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Wave Picking, or Bulk Picking is a way of picking multiple orders simultaneously to save time. CartonCloud enables "Waves" to be created, grouping orders together for simultaneous picking.

Key Concepts:

There are two common reasons why Wave Picking is implemented:

  1. Limited pick-faces are available, but picking still occurs in the isles where the pallets are stored
  2. The Picker and Packer roles are split up. Pickers move products in bulk from one area to another so it is closer to the packers, who then pack the orders from the stock that has been retrieved.

There are two ways in which Wave Picking can be implemented:

  1. Bulk Picking Per-Product
  2. Bulk Picking Per-Order

Splitting Picking and Packing

If you bring stock closer to your pickers for picking, ie from your Freezer into a large chilled room for sorting and picking, this is considered splitting your Pick process from your Pack process.

In this case, you may choose to pack per-product, or you may pack per-order - but the key component is that (typically) a fork-lift operator is acting as the Picker (bringing stock from the racks to a location closer to everyone), and the staff grabbing the boxes and putting them onto each order are the Packers.

Wave Picking is used here because it provides your Bulk Pickers totals on what pallets to bring out to the packing floor. For example, if 10 orders are being wave picked and they all contain the same product, then the picker would be told the location, and total quantity needed for all of that product, which may just be a single pallet.

Once the Bulk Pick has been performed, it is up to your companies processes whether you pack the orders order-by-order, or product-by-product.

Bulk Picking Per-Product

Wave Picking Per-Product allows staff members to be both Pickers and Packers if required, however rather than picking order-by-order (ie: picking everything for one order, then moving onto the next order), multiple orders are picked simultaneously by picking all of one product, splitting it into the different orders, and then moving onto the next product. This is a great way of saving time when limited pick faces are available as fork-lifts are often required to move stock around for picking purposes.

For example, say there are three orders needing to be picked, each of which contains the same three products, and the stock is stored up high as limited pick faces are available.

Regular Picking:

  • Begin the first order
  • Get a pallet down using the fork-lift 
  • Pick one box 
  • Put the pallet back up where it was 
  • Repeat with the next two products
  • Repeating this for the next order

Total fork-lift movements =  6 per order, 18 for all 3 orders.

Wave Picking Per-Product:

  • Create a wave pick containing all 3 orders. 
  • Get a pallet down using the fork-lft
  • Pick all of the product you need for all 3 orders
  • Put the pallet back up
  • Repeat with the next two products

Total fork-lift movements = 6 for all 3 orders. A 66% time saving on the Fork Lift.

Creating a Wave Pick

Note: To create a Wave Pick you must have Sale Orders which are "Awaiting Pick and Pack"

To create a Wave Pick simply go to the Sale Orders screen, click the Dropdown Arrow beside "Wave Picks", and click "Add New":

Once there, select the customer you want to create the Wave Pick for, then select the orders you want to combine into the Wave Pick:

When orders are added to a Wave Pick they'll be immediately updated to "Packing In Progress". 

If you are splitting the Pickers from the Packers, you'll want to Export and print the Sale Order Pack List, this can then be given to the fork-lift operator so they can go and pick all of the products.

Your packers then have the option of either packing per-product, or per-order. You can switch between them by clicking on the Tabs.

Note: If you are always packing per-order, you can configure which tab is shown by default in the "Organisation Settings", under the "Features & Options" tab, just change the "Default Wave Picking Tab".

Picking Per-Product

When picking per product, simply press "View Pick Sheet" beside each product and pick the required quantities to the required order. As the stock is picked the quantity picked must be entered (this acts as a double-check), and the "Completed" button needs to be pressed.
Once all products have been picked the large green "Complete Picking" button appears

Once a product has been picked you can see from the Product Status:

Picking Per-Order

Picking per order uses the same interface as regular, non-wave picking. After picking each order you'll be directed to the Sale Order / Consignment screen.
You can get back to the Wave Pick from a Sale Order by clicking on the Go Back to Wave Pick button:

Completing a Wave Pick

When all products / orders have been picked a green "Complete Wave Pick" button appears. Clicking this button will mark all of the Sale Orders "Packed", and will delete the Wave Pick.

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