Tote Picking: What You Should Know

According to our research, order picking in the warehousing environment, which includes specific methods like tote picking, accounts for around 50-percent of a warehouse’s labor costs. Incredibly, a study by Georgia Tech reports that this number can be as high as 63-percent – but regardless, order picking has become more important in the age of ecommerce, as while other operations in the warehouse can be automated, order picking largely remains a manual process.

This manual process normally involves a warehouse worker moving through the space with multiple orders to pick, with totes on a cart and each tote associated with a separate order. As the worker moves through the warehouse, he or she can pick multiple orders at a time…but, as you can undoubtedly imagine, this is a routine that is in some desperate need of facilitation. How can warehouse workers be helped so that they perform their best, reduce costs and increase order picking productivity?

Enter Insight Works’ Warehouse Insight, a tool boasting an intuitive way to improve the tote picking experience.

Before we get into what our Warehouse Insight offers, let’s take a closer look at that aforementioned reference to “tote picking.”

Picking to Totes: Some Fundamentals

In a tote picking (or “pick-to-tote”) operation, there is the advantage of a dedicated packing function – what we mean by this is that since totes can be “one size (or a range of them) fits all,” pickers can easily pick and organize totes as they navigate the system, either on a conveyor or in carts. To put it succinctly, they aren’t thinking of anything but getting the pick right, thus focusing on what really matters: picking.

Trained packers at the end of the line “cartonize” the orders, often taking advantage of cutting-edge packing stations and consolidated equipment and materials; this means that there will be at least two employees – the packer and the picker(s) – physically touching each order.

Some ergonomically-optimized pick-to-tote workstations have been designed specifically for this task, keeping to the “goods-to-person” order picking approach.

Warehouse Insight: Tote Picking on an Intuitive Level

As the industry’s go-to mobile warehouse management system, Warehouse Insight from Insight Works eradicates inefficient operations due to inaccurate warehouse transactions and time-consuming manual tracking. We’ve taken this ultra-popular product to a new level by introducing this picking functionality to an already intuitive warehouse management system (WMS); now, those working in environments that require batch/cart picking can segregate out all individual sales orders while picking, thus significantly facilitating the entire process.

And all of this can be accomplished using super-convenient handheld devices.

For more about the tote picking functionality of Warehouse Insight, visit