Common Warehouse Picking Problems & How to Tackle Them
Common Warehouse Picking Problems & How to Tackle Them

Being a major part of the order fulfilment process, order picking is also prone to a plethora of errors that can have costly consequences. Proper use of innovative warehouse picking systems have been making a big difference for many warehouses. With many warehouses still facing troubles, here is a list of a few of the most common warehouse picking problems that we could find. 

Wrong item in the right locations

If the picker is unable to find an item at the location where it’s supposed to be, he’ll have to spend more time looking for the item which subsequently delays order fulfilment ending up with a dissatisfied customer. 

A reliable warehouse management system can tackle the issue rather effectively. The system makes sure that every item is scanned into a location. This means the picker would find the right item at where the item is supposed to be.

Picking the wrong item or the wrong quantity

Pickers often make mistakes picking the wrong item or the right one in wrong quantities. Even if they pick the wrong items or wrong quantities, the error would likely be noticed at the packing bench. However, if the packing team misses it, the wrong item would be dispatched and the receiver would request for a refund or replacement costing more money and a tarnished reputation for the warehouse. 

There are many solutions to this particular problem. Using barcode scanners for instance makes it impossible for pickers to pick the wrong item or the wrong quantity. 

Paper-based picking

Surprisingly, there still exists warehouses that follow the age old paper-based picking approach. The picker prints and carries order-related papers. The process is obviously lengthy, and also leaves a margin large enough for a lot of errors. 

The obvious solution here would be to rely on digital solutions. The paper is replaced by a mobile app that streamlines picking operations. There are all sorts of warehouse picking solutions available in the market that can save the picker from a big headache at the end of the day. 

The iActo picking solution, for example, gives text-based directions to the picker sending him to the right location to find the right product and recording the transaction, significantly reducing the margin for errors. 

Unable to trace who picked an order

No accountability can make things difficult for a team and its manager. The warehouse manager should be able to assess the efficiency of the warehouse staff so as to maintain and eventually improve the overall warehouse productivity. If the manager doesn’t know who picked what, it’d be difficult for him to keep the team motivated and to give order status update to consumers and stakeholders. 

The solution is a warehouse management system that grants full visibility to warehouse managers on inventory movements and personnel efficiency. The example mentioned earlier, the iActo picking solution, also helps the warehouse manager track pickers’ order fulfilment progress. 


This list doesn’t include every common warehouse picking issue, but just a few to serve as a testament to what digital solutions can do for warehouses today. Contrary to popular beliefs, digital solutions including mobile apps for warehouses aren’t very expensive. The right solution can be the key to improving warehouse efficiency and productivity.