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Optimizing space in fulfillment warehouses for efficient picking


In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, the fulfillment warehouses are crucial for your online store and satisfied customers. The most important part is efficient order picking that directly impacts customer satisfaction. In today’s dynamic market, where rapid delivery is a must, organizations have to prioritize optimizing their picking processes.

The good news? Strategic fulfillment warehouses organization holds the key. By thoughtfully designing zones, selecting the right equipment, and implementing effective picking strategies, you can dramatically reduce fulfillment time, minimize picking errors, and slash costs by a staggering 20-30%.

This article dives deep into the essential elements of an optimized fulfillment warehouses, empowering you to unlock peak efficiency and deliver a seamless customer experience.


Streamlining order fulfillment: optimizing fulfillment warehouse zone layout

Effective order picking within fulfillment warehouses hinges on meticulous zone organization. Strategic placement of these distinct areas facilitates the optimal flow of goods and personnel, resulting in expedited order completion and reduced errors.

The significance of optimized warehouse zones within the burgeoning fulfillment market cannot be understated. According to Statista, the global industry reached a value of USD 427 billion in 2023 and is projected to surge to USD 633 billion by 2028. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of individual fulfillment zones and their impact on the picking process is crucial for achieving operational excellence.

Goods receipt zone in fulfillment warehouse: improved unloading and delivery control

The goods receipt area is the first stage of the warehousing process and is important for its efficiency. The further flow of goods and timely execution of orders depend on efficient unloading and control of deliveries.

Logistics specialists list several of the best methods to improve the receipt of goods, e.g.,

  • Accurate delivery planning

It allows for efficient and accurate determination of delivery schedules and unloading dates. Thanks to this, we can optimally use human and equipment resources.

  • Use of modern technologies

Thanks to modern technologies, it is possible to introduce automation of the goods receipt process. For this purpose, RIFD systems are available to help, significantly shorting the unloading time and minimizing errors.

  • Proper organization of the zone

This is a crucial activity that supports a quick goods receipt process. It involves allocating appropriate space for unloading, inspecting, and sorting goods.

  • Accurate delivery control

It involves verifying the compliance of the delivered goods with the order in terms of quantity, quality, and condition of the packaging. Such control is necessary for further stages of storage.

The innovative solutions for better operations in goods receipt zone

Automation is steadily taking hold in the goods receipt area, offering substantial reductions in unloading time and heightened control accuracy. Companies are increasingly adopting well-planned automation solutions to streamline this critical stage of warehousing.

WMS systems are gaining traction as well, seamlessly integrating the goods receipt process with other storage activities. This enhances overall visibility and control across the supply chain.

What is more, lean management principles are being applied to optimize goods receipt operations, eliminating waste and enhancing process efficiency.

Among the key technological innovations RFID systems enable automatic identification of goods, facilitating rapid data reading and transmission, powered by embedded chips.

Pick-by-voice forklifts utilize voice commands to guide warehouse personnel, directly connected to WMS systems for real-time task instructions. This improves picking accuracy and employee productivity.

WMS software provides comprehensive inventory visibility and order fulfillment management, encompassing the entire supply chain from distribution centers to store shelves.

In practice, the use of new technologies means:

  • Faster unloading and delivery control
  • Fewer errors
  • Increased productivity
  • Better control of stock levels
  • Higher customer satisfaction

The goods receipt area is a crucial element of the fulfillment warehouse and significantly impacts the efficiency of the entire process. At OEX Fulfilio, we adapt to best practices and modern technologies that allow for improved unloading and delivery control, translating into faster order fulfillment and fewer errors.

Goods receipt zone in fulfillment warehouse: improved unloading and delivery control



Storage zone in fulfillment warehouse: optimal placement of goods for different picking strategies

The storage area is the central point of the fulfillment warehouse and is crucial to the efficiency of the picking process. Appropriate arrangement of goods in this zone allows for optimizing picking routes and shortening the order fulfillment time.

To arrange goods optimally, it is worth considering:

  • Conducting an ABC analysis

It involves dividing goods into categories A, B, and C according to the picking frequency, allowing optimal distribution in the warehouse.

  • Selecting an appropriate storage strategy

Depending on the specificity of the goods and the company’s needs, various strategies can be used, such as FIFO, LIFO, or FEFO.

