Recently, we’ve been focusing on the explosion in e-commerce sales, which are growing at 3x the rate of total retail sales, per Tompkins Supply Chain Consortium. This trend is creating several new challenges for retailers — from order fulfillment to returns processing. One example can be seen by observing a typical online order comprising a: t-shirt, comic book, perfume, and pack of ball point pens. In a large fulfillment center, these items might literally be on opposite ends of the facility.
Batch and wave picking have greatly improved the effectiveness of picking operations by reducing workers’ travel time and increasing throughput. However, once items have been picked, they must then be sorted to individual orders or replenishments.
Enter the put wall system. The put wall system is based on an industrial engineering strategy that deconstructs and reconstructs orders to create a more efficient order fulfillment process. The process includes a quality check step by scanning each item at the put wall. For operational flexibility, each put wall can process single-item or multi-line orders. Put walls can also be mounted on wheels and moved around a DC or moved into position as daily requirements change.