Order Fulfillment Systems (often referred to as Order Selection Systems, Order Processing Systems, or Order Picking Solutions) incorporate a variety of highly efficient, software enabled processes designed to expedite the order fulfillment process, reduce labor costs, and increase customer satisfaction by ensuring near perfect order quality.
Often used to guide operators through tasks such as discrete order picking, batch order picking, case picking, put-based sorting, packing, and quality check, order fulfillment systems can also include fully automated, machine-based solutions that require either minimal or no operator involvement.
A crucial component of any omni-channel distribution center, omni-channel fulfillment center, or warehouse automation system, order fulfillment systems range widely in methodology, depending upon a multitude of factors, including the physical attributes of the inventory in the order, delivery requirements, and the unique characteristics of the outbound shipment.
Order picking methods can include manual order fulfillment, automated order fulfillment, or a hybrid incorporating both. Depending upon the methodology used, an order fulfillment system may also incorporate a variety of steel structures that can be used to facilitate order selection like pick modules, put modules, shelving, case flow racks, mezzanines, and pallet racks.
Order fulfillment systems can be used in a variety of applications, depending upon the type and purpose of the orders being fulfilled. Common applications for order fulfillment solutions include:
- E-Commerce order fulfillment (B2B and B2C)
- Inventory distribution
- Store replenishment
- Wholesale distribution
- Route delivery
- Omni channel fulfillment (aka multi channel fulfillment)
Order Fulfillment System Types
Order selection systems generally fall into three categories: Paperless Picking Technology, Fulfillment Automation, and Order Selection Solutions.
Paperless Picking Technology covers a array of order fulfillment methods, ranging from light and voice directed systems to hand held and wearable computer terminals. Included in Paperless Picking Technology is:
Fulfillment automation systems incorporate highly efficient, mechanized fulfillment methodology, requiring minimal to no operator involvement. They include:
Order Selection Solutions include specific structures and systems designed to facilitate the order fulfillment process. Included in this category are:
- Single and multi level pick modules
- Carton flow racks aka case flow racks
- Bin shelving systems
- Pallet rack structures Mezzanines
Order Fulfillment System Configuration Considerations
Every fulfillment center and distribution center has the need to fulfill orders from inventory. How well they accomplish that task can have a direct affect on their competitive advantage in the market. Invata specializes in determining the order fulfillment system that’s right for any particular operation and then designs and implements that system to optimally fit within the allotted space, whether it in an existing facility or new construction.
In choosing which system is right, we consider a multitude of factors. Some of the factors we consider include:
- Are goods pulled in pallet, case, less than case quantities, or a combination of any/all?
- What is the frequency that any particular item is pulled and in what quantity?
- What are the physical attributes of the item to be picked; size, weight, pack quantity?
- What are the characteristics of the outbound order?
Invata’s order fulfillment systems are purpose built to the specific requirements of each client’s unique business.
We employ analytical tools to determine which systems and methods will best handle a client’s business processes, while providing the expected return on investment ROI.
Availability, accuracy, longevity, and 24/7/365 support are of the utmost importance when it comes to choosing which order fulfillment system is right for a particular operation.
Of equal importance is the warehouse execution software or warehouse management system and warehouse control system software used to integrate that fulfillment technology into an intralogistics system. Invata’s own FastTrak® WES software suite is a key asset to achieving optimal performance for sorters of all types.
To learn more about what an Invata order fulfillment systems can do to improve your operation, contact us, and we’ll be happy to share more about our deep experience of employing order selection technologies to enhance operational productivity.