A New Advantage for Your Warehouse: How Visual Picking Improves Accuracy and Efficiency

Ryan Spurr

The rise of e-commerce and the increasing demand for fast and efficient delivery have pressured warehouse operations to keep pace. Seeking productivity and differentiation, visual picking solutions have emerged as game changers in the logistics and supply chain industry. Warehouse operations are also not immune from workforce shortages and high turnover challenges. This means that leaders must adapt and transform, all while mitigating a shortage of skilled workers to keep business operational and clients happy.

How Does Visual Picking Work?

In traditional manual picking operations, workers are tasked with physically locating and retrieving items from the shelves to fulfill customer orders. This process can be time-consuming and error-prone, leading to delayed deliveries and increased labor costs. Visual picking solutions address these challenges by automating the picking process, improving accuracy and efficiency, and reducing the need for manual labor.

Visual picking solutions use cameras and augmented reality mobility devices to identify and locate items in the warehouse. The system can be integrated with existing warehouse management systems (WMS) or enterprise resource planning (ERP), and customized to work with different product types and warehouse configurations.

When a customer order is received, the visual picking solution uses image recognition technology to identify the items required. The system then guides the worker to the exact location of the items, reducing the time and effort required to search for them physically. This process is repeated for each item in the order, allowing the worker to quickly and efficiently retrieve all the items and prepare them for shipment. Some solutions even guide palletization or the most optimal way to load a pallet to ensure a stable, weight-based pallet process to ensure goods don’t tip or crush under the weight or in transit.

Benefits of Visual Picking

  1. Increased Accuracy: Visual picking solutions can accurately identify and locate items, reducing the risk of errors and increasing the accuracy of the picking process.
  2. Increased Efficiency: By automating the picking process, visual picking solutions can significantly increase the speed and efficiency of the picking process, reducing the time it takes to complete orders and increasing overall productivity.
  3. Increased Flexibility: Visual picking solutions can be easily adapted to different warehouse configurations and product types, providing greater flexibility for companies as their needs change.
  4. Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: By increasing the accuracy and speed of the picking process, visual picking solutions can help companies meet customer demands more effectively and support customer demand and growth, leading to increased customer satisfaction.
  5. Shortened Training and Time to Productivity: With high workforce turnover, visual picking solutions help by automating the picking process, turning new hires into productive pickers in hours vs. days.

Visual picking is a game changer for warehouse and logistics operations. Visual picking solutions can transform the way warehouses operate by automating the picking process and improving accuracy, efficiency, and safety. Companies adopting this technology will have a competitive edge and be better equipped to meet the demands of the modern e-commerce landscape.

Get Started with Help from the Experts

We understand that manufacturers are at different points in their smart manufacturing initiatives. Our Manufacturing Practice regularly works with manufacturing organizations to help them grow and improve their business by applying enabling technologies, including within warehouse operations.

Our Manufacturing Practice has a team of experts, an evolving portfolio of manufacturing solutions, and capabilities to assist IT and OT teams by augmenting their existing skillsets with complimentary advisory services to help your business accelerate technology adoption where it matters most. Be sure to engage Connection’s Manufacturing Practice to learn more about this technology, available services, and the many use cases that may benefit your organization.

Ryan Spurr is the Director of Manufacturing Strategy at Connection with 20+ years of experience in manufacturing, information technology, and portfolio leadership. He leads the Connection Manufacturing Practice, go-to-market strategy, client engagement, and advisory services focusing on operational technology (OT) and information technology that make manufacturers more digitally excellent.