The verdict is in: put wall configurations perform well, and are a proven success when consolidating piece-picked e-commerce orders.
Pick productivity and order accuracy rates realized by put wall users are impressive. Depending on the process put in place, rates achieved range from 200 to 300 items per operator per hour. The solution is very scalable; workstations can be added as volume increases. On a daily basis, workstations can be taken in and out of service depending on the required number of orders to be processed that day. Some users set up additional put wall stations that are only activated for peak season volume or promotional surges.
Depending on the process put in place, put wall rates range from 200 to 300 items per operator per hour.
What is a put wall?
Considered a form of goods-to-person (GTP) order consolidation, a typical put wall includes a workstation and a wall of shelves that are divided into approximately 25-50 unique sections. As the associate at the workstation scans each item, a section of the put wall lights up to indicate where the item should be “put” into the put wall.
Put walls are considered a form of goods-to-person order fulfillment.
Interestingly, a put wall also serves as a pack wall. The back side of the put wall is open to another workstation where orders are packed. A light at each shelf location illuminates when all items for the customer order have been put to a wall section. The worker on the pack side then places the item(s) into a shipping container.
How do items arrive at the put wall workstation?
There are many ways that items can be brought to the put wall. Pickers can personally deliver their totes to the put wall, or place them onto a conveyor to reduce associate travel time.
In an alternative variation, the put wall can be connected to a GTP piece-picking workstation. For example, instead of sending a tote of batch-picked items, a container of one SKU is retrieved from storage and sent to the workstation. The associate at the workstation puts the SKU items into the put wall sections that are lit up. When complete, the remaining contents of this single SKU container are sent back to storage.
What product or inventory works best in put walls?
The put wall could be applied in a multitude of piece-handling environments, including kitting for production. Put walls work well for retailers of office supplies, motorized vehicle parts, consumer electronics, software/games, personal care, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, industrial supplies, toys, jewelry, and printed materials.