A knock-on effect of having streamlined mobile workflows and rapid picking methods is that packing stations could easily become overwhelmed with items to box up and despatch.
Indeed, bottle-necking at the pack bench is a serious issue for productivity and space management. Fortunately for you, we've got the solution dialled in.
Check out the video below as Founder Jonathan delivers a quick how-to on a small tweak you can make to your packing bench arrangement, to speed up the entire process, use space better, avoid bottle-necking and get more orders out the door faster.
L Shape Benches
- Arrange multiple ‘pack’ benches in an L shape around one ‘scan’ bench in the middle.
- The ‘scan’ bench operator is the only Peoplevox device user.
- This bench needs a scanning device running Peoplevox mobile app, a computer running the Peoplevox web app and a printer.
- The ‘scanner’ takes items from pick trolleys as they arrive at the packing area, scans them through the system and hands them off to the assembled packers in sequence.
A trolley with multiple complete orders is brought to the packing area.
The one license holding ‘scanner’ team member scans the trolley itself, then takes any item off the trolley.
Peoplevox tells them what order that item is for, and any other items required for that order.
The ‘scanner’ scans those other items.
Peoplevox automatically prints the required documentation for that order (despatch note, carrier label etc).
The ‘scanner’ passes the items and the documentation to the first ‘packer’ at bench 1.
‘Packer’ 1 doesn’t need to use the system, and could be a contractor or temp, and gets to work packing the items and docs into the necessary box / packaging.
Whilst ‘Packer’ 1 is packing, ‘Scanner’ has already scanned more items for the next order from the trolley, and can give them to the awaiting ‘packer’ 2.
‘Scanner’ continues to rotate around their ‘packers’ until all the orders are packed completely, with each ‘packer’ completing one pack at a time without either waiting around for the next order, or having too many items pile up on them waiting to pack.
We recommend having between 1 to 4 packing benches, subject to how busy you are and your average order profile.
3 benches would be optimal for an average of 3 items per order.
If your items per order average is more like 1.5, 4 pack benches would be best.
From scanning an item, it takes 5-7 seconds to print the documents and give all the items to someone to pack.
One license speeds up packing, and using this setup, the bottle-neck from picking quickly but not being able to pack as quickly is gone. You will also negate a clutter issue of too many trolleys full of items waiting to be packed around the pack benches.
As a further benefit, this system also improves accuracy alongside speed, as you can have a supervisor watching the packers, to make sure they’re accurate and diligent in their work.
For more tips and insight, download our WMS Buyers' Guide.