Pick List: Simplified Definition

A pick list is an important document for an eCommerce firm’s order fulfillment. It conveys to a warehouse picker the list of items and quantities that need to be picked from a given warehouse to fulfill customer orders. After receiving consumer orders, businesses can generate pick lists. Pick lists are generated automatically when customers complete an order in the case of a pre-installed warehouse/inventory management system. The main goal of a pick list is to provide the operator with all of the information needed to prepare and dispatch products in a safe and controlled manner.

Pick List: Technical Definition

According to ClickPost, a pick list is a crucial document that helps eCommerce businesses optimize and streamline order fulfillment by providing a list of picking items and other necessary order information to warehouse staff in a clear and timely fashion to complete a customer's order. The data-supported picklist comprises critical information for the ordered products, such as shipment information, warehouse location, item information, and customer-specific notes, which helps firms avoid frequent order processing problems.

What is a pick list?

A pick list is vital for eCommerce businesses to streamline their order fulfillment process. It contains all the instructions, including Shipment details, item-related information, warehouse location, etc., that warehouse personnel need to follow to prepare and dispatch orders in a safe and controlled manner.

What does a pick list mean in eCommerce shipping?

Order fulfillment is a critical component of any eCommerce shipping operation. "Picking" is the process of taking and collecting the products in quantity specified by the order before shipping them. To execute this task, the operator or warehouse personnel is provided a list that includes the product's location in the warehouse, the product's number, designation, quantity to be retrieved, and other critical input factors needed to prepare an order for dispatch. Only after the pick list has been prepared can the order processing begin. This method smoothens order picking and helps shipping companies increase efficiency by speeding up the process.

How to create a pick list?

For creating a standard Pick List, the information should be structured in the following three sections- 

  1. At the top of any picking list, you'll find information pertaining to the company’s name preparing the order, order number, date, operator code preparing the order, warehouse location, shipment type & number. 

  2. In the middle of the picking list is the relevant product information, along with the aisle number, storage level, item description, the number of units required, and the number of SKUs left. 

  3. The last and bottom section of the picking list has a space for recording comments and observations and three signature boxes to be signed, respectively, by the picking operator, employee preparing order after receiving it, and the dispatch authority.

Why do you need a pick list?

With the amount of information and material that a Pick List provides, there is no way to deny its value in the eCommerce shipping and warehousing sector. 

  1. Apart from delivering information to an operator, a pick list aids in the organization of stock picking for large orders. 

  2. Assigning a set of pick lists to each warehouse picker helps to reduce fulfillment failures.

  3. The accuracy of a WMS-generated picking list can collect metrics on picker performance, is much improved, and order preparation is quick and error-free. 

  4. A pick list aids more specific and standardized data collection by allowing the user to choose only one option, ensuring better reporting without any additional verification or input.

How many types of pick lists are there?

Types of pick lists are characterized by many factors such as the diverse order fulfillment techniques, amount of products in each order, movement flow, etc. The following are two of the most prevalent types of pick lists used in the eCommerce shipping industry:

  1. A discrete pick list for single order products- Here, the operator must choose and move the goods associated with just that order to the dispatch area.

  2. A batch pick list for multiple orders’ products in a single batch picking run- Here, the products must be carried to a consolidation area before being delivered and then sorted and arranged in their relevant orders.