talk to us today! UK: +44 (0) 1270 500 777
Ireland: +353 (0) 1 913 1029

Contact Us


Huge distribution warehouse with high shelves and loaders. Bottom view.

How to increase warehouse picking speeds


Even if your warehouse runs efficiently, there is always room for improvement and one of the key ways to do this is by increasing warehouse picking speeds.

Warehouse order picking is the picking of an item, or items, to fulfil a customer’s order. Efficient warehouse picking plays an essential role in the order fulfilment process, ensuring speed and accuracy.

So how can you increase warehouse picking speeds?

Consider where each item is stored

Think about where you’re storing different items in your inventory. Those that move through the warehouse faster should be stored in prime picking areas, while slower-moving inventory can be put in harder to access areas of the warehouse.

Related items that tend to be ordered together should also be organised together.

Reduce travel time

Cutting the travel time between items will help to increase picking speeds and efficiency. If, for example, racks are accessible from both sides, it means that employees can reach through rather than having to walk around an entire row of shelves.

Use the correct equipment

To improve warehouse picking speeds, it’s important to have the right tools and equipment, such as forklifts, warehouse racks, conveyor systems, and inventory scanners. These support automation, safety, and the efficient movement of goods and employees around the warehouse and increase warehouse picking speeds.

Choose the right racks

It’s also important to choose the right racks for your warehouse. If the majority of your pickers are on foot, floor racks are easier and faster. However, if you use conveyor belts and automated picking systems, elevated racks are usually easier.

Batch picking

Batch picking may help speed up your warehouse picking. This is where inventory for identical orders is collected at the same time, rather than picking one order at a time. This means that items for multiple orders can be collected in one trip, rather than going back and forth.

Assess your layout

Your warehouse layout plays a significant role in picking speeds. Warehouses that are crowded and difficult to navigate slow picking down, while those with too much space between racks and too much room in aisles are also inefficient.

So, if you want to optimise the speed of your picking, it’s important to consider your warehouse layout, taking into account all available vertical and horizontal space to help reduce the time spent on each pick.

Consider RFID

Using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) can provide up-to-date information on the location of the products that need to be picked.

Implement a WMS

Implementing a WMS can help improve picking efficiency without compromising accuracy. The WMS can generate pick lists, display real-time updates of product availability and order status, forecast when inventory will need replenishing, and more.

At Optima, we have over 15 years of experience in designing, developing, and implementing effective WMS solutions that can help improve your warehouse picking speed and efficiency. To find out more about our warehouse management systems, please get in touch with a member of our team today.