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Pick to light and put to light improve warehouse productivity

By Kate Lee | 01/21/2014 | 5:54 PM | Categories: Weblogs

On average, 55 percent of warehouse costs are associated with order picking.  Recent research by Intermec found that mis-picks alone cost businesses nearly $390,000 per year.  Pick to light and put to light are two innovations that can cut costs significantly. 

Pick to light is an order fulfillment system that uses a light indicator system that shows operators where an item is to be picked and displays the quantity needed to be retrieved.  Pick to light is a good solution when a small number of SKUs (20%) comprise a large percentage of order volume (80%).

According to Lightening Pick Technologies the average increase in pick rate productivity is greater than 40 percent with pick to light solutions.  Similarly, Bastian Solutions reports that with pick to light individual operator productivity can be increased by up to four or five times over traditional, paper-based picking solutions.

Put to light uses the same technology as pick to light, but is used in retail distribution centers and is designed to replenish stock in stores.  Put to light is a good solution when the number of orders is small and generally consistent on a day-to-day basis. Put to light is also beneficial for SKU independent companies with a large number of SKUs.


In addition to increased productivity, the following benefits can be realized with pick to light solution and put to light solutions:

  • Increased accuracy (generally greater than 99 percent)
  • Shorter order cycle times
  • Improved customer service
  • Increased throughput
  • Lower operational costs
  • Improved transparency
  • Quick ROI

Do you use pick to light or put to light?  What has been your experience?  What benefits have you realized?



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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.


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