How We Used Magento To Solve A Picking Issue

One of our clients had an issue with picking and packing. So we created a bespoke solution on their Magento 2 platform to overcome the problem


The Problem

Our client owns a huge furniture retail store with thousands of items set in a huge megastore.

They sell everything from tables and chairs to wallpaper, lights, wall art and tableware.

The megastore has 5 different departments and over 30 different aisles.

Each morning the despatch team would print Magento invoices from the system and walk into the shop to pick from the floor.

But here was an issue. The time they took to pick the items would take a team of 3 until after lunch.

When they got back to despatch they would then have to deal with items out of stock or orders that could not be fulfilled. Sometimes they would cross each other multiple times in the store as they worked on each order.

One order could contain:

  1. Cutlery Set
  2. Garden Shears
  3. New Bedding Set
  4. New Kettle

Another order could contain:

  • Solar Panel Lights
  • Cutlery Set
  • Garden Hosepipe
  • Toaster

Now when an operative got to a certain department, they would look through all the paperwork and try to find all the items across multiple orders that were in that department and put it in a trolley. This shop only carries limited stock so items are picked from the shop floor as opposed to the warehouse.

You could cross colleagues multiple times, have to revisit departments and in general, it was disorganised chaos. This was even before you got back to despatch and had to shift through all the products again to try and match them up to invoices.


The Solution

We came up with a simple solution that required minimal investment. It included:

  • x3 Touch Screen Tablets
  • x3 Tablet Holders
  • x1 Developer
  • Google Sheets

The solution was quite simple and very effective. We 1st added a tag to each product referencing what department in the store the item is held.

Then each morning a Google sheet would automatically populate with all the items that needed to be picked, and sorted by department. No other information, just what needed to be picked.

The operatives had a trolley each with an Android touch screen with Google Sheets open. They would walk into a department, pick an item and press the checkbox on the sheets that the item had been picked.

The pickers could all see what had been picked and they divided departments up between themselves.

As each item was picked, this would sync to Magento. We could look at an order and see what items on each order had been picked, or each line as we like to call it.


The Result

We saved around 6 hours per day in picking time. The operatives were back in dispatch at 9:30 as opposed to noon. We also helped customer service and delivery teams as they could see in real-time what customers needed regarding stockouts and what orders could be scheduled for delivery at a much earlier point in the day.

The pickers no longer had to make multiple visits to departments or different pickers crossing the same aisles picking orders for different customers.

This resulted in a saving of over £24’000 pounds per year in picking hours alone and increased organisation and customer satisfaction through quicker response times. This also freed up time for the pickers to change duties in the afternoon and help out in the shop reducing the need to hire extra staff to cover various departments.

You can learn more about how the Ethical Web Ahency can help grow your Magento Store or contact us on 0151 662 0719.

Is it the most groundbreaking solution in the world? No.

Did it work for our client and low cost to implement? Yes.

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