Picking and Ergonomics, the New Logistics “Lifestyle”

- 29 August, 2023
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Distribution and design form the cornerstone of effective warehouse management, playing a vital role in determining efficiency, productivity, and ultimately, the profitability of your warehouse operations.

In this realm of logistics project management, “picking” stands out as a pivotal term, critical to maintaining optimal productivity within the supply chain. However, intertwined with this concept is another equally important aspect: ergonomics.

Together, they form an impeccable synergy that can aptly be termed the new “lifestyle” of logistics.

The significance of order picking cannot be overstated—it accounts for approximately 40-50% of total warehouse operating costs.

The swiftness and accuracy of this process directly influence the benefits reaped. This is where the spotlight falls on the Golden Zone, a term central to our discussion. But what exactly is the Golden Zone? No, it’s not a reference to the latest James Bond flick; rather, it refers to the strategic location housing high-turnover references within the middle segment of a shelf.

In essence, the Golden Zone epitomizes the sweet spot for your inventory. With stock positioned here, everything transpires swiftly, facilitating effortless retrieval of required materials, sans the need to bend or stretch. This translates to reduced travel time between product picks, elevating both ergonomics (promoting sustained productivity) and overall efficiency.

Taking things up a notch are automated picking stations, ushering in a new level of ergonomic excellence. The Goods-to-Person (GTP) picking method serves as a prime example. Here, automation becomes the indispensable partner to order picking and the workforce. This approach not only ensures high-paced goods delivery, thanks to well-designed height placements, spatial arrangements, lifting systems, signage, and supporting auxiliary equipment, but also places a premium on worker performance and comfort.

“Automation becomes the right hand in order picking.”

Operating within these systems virtually eliminates excessive movement for employees, directing all necessary actions to their dedicated workstation. This optimization significantly boosts individual productivity and minimizes operational time, as previously mentioned. Nonetheless, it remains crucial to equip staff with appropriate tools and rotate tasks to ward off fatigue and repetitive motion injuries. Here, we underscore certain equipment that addresses these vital considerations:

  • Picking stations furnished with position indicators for references and quantities.
  • Incorporation of artificial vision or laser indicators to facilitate goods handling.
  • Flooring that is both cushioned and adjustable in height to accommodate each operator’s needs.
  • Thoughtfully calibrated lighting aligned with natural light and efficient air-conditioning within the work environment.

If Industry 4.0 once took center stage in showcasing the latest logistics trends, today the enchanting buzz revolves around picking and ergonomics. Embracing this solution, among others, has propelled the logistics sector towards automation and digitization.

In the words of Socrates,

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

This sentiment encapsulates our journey in embracing the potent fusion of picking prowess and ergonomic finesse, forging the path towards a dynamic logistics lifestyle.

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