  • Use of shelving and high storage systems

Properly selected shelves ensure optimal use of warehouse space and facilitate access to goods (e.g., high-storage shelves)

More and more companies use automation in the storage area, e.g., pallet robots, which significantly increase efficiency and safety. Pick-by-light systems, which guide picking workers to the correct goods, are also becoming popular. Another significant trend is the use of lean management in the storage area, which allows for eliminating waste and optimizing processes.

In practice, the activities mentioned earlier allow for faster order completion, reduced errors with increased productivity, as well as better use of warehouse space, which in turn contributes to lower storage costs.

The storage area is a key element of the fulfillment warehouse and significantly impacts the picking process’s efficiency. As part of OEX Fulfilio‘s operations, we focus on continuous development, which is why we adapt innovations to the requirements of our customers to meet their most essential needs.

Storage zone in fulfillment warehouse: optimal placement of goods for different picking strategies



Picking zone in fulfillment warehouse: ergonomic workstations and efficient picking systems

The picking zone is the center of the fulfillment warehouse, where orders are picked for customers. Pickers’ comfort as well as the speed and accuracy of order fulfillment depend on the ergonomics of workstations and the efficiency of picking systems in this zone.

A workstation’s outstanding ergonomics is determined by:

  • Providing ergonomic workstations

Appropriate equipment at workstations, such as adjustable tables and chairs, anti-fatigue mats, and weight-lifting support systems, protects employees against injuries and fatigue.

  • Choosing the right picking system

Various systems, such as pick-by-line, pick-by-zone, or pick-to-tote, help to complete orders quickly and efficiently.

  • Motivation and training of pickers

Appropriate motivation and regular training of picking employees translate into their efficiency and accuracy.

It is worth mentioning here that more and more companies are investing in ergonomic workstations for pickers. This allows for a significant reduction in sickness absence and increased productivity. Picking support systems, such as head-up display glasses that display information about the goods being picked, is also becoming popular. Another significant trend is the use of lean management in the picking zone, which allows for eliminating waste and optimizing processes.

Many entrepreneurs praise the above solutions because they enable quick order picking, eliminating most errors and thus lowering picking costs. Warehouse employees report increased productivity and higher work comfort.

The picking zone is a key element of the fulfillment warehouse and significantly impacts customer satisfaction. That is why OEX Fulfilio customers rely on modern solutions in our warehouses to deliver products to the target customer efficiently and quickly.

Picking zone in fulfillment warehouse: ergonomic workstations and efficient picking systems



Shipping zone in fulfillment warehouse: packing and preparing orders for shipment

The shipping zone is the last stage of the order-picking process in the fulfillment warehouse. Timely deliveries and customer satisfaction depend on efficient packaging and preparation of orders for shipment.

To improve the process of shipping goods, it is worth considering several good practices that will allow you to perform the last stage of the picking process faster and more efficiently and find sources of savings.

  • Matching packaging to the size and specificity of the goods

Choosing appropriate packaging ensures the safety of goods during transport and protects them against damage.

  • Use of automation

Packaging process automation, e.g., using packaging machines, significantly increases efficiency.

  • Cooperation with courier companies

Choosing the right courier company and negotiating favorable terms of cooperation ensures quick and safe delivery of orders to customers.

It is worth noting that more and more companies are investing in the automation of the packaging process. Consequently, this allows for a significant increase in efficiency and reduction of costs. Moreover, ecological packaging, which aligns with sustainable development trends, is becoming popular. Furthermore, the trend supporting the use of labeling systems is also exciting and worth attention.

The above methods allow for faster packaging and preparation of orders for shipment. This has a direct impact on fewer errors and better protection of goods. The result is increased employee productivity and higher customer satisfaction. We record up to 99.7% satisfied OEX Fulfilio customers in error-free processing and shipment of goods.

Shipping zone in fulfillment warehouse: packing and preparing orders for shipment



Fulfillement warehouse equipment

Fulfillment of warehouse equipment is a crucial factor influencing its efficiency and effectiveness. Appropriate shelves, storage systems, forklifts, internal transport devices, and IT systems are necessary to manage goods and the order-picking process efficiently.

Shelving and storage systems

The choice of shelves and storage systems depends on the type and specificity of the goods stored. Popular solutions include pallet racks, high-bay racks, flow racks, push-back racks, carousels, and container systems.

Companies that sell high-rotation goods often choose high-bay racks to store products. Pallet racks are used for goods with lower turnover.

OEX Fulfilio’s offer includes not only pallet racks but also modern mezzanines with an automatic product collection system.

