Pyrops WMS

Choose the right picking strategy for your warehouse operations​.

What is Warehouse Picking?

Warehouse picking is a critical operation within the broader logistics and supply chain process. It refers to the process of selecting items from a warehouse inventory to fulfill customer orders or transfer them to another location within the warehouse. Warehouse picking is a key component of order fulfillment and plays a significant role in ensuring timely and accurate deliveries to customers.

Warehouse picking can be a manual process where workers physically move through the warehouse to pick items from shelves, or it can be automated using technologies such as conveyor systems, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and robotic systems. The choice of picking method depends on factors such as the volume of orders, the size and layout of the warehouse, and the types of products being handled. Efficient warehouse picking is crucial for minimizing errors, reducing order processing times, and improving overall customer satisfaction.

Why picking in warehouse management is important?

Warehouse picking is a crucial aspect of warehouse management, and its importance is underscored by several key factors that impact overall supply chain efficiency and customer satisfaction. warehouse picking is important because it directly impacts customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and the overall cost-effectiveness of warehouse operations. Implementing effective picking strategies and utilizing technology to streamline the process contribute to a more responsive and competitive supply chain.

Warehouse Picking Strategies

Warehouse picking systems play a pivotal role in overall warehouse operations, and their efficiency directly impacts both customer satisfaction and operational costs. Specifically, picking constitutes a substantial portion of warehouse operational expenses, and its association with customer satisfaction makes it a critical focus area.

In typical warehousing operations, pickers spend a significant amount of time, approximately 60%, walking between locations. Adopting the right warehouse picking strategy becomes paramount in driving down picking costs by enhancing both picker productivity and accuracy.

Across various facets of operations management, there is often a trade-off between competing objectives, such as productivity, accuracy, and the time required for an activity. Warehouse picking systems aim to strike a balance in these objectives to optimize overall performance.

Order picking methods vary, and selecting the most suitable one for a particular operation depends on various factors. The level of difficulty in choosing the best method is influenced by the characteristics of the product being handled, the total number of orders, picks per order, picks per SKU (Stock Keeping Unit), and the total number of SKUs in the inventory. Often, a combination of picking methods is necessary to effectively handle the diverse characteristics of products and orders within a warehouse.

Ultimately, implementing and optimizing warehouse picking systems is crucial for achieving cost savings, increasing efficiency, and meeting customer expectations in the dynamic landscape of modern supply chain management.


The pick rate measures productivity in order picking. Piece pick operations usually measure the pick rate in line items picked per hour.

Cycle Time

Cycle time is the amount of time it takes to get an order from order entry to the shipping dock.


Regardless of the type of operation you are running, accuracy will be a key aim. Virtually every decision you make in setting up a warehouse will have some impact on accuracy. For example, from the product numbering scheme to the design of product labels.

Warehouse managers know that one size fits all approach would not qualify to attain these objectives. Hence making them choose from the various picking strategies tailored for different order quantities and placement.

Basic Order Picking

  • Picker picks one order at a time.
  • The picking sequence should ensure an optimal route. And try to end the pick route near the original starting point.
  • Suited for operations with a small total number of orders and a high number of picks per order.
  • If used with many orders or low picks per order, it may cause congestion in the warehouse, thus slowing down operations

Batch picking / Multi-order picking In batch picking

  • You can group multiple orders into small batches.
  • Picker will pick all orders within the batch in one pass using a merged pick list.
  • You can use multi-tiered picking carts to keep orders separate.
  • An intelligent WMS helps create the most optimum batches by ensuring the right orders come together in the batch. Also, it ensures maximum savings.
  • A good WMS also helps prevent the mixing of orders using checks and validations.
  • Reduces travel time in operations with low picks per order.
  • Batch picking requires the accumulation of orders to create batches. Thus, introducing a delay in order cycle time.

Wave picking

  • Combination of zone and batch picking.
  • All zones are picked at the same time by respective pickers mapped to the zone.
  • All the picked items reach a processing area where they are sorted into individual orders/shipments.
  • Sorting can be tricky, only a few warehouse management systems offer this functionality. Also, you can use some automation for high-volume operations.
  • Suitable for operations with a high total number of SKUs and moderate to high picks per order.

Zone picking

  • You can assign pickers a specific area/zone. Pickers will operate only within their zones.
  • Pick and pass – orders are moved from one zone to the next as the picking from the previous zone is completed.
  • Zone workload balancing is critical while setting up Zone picking.
  • Suitable for large operations with high total numbers of SKUs, high total numbers of orders, and low-to-moderate picks per order.
  • You can assign pickers a specific area/zone. Pickers will operate only within their zones.

An efficient WMS lets you implement the suitable picking strategy more efficiently. Also, it enables you to derive the most productivity out of the operational improvements. Therefore, Pyrops WMS is a solution that will help you to pace up your picking, packing, and shipping activities.