The Role of Order Pickers Within Warehouses

The picking process can be impractical without an effective way to stock and retrieve products in a warehouse. This causes downtime and inaccurate picking that can be detrimental to your company’s bottom line. However, utilizing order picker equipment streamlines stocking procedures by increasing picking accuracy and speed. But what does an order picker do exactly?

Continue reading to learn more about the role that pickers play within warehouses and other essential details, including the following:

  • What is an order picker?
  • How does an order picker work?
  • The types of pickers
  • Order picker applications
  • The benefits of pickers

What Is an Order Picker?

An order picker is a type of material handling equipment used to retrieve and stow inventory to fulfill customer orders in warehouses and distribution centers. It is similar in design to standard forklifts and allows workers to access materials and products directly from storage quickly. It tends to be used at higher elevations, reaching heights of 20 to 30 feet on average, but larger models can go as far as 45 feet.

How Does an Order Picker Work?

Whereas standard forklifts keep their operators on the ground as the forks ascend or descend, order pickers lift users and pallets into the air using a small platform. This platform comes equipped with a safety harness, a picking window with a movable safety guard, easy-to-use controls, and an auto-lock pallet clamp to secure inventory. All are meant to simplify the picking process while maintaining safe working conditions. This allows forklift operators to pick single items manually or many instead of pulling an entire pallet down.

Order Picker Variations

Most people envision a particular type of equipment when referring to order pickers, but there are several variations to choose from, each with their own unique specializations. These include the following:

  • Furniture pickers
  • Vertical pickers
  • AGV order pickers
  • Stock pickers
  • Walkie pickers
  • Rider pickers

Order Picker Applications

Order pickers are used to accomplish various stocking and retrieving tasks, whether that be for bulk or single items. They are generally found in warehouses, retail centers, distribution centers, manufacturing plants, and fulfillment centers. Here are some of the most common order picker applications:

  • Stocking products on shelves to prepare them for the picking process.
  • Picking products from storage for distribution and order fulfillment.
  • Organizing products to ensure quality control of lighter or fragile inventory.
  • Unloading products from delivery trucks and other storage areas.

The Benefits of Order Pickers

Implementing a picker into your daily warehouse operations provides numerous advantages for your business and employees. Here are some of the most notable benefits:

Better Picking Efficiency

Order pickers provide an incredibly effective way to increase warehouse or distribution center productivity. They offer excellent speed in terms of driving, lifting, lowering, or turning, all with smooth motion that doesn’t disrupt the process. The picking process is more accurate and time efficient than other retrieval methods because it allows workers to select specific items instead of entire pallets of inventory. 

Order pickers help streamline product retrieval for efficient order fulfillment. Learn more about how order pickers can improve your warehouse operations.

Reduced Downtime

Order pickers are quick and accurate, reducing the effort required to obtain products for fulfillment. This allows employees to operate for extended periods without reducing their work quality, all while increasing productivity.

Safer Work Conditions

Order pickers help reduce the risk of potential workplace injuries that might occur with standard pickings, such as falls from great heights or sprained backs. They utilize a variety of safety measures, including harnesses, side guards, steady lifting and lowering, and truck cab sensors, as well as require proper training and licensing to operate in the first place. They are also much safer for filling orders than alternative equipment like scissor lifts, ladders, or scaffolding.

Simple Yet Effective

Along with sufficient speed, warehouse order pickers can effectively navigate busy warehouse environments using a tight turn radius to maneuver narrow isles. Though they require proper training and licensing, they are easy to use once the controls have been learned.

Increased Profit

Used order pickers typically cost between $10,000 to $25,000, depending on the model and condition, with new equipment reaching prices of up to $45,000 or more. However, the cost pays for itself, as faster and more accurate picking processes allow a more significant number of orders to be fulfilled. This, along with a multitude of other factors, increases your company’s bottom line over a period of time.

Suppose you want to purchase or rent an order picker at a reasonable yet affordable price. In that case, it’s best to work with a material handling company you can trust—let HTX Material Handling be that provider.

Streamline Your Order Fulfillment Process With HTX Material Handling

If you want to bring a new order picker into your warehouse, HTX Material Handling has you covered. As a Texas-based material handling company, we aim to provide clients from various industries with high-quality, reliable service and warehouse equipment. We offer a wide range of warehouse solutions, such as scheduled maintenance, heavy machinery, storage solutions, replacement parts, and even rentals for any piece of equipment you might need—including order pickers.

The crew at HTX Material Handling has nearly eight decades of combined business experience in areas like logistics, distribution, municipal infrastructure, international trade, engineering, and more. Our team’s vast array of skills and industry knowledge make them experts in everything they do. Whether you need warehouse or equipment questions answered to determine your best course of action or simply need their assistance with routine maintenance, we’re always happy to help.

HTX wants to help your business maximize its profitability and commercial success using the industry-best practices and superb customer service we have accumulated over years of experience. Contact us today to get the equipment you need.

Start a Conversation with HTX