RF picking is the term used for picking by an electronic device as opposed to a paper pick-slip. At 3PL Fulfilment we pick using RF Picking.
Once a pick is released to a picker, it is sent electronically to a handheld device. This device has a screen with a menu and a stylus. Once the picker is ready, the pick is opened from where the device guides the process. The picker is then directed to visit and scan a specific bin; next, to scan a specific product and lastly to pick the required quantity. The picked units are then placed in a tote bin on a trolley, which is also scanned. By tracking the pick, the products and the tote bin, the system knows exactly where all items for a specific pick are right up until they are packed. This system is the reason why our pick accuracy is at 100%.
At the end of a pick session the picker returns with a trolley holding a number of tote bins, each containing the stock for an order. At the pack station, the totes are scanned and the system then prompts the packer to, in turn, scan each tote and then each item in the tote. This process double-checks the product and quantity per product for each order before the parcel is closed, labelled and dispatched.
There are a few key product prerequisites for the RF picking process to work:
- All products must have a valid barcode;
- Master data must be 100% correct;
- Each variant of a product should have a barcode, and;
- The barcode on the products should be readable by the scanner, preferably black on white and sized to be readable.
In addition to simplifying the picking process and making it extremely accurate, we also use the same system for bin-to-bin transfers; booking stock in; checking stock levels and identifying products in the the warehouse or at time of receiving. RF picking is a must have for any fulfilment warehouse.