Picking small parts, or piece orders, one at a time is often cumbersome and labor intensive. These inefficiencies are magnified when the picking path involves a large warehouse footprint that forces your teams to spend more time traveling throughout the warehouse than managing orders.
Using a mobile device, cluster picking is an efficient pick method that allows you to pick multiple orders during one pass through the warehouse. It’s one of the picking options available in Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Supply Chain.
Here’s how you configure a picking cart with eight bins to cluster up to eight work headers into a single picking route.
Set Up Cluster Picking In D365
Cluster picking in D365 SMC includes the following configurations:
Cluster profiles: Customer profiles specify whether to automatically generate cluster IDs, the number of positions to use, when to break clusters, and how to sequence and verify the picking work.
Work templates: Work templates define how to create the picking work for cluster picking.
Location directives: Location directives specify where to pick items from, and where to put them.
Warehouse management parameters – Warehouse management parameters specify the number sequence to use if you want to generate identifiers for clusters.
Mobile Device Setup
Cluster picking also requires configurations on the mobile device the picker is using. Set-up includes:
Mobile device menu items: Configure a mobile device menu item to use existing work that is directed by cluster picking. You must then add the menu item to a mobile device menu so it will display on the mobile device.
- Menu item for creating the cluster.
- Menu item for pick in cluster.
Set Up Item Verification with Cluster Picking
Item confirmation is crucial to cluster picking. This confirmation verifies the items that are added to clusters.
Verify items in cluster picking during the picking process. Set-up is based on the product barcode set-up.
- On a mobile device menu item, open the set-up form for work confirmation. Warehouse management > Warehouse management > Set-up > Mobile device > Mobile Device menu items.
- From the mobile device menu item, open Work confirmation set-up. The Product confirmation option allows you to verify each piece of inventory from the mobile device when scanned.
Cluster Picking in Action
The following screen shots show you the process of picking three work headers from a single work cluster:
- Sample Orders for picking:
- On mobile device, choose Cluster Picking Create from the menu.
- Enter the work ID for the first position – “A” –
- Enter the work ID for the first position – “B” –
- Enter the work ID for the first position – “C” –
- Repeat for up to eight work headers
- Click “Done”
Reach quantity is the total quantity required to satisfy all work lines in the cluster. The next screen will inform the user on how to disperse the reach quantity. Specific quantities and specific cart positions will be prompted to the user
When all work in cluster is completed – a single common “Put” is completed on the mobile device.
Cluster work completed
Cluster Picking with D365 Supply Chain Management
Cluster picking is just one of the strategies that can help you reduce waste and touches in your supply chain.
Here are some other resources to help make your warehouse more efficient:
System Directed Picking with D365
Inbound Inventory Quality with D365