Pandemic hit our lives, affecting not only personal but professional life to a lot extent. With more and more people working from home, the online business model has increased with people ordering from home their monthly groceries and even medicines, thus increasing demand for online retail. The supply chain is the most effective during this period to supply necessary commodities to the communities. Logistics are responsible for the flow of goods and particularly the warehouses in India and other countries are much in demand as they are the hubs of the flow as well as the right place to store all kinds of goods. Warehouses were very much functional during the pandemic to transport essential items importantly to the frontline warriors as well as others who needed them. Warehouses had to manage the show, and keep the welfare of the staff in mind, had to implement the guidelines provided by the WHO:
Gloves and masks were mandatory
Distance between the employees should not be less than 6 feet in the warehouse
With that, some warehouses also had thought of redesigning the warehouse process for additional safety. Today, we present here three fulfillment strategies that can be applied to a warehouse to align with the guidelines and also provide physical distancing.
Small Warehouses with Average Shipment
Medium Warehouses with High Shipment
Large Warehouses with High Shipment
Small warehouses with average shipments
A small warehouse always works well with ‘Pick and Pack’ method. This method is safest during the pandemic, ensuring social distancing and lesser touchpoints for employees.
Medium warehouses with high shipments
With medium warehouses in Mumbai, which suddenly face a significant increase in the number of orders, then it becomes more important to keep the supply chain cycle running and delivering on time. For such warehouses, Batch Picking is the favourable method. Using a WMS, which will batch the orders based on the rules and algorithms and will allow the pickers to be away from each other and who can then move orders to the packing area well redesigned to keep the minimum distance policy.
Large warehouses with high shipments
For large warehouses, ‘zone picking’ that is, pick and pass method is recommended. The warehouse will get split into zones adjacent to each other. With the help of WMS, the task is auto-created for each zone. Next, a picker who is responsible for the zone will go to that specific zone with the cart and pick up the orders, once over, he moves the cart and leaves it at zone 2, and the next picker assigned for the next zone will be moving to pick his orders using the same cart, similarly, for other zones, the cycle will follow. This way their work is over at the same time while maintaining social distancing. Staff touches only the goods, but again the staff is using gloves as the guidelines. In case, if an employee falls sick, then that particular zone can be locked, and not the entire warehouse. These three methods are very carefully chosen for each style of the warehouse so that the warehouse can be managed easily without the fear of transmitting the disease from one person to another. Pandemic is difficult, but there are ways to fight and come out conquered using the best and most innovative methods in a warehouse.