The Waveless Warehouse: Why Wave Picking Might Not Be the Best for Your Distribution Center

2014_viastore_Reportage_WIKA_Bild12We adopt new technology because it presents a better way of getting things done. The horse and buggy gave way to the car because of speed and convenience. The smart phone eclipsed feature phones because consumers could have richer apps and a connected experience.

Similarly in business, new technology must bring tangible benefits to really catch on. A new buzzword won’t cut it without bottom line benefits, especially in the cost conscious world of logistics.

Within warehouses and distribution centers (DCs) one buzzword that has been around for a few years is “waveless” picking. While waveless operations have been adopted by a few U.S. companies, and are much more commonplace in Europe, the characteristics of waveless picking, its benefits, and its supporting elements, are far from well understood. But if your DC is beset by bottlenecks, poorly coordinated islands of automation, and is struggling with the tighter order priorities common to multichannel fulfillment, then waveless picking might be the answer for you.

Why Waveless?
With waveless picking, there is a much higher level of communication between the systems so that changes and adjustments can occur ‘on the fly’ as compared to traditional wave picking. In wave picking, all the work is determined before the work begins and the plan created is then worked through. viastore published a whitepaper on Waveless Picking. Download it here.

About John Clark

John is responsible for Marketing and Business Development at the North American headquarters of viastore systems in Grand Rapids, MI.

He has over 20 years of broad hands-on experience in all aspects of marketing and communication, including writing, content marketing, advertising, design, trade show and event planning, public/media relations, website, lead generation and management.

Prior to viastore, he has held marketing management positions at TGW Systems and Dematic, both global material handling automation companies.

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