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Order Picking Error in Warehouse

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  • #54164

    zelley
    Member

    I was searching on order picking accuracy and I came across

    I was wondering if anyone is facing the issue of attitude from the workers that causes the errors in picking. if so, what did you do ?

    We are at about 5.7 sigma and to improve to 5.9 sigma (near to 6). it takes more than just the technical improvement. anyone out there with similar situation or any tip to share ?

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    #193989

    zelley
    Member

    Data – from PFMEA where majority of the cause is “picker lost concentration/attitude”.

    1. yes, I am trying to get the relevant data on the picker name for each corresponding mistake etc.
    of course, minority is due to rework products putting back into wrong location and then picker didn’t check properly.

    2. I double checked the calculation and it is 5.7.
    I am using average figure so i am not sure if this would have a big impact.
    However, i also check on median, mode and it shows that the figures are approx the same which is why i use average for number of units (number of lines shipped) and number of defects (no of wrong errors).

    I am also trying to think of any further Mistake Proofing techniques that can be used in picking. Do you know any ?

    Thanks for your inputs.

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    #193992

    Chris Seider
    Participant

    @zellley
    Blaming the operator is a tried and true reason given but not well documented with evidence. An FMEA based on opinion won’t get you much. I rarely blame the operators since you will 1. have to convince the operators to stop having a bad attitude with little success and 2. operators will be there long after your project is over.

    Unless you have sabotage or outright destructive behaviors, systems that people work in are the reason, not the people.

    A Deming quote: I should estimate that in my experience most troubles and most possibilities for improvement add up to the proportions something like this:
    94% belongs to the system (responsibility of management)
    6% special
    Often quoted as “The system is responsible for 94% of problems” or “Management is responsible for 94% of the problems”

    Source: curiouscat.com/deming/demingquotes.cfm

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    #193993

    zelley
    Member

    Yes, thanks for pointing out, let me get the results from 1) and then I will work from there.
    Meanwhile, if anyone could share your experience in your improvement methods, please let me know. thanks alot!

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    #193994

    Philip Godkin
    Participant

    If you are at 5.7, what is the cost saving to the business by reaching 5.9?

    If your errors are down to warehouse staff put away/picking errors, this comes down to how you can get more out of your staff. I’m not a fan of league tables when there is no fincanial benifit to the employee’s, mainly as it just leads to bad feelings between staff and management as they can feel that their “Bad work” is being put on display, the way i like to do it is create a bit of compeition based on weekly/monthly/yearly figures some spot prizes most improved month on month etc, with prize’s

    the reason i asked the first question is you will have to make a case for spending extra money on this league, but if the money spent is a lot less that hitting your 5.9 figure then it should be a no brianer!!

    Just make sure that the prizes are chunky enough to make people work for them, Also whatever you do and i can not stress this enough is do not make this league or the results of the reason you discpline staff you will not get buy in. You can monitor the results and make fact based decisions on changing staff or retraining them with the info you get

    hope this helps

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    #193999

    Bill McNeese
    Member

    The best approach is to put together a team of the pickers to work on improving the picking – involve them finding the reasons for the error and improving the process. Follow a problem-solving methodology.

    It has to be no blame approach – as stated above, most of the issues come the system – the way the process was put together and the way that it is managed on a day-to-day basis. Use control charts with Pareto diagrams.

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    #194002

    zellley
    Guest

    @Philip – Yes, we already have incentives in place, is just that I am also thinking if it’s time that we relook at the monetary value, as the value is being ‘stagnant’ for more than 5 years. I fully agree on the “buying-in” logic. This is also what I dread about 6 sigma. Data are easily crunched. but when it comes to people, oh well, it takes time and alot of effort.

    @Mike
    Ok, I will show the calculations once I get back to work on Monday.

    @Bill
    Yes, i just did a mini group discussion on Friday. The key is involvement.
    I sensed that there is some discontentment among a few people, so ok, no hard approaches.

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    #194003

    zellley
    Guest

    @Philip
    sorry forgot to answer you on savings.
    the savings is miserable.only about 3500 per year.
    i must admit that the savings doesn’t really warrant a 6 sigma project but ok, anyhow, i am doing this project.

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    #194049

    zellley
    Guest

    How would you analyse your data – as in count of errors or per EPM (wrong product errors divide by lines picked)?
    because if EPM – the data is continuous, if count of errors, the data is discrete. and this will determine what kind of distribution etc. and in turn affects my analysis. anyone has an insight on this?

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    #194050

    Bill
    Guest

    A number of options. One is to count the number of line items picked daily and then the number of line items picked incorrectly(wrong product, wrong number, etc). Not the number of errors. A line item can have two things wrong with it; still just one defective line item. Then plot the % of line items picked correctly using either a p control chart or an individuals control chart.

    Doesn’t really matter which one. P control chart probably does not apply since the probability of being picked incorrectly is not the same for all line items. Track the reason for picking errors using a Pareto diagram.

    As stated before, pull a team together of pickers and use a problem solving method to get to root cause. One the reasons people pick the wrong product is that the warehouse has products with similar part numbers right next to each other. Bound to have issues if it is a manual picking process.

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    #195255

    Tony Ferraro
    Participant

    I been involved in a few similar situations. Its important not to put blame on the employees. Most likely there is a problem with the picking process. I had a situation where there were many picking errors and the products weren’t going out to the customer fast enough. I actually put a Kaizen together and brought in their in house IT staff to help come up with new ideas to make the process more efficient using current technology. The new process now involves finger scanners and iPods with a new warehouse management Intranet application running on the iPod. Needless to say the orders have been flying out the door and picking errors are down considerably. The point in this story is to involve every body in trying to figure a better process and not to blame your employees for a dis-functional process.

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    #195257

    Anonymous
    Guest

    One thing you should consider, is whether there is any relationship between capacity and error. Take refining as an example, what is the quickest way to reduce second pass residue?

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    #199151

    Martine
    Guest

    Philip Godkin, do you have a mathematical formula for this? I’m trying to find a formula that calculates how many times that are most effective for our picker to count full deliveries.

    Today our picker count a full delivery for each type of telecommunication tower. For our current project that is 4 full deliveries being checked. However, we have an counting error of missing pieces of 0,5% today, and we want to calculate the amount of counts that should be done in order to have this percentage closest to zero as possible.

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