+1 800 967-0030

Three Great Developments in 3PL Warehouse Technology (Part 2 of 2)

This is part two in a two-part series. You can read part one here.

In part one we discussed the ever-evolving 3PL warehouse. So much happening, in so little time!

In this part, we get more specific. Here are just a few of the latest technology developments in 3PL:

Gladiator Guns. Developed with simplicity and usability in mind, these “smart” gladiators have eliminated the need for cumbersome hand-held barcode scanners. Instead, these “guns” are arm-mounted smartphones that are custom-fitted with apps designed with picking and packing workflows in mind. A bluetooth barcode scanner fits on the employee’s finger, allowing for full use of both hands while working.

Instead of being forced to keep track of a barcode scanner and constantly pick it up and put it down, the finger-mounted scanner cuts seconds off of every pick—amounting to hours of increased productivity across the pick floor every day. The arm-mounted smartphone is a full-featured computer that can communicate with other employees, including administrators who may be needed for specific tasks or to answer questions. The Gladiator Gun has been a revolutionary tool for warehouses everywhere.

Wave Picking. If you have a lot of orders to process, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to pick them one at a time, box them individually and send them on their way—that’s the least efficient way to do it. But just how to get lots of products to the picking floor in the shortest amount of time is another question entirely. That’s where wave picking has come in. Instead of one picker filling one order, many pickers are sent to pick several orders, divided up by zone.

When each team of pickers returns with their picked items, they’re turned over to other teams whose sole purpose is to collate the orders for packing. Wave by wave, orders are filled in large batches, speeding up picking by asking several pickers to pick items in the same areas and reducing picker traffic to and from the pick floor. Implemented correctly, wave picking can be an incredibly efficient pick method.

Scan and Pack. For companies that have smaller order numbers, wave picking doesn’t make a lot of sense, but scan and pack does. In this type of system, the order reaches the picker and the picker immediately heads out looking for the pieces of the order. One picker selects all the items in each order, returning them to the packing floor as a batch.

Once the order makes it to the picking floor, the items are scanned as they’re packed into an appropriately sized carton. If an incorrectly picked item is in the batch, the packer gets an error and the picker is sent after the correct item. When all the items have been correctly scanned and packed, the order is closed. It’s a simple process, but if the products are well-organized and the pick floor intelligently designed, scan and pack can be an very efficient and accurate one for small companies handling a limited number of orders.

The future of 3PL is here, from Google Glass to Gladiator Guns and Wave Picking. As efficiency increases in warehousing and distribution, small- to medium-sized businesses stand to benefit enormously as costs from their 3PL partners continue to decrease. Increased efficiency is great for everyone, at every level of the supply chain!

September 22, 2016
Share This:

Related Posts

RECENT POSTS

Scroll, Click, Buy: How to Sell On Instagram

Do you have an Instagram shop? Instagram Shopping is quickly becoming the preferred way for consumers not only to learn about new brands and products on Instagram, but also to purchase them in just a few simple steps. If you are not already selling directly on...

New Year, New You?

Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, hoping to spark positive change, adopt new habits, or even reinvent themselves. The recurring themes each year include a more active approach to health and fitness, improved finances, better relationships,...

Grow Your e-Commerce Business in 2023

Win at E-commerce in 2023 Starting an e-commerce business has never been easier. But with a low barrier to entry, there is plenty of competition as well. If you have set your sights on growing your e-commerce business, you know that small adjustments can add up to...

Holiday-Proof Your Website

According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales for 2022 are expected to increase between 6% and 8% over 2021. Furthermore, NRF predicts that online and other non-store sales will increase between 10% and 12% to between $262.8 billion and $267.6 billion....

Fulfillment Services in Fort Lauderdale, FL

3PL Services Serving Fort Lauderdale, FL If your e-commerce business is based in or near Fort Lauderdale, FL, chances are, you are familiar with the benefits of third-party fulfillment services near you. World famous for its expansive canals, Fort Lauderdale is loved...