Forklifts and internal transport equipment

Forklifts are essential devices for transporting pallets and other heavy loads. In addition to forklifts, fulfillment warehouses utilize other internal transport equipment, such as hand trucks, lifts, platforms, and conveyors.

In many warehouses, electric forklifts are employed to transport pallets of goods to the picking area. Hand trucks, on the other hand, are used to pick smaller orders. Notably, Amazon utilizes drones to transport goods in its warehouses, while Walmart is currently testing autonomous forklifts for order picking.

Fulfillment warehouse equipment



IT systems

Warehouse management IT systems (WMS) are necessary for efficient management of warehouse stocks, the order picking process and the shipment of goods. WMS integrates all areas of the warehouse and allows for process optimization.

WMS systems are used, among others, to track inventory levels, generate picking lists, and manage the shipment of orders. According to a report by Gartner, the global WMS market will grow by 10% in 2024.

Picking strategies in fulfillment warehouse

An order picking strategy is crucial to warehouse efficiency and effectiveness. The choice of the appropriate strategy depends on the nature of the goods, the size of the warehouse and the type of orders.

Inventory rotation methods

  • FIFO (First In, First Out): The first delivered goods are the first to be completed for orders. This method is ideal for goods with a short shelf life.
  • LIFO (Last In, First Out): The last delivered goods are the first to be completed for orders. This method can be beneficial for goods with a long shelf life because it reduces storage costs.
  • FEFO (First Expired, First Out): Goods with the shortest shelf life are picked for orders first. This method is essential for perishable goods.

The two most important picking strategies

There are two basic picking strategies. The first one is wave. As the name suggests, it takes place in “waves”, i.e. several or a dozen orders at a time. This allows you to optimize picking routes and shorten order fulfillment times.

Zone picking refers to the organization of the warehouse itself. It is divided into zones and picking takes place within a given zone. This method is ideal for warehouses with a large area and a large variety of goods.

Picking support

Regardless of the picking strategy, systems supporting shipment-picking processes are also worth considering. The choice may fall on:

  • Pick-by-light systems

These systems guide workers to the right goods using lights. This allows for a significant increase in picking efficiency and reduction of errors.

  • Pick-by-voice systems

These systems use voice recognition technology to direct pickers to the right items. This allows for hands-free operation, which increases efficiency and safety.

Picking strategies in fulfillment warehouse



Safety and ergonomics in fulfillment warehouse

Ensuring safe and ergonomic working conditions is crucial for the health and comfort of warehouse employees and the efficiency of the entire warehousing process.

Work safety

To ensure optimal and safe working conditions, we can distinguish several significant aspects and good practices apart from the apparent knowledge of occupational health and safety rules.

These include, among others, occupational risk assessment. Regular identification of hazards in the warehouse allows the implementation of appropriate protection and accident prevention measures. Therefore, it is essential to train employees in occupational health and safety frequently and to provide them with proper personal protective equipment, such as clothing and protective equipment (including helmets, safety glasses, protective gloves, and so on). In turn, ensuring sufficient employee protection is easier with safe warehouse procedures. Moreover, developing and implementing such procedures for all stages of work in the warehouse minimizes the risk of accidents.

Ergonomics of workstations

Maintaining the ergonomics of workstations is a vital element of employees’ daily routines. It is primarily about adapting the workplace to a person’s physiological and psychological characteristics, which helps reduce fatigue and the risk of injuries. Another element is using ergonomic tools and devices, i.e., forklifts with suspended seats, lifts, and handles, which make work easier and protect against injuries. We also must remember appropriate lighting and ventilation, thanks to which we will ensure the comfort and health of employees.

Safety and ergonomics in fulfillment warehouse




Effective space organization in a fulfillment warehouse is crucial for efficiency and profitability. A well-designed warehouse allows faster order picking, fewer errors, and lower costs.

Undoubtedly, proper warehouse organization is beneficial not only for the company but also for the customer. It allows, among other things, faster order completion, fewer errors, lower storage costs, higher work comfort, better use of warehouse space, and increased customer satisfaction.

To ensure proper optimization of the picking process, it is worth implementing the following actions:

  • Continuous monitoring and analysis of warehouse processes
  • Implementation of modern technologies and automation
  • Investing in ergonomic solutions
  • Training employees in effective picking
  • Cooperation with experienced consulting companies

Effective space organization in a fulfillment warehouse is an ongoing process that requires constant improvement.

If you want to support your business and are looking for a suitable fulfillment partner, contact us.

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