly errors and returns.


The order-picking process should minimize the time and effort required to fulfill each order. This can be achieved through optimized warehouse layouts, efficient picking strategies, and technology such as barcode scanners and automated picking systems.


While accuracy and efficiency are critical, it’s also important to ensure that orders are fulfilled quickly to meet customer expectations and delivery deadlines.


Order picking can be costly, especially if it requires significant labour or specialized equipment. Therefore, reducing costs and maximizing productivity should be key goals of any order-picking operation.


Warehouses and logistics operations must be able to adapt to changing customer demands and business requirements. This means that order picking processes should be flexible and scalable, able to handle both high and low-volume periods easily.


Finally, safety should be a top priority in any order picking operation. This includes ensuring that employees are adequately trained and equipped to perform their duties safely and maintaining a clean and organized work environment that minimizes the risk of accidents and injuries.

Importance of Improving Order Picking

Here are some key reasons why improving order picking is crucial:

  1. Cost reduction: Order picking is labour-intensive, and any inefficiencies can result in higher labour costs. By improving order picking, businesses can reduce labour costs and increase the efficiency of their warehouse operations.
  2. Improved customer satisfaction: Order accuracy and on-time delivery are critical factors that can influence customer satisfaction. By improving order picking, businesses can ensure that they deliver the right products at the right address at the right time, leading to increased customer loyalty and repeat business.
  3. Increased productivity: Improving order picking can help businesses increase their productivity by reducing the time it takes to process orders. By streamlining the process and minimizing errors, businesses can increase the number of orders they can fulfill in a given time.
  4. Better inventory management: Efficient order picking can lead to better inventory management. By accurately tracking inventory levels and minimizing stockouts, businesses can reduce the need for costly expedited shipments and improve their overall supply chain performance.

How Does Order Picking Impact Profitability?

Order picking is selecting and collecting items from inventory to fulfill customer orders. The efficiency and accuracy of order picking can directly impact a company’s bottom line in several ways. For example,

  • Labor Costs: Inefficient order picking can result in higher labour costs, as more workers may be required to complete orders. Conversely, efficient order picking can reduce labour costs by allowing a company to fulfill more orders with fewer workers.
  • Inventory Management: Order picking accuracy is essential to maintaining inventory levels. Errors in order picking can lead to overstocking or stockouts, both of which can have a negative impact on profitability.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Accurate and timely order fulfillment is critical to customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and recommend the company to others, increasing profitability.
  • Transportation Costs: Efficient order picking can also reduce transportation costs by allowing a company to consolidate orders and reduce the number of shipments required.

Order Picking Methods

Paper-Based PickingThis method uses a paper-based system, where the picker receives a printed list of items to pick.
Pick-to-LightThis method uses a light-based system to guide the picker to the right product location. Lights are installed on the racks or shelves, and the picker follows the light to the right location.
Voice-Based PickingThis method uses a voice-based system, where the picker wears a headset that guides them to the right location and product to pick.
Barcode ScanningThis method uses a barcode scanner to scan the product and confirm the pick.

What Are the Different Order Picking Types?

Order Picking Types

Several types of order picking methods are used in warehouses and distribution centers. Some of the most common order picking types include:

Piece Picking

This is the most basic type of order picking, in which a picker selects individual items from storage locations to fulfill an order.

Case Picking

This method involves picking full cases of products from storage locations to fulfill an order. It is often used for items that are ordered in bulk.

Pallet Picking

This type is used when large quantities of products need to be picked for a single order. The picker uses a forklift or other lifting device to collect full pallets of products.

Cluster Picking

Cluster picking involves picking multiple orders at once by selecting items for several orders from the same storage location. This method can be very efficient but requires careful planning and coordination.

Zone Picking

This method divides the warehouse into zones, and each picker is assigned to a specific zone. The picker is responsible for picking all the items required for all orders in their zone.

Batch Picking 

It involves picking multiple orders at once by selecting items for multiple orders in a single trip through the warehouse.

Choosing the right order picking type depends on factors such as order volume, product type, and warehouse layout. An efficient order picking process can help reduce errors, increase productivity, and improve customer satisfaction.

How Does Pickrr Help With Order Picking?

Pickrr is a logistics and supply chain management platform that helps businesses streamline their order picking process. Order picking is selecting items from a warehouse or inventory to fulfill customer orders.

Pickrr offers a range of features that help businesses optimize their order picking process, including:

  1. Order management: Pickrr allows businesses to manage all their orders in one place. This makes it easy to track each order’s status and ensure they are fulfilled on time.
  2. Inventory management: Pickrr provides businesses with real-time visibility into their inventory levels. This helps them avoid stockouts and ensure they always have enough stock to fulfill customer orders.
  3. Order routing: Pickrr optimizes the order routing process to ensure that orders are fulfilled most efficiently. This helps businesses save time and reduce their shipping costs.
  4. Order tracking: Pickrr provides businesses real-time tracking information for each order. This helps companies to keep their customers informed about the status of their orders and improve customer satisfaction.
  5. Reporting and analytics: Pickrr provides businesses with detailed reporting and analytics on their order picking process. This helps businesses identify areas for improvement and optimize their operations over time.

Pickrr is a powerful tool that can help businesses streamline their order picking process, reduce costs, and improve customer satisfaction.


Order picking is an essential process in the supply chain management system, choosing the right order-picking method and implementing efficient methods. Using technology, businesses can improve efficiency and reduce errors in the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is the best pick and pack method?

A1. The best pick and pack method depends on each business’s specific needs and constraints, but common methods include batch, zone, and wave picking.

Q2. What are the different methods of picking?

A2. Different picking methods include single-order picking, batch picking, zone picking, wave picking, and pick-to-light. Each method has advantages and is best suited for different types of businesses and operations.

Q3. What are the best tips for warehouse order picking?

A3. The best tips are organizing the warehouse layout, using efficient picking methods, training staff well, using technology to aid picking, monitoring and tracking picking performance, and continuously evaluating and improving the picking process.

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