It turns out that it is not only Jack Bauer who does and wants everything "within the hour". When with a client, www.countryattire.com, last week, they had about 1,000 orders in 1 day and the order picking systems currently used struggle to keep up with the surging demand.
Leaving the site after the 1 day mission to help improve their order picking systems, we started to question how long should be the maximum time before the order is picked after receiving it via the Web? The benchmark, Amazon.
Findings from Amazon distribution centre show that their order picking systems make sure orders are picked within the hour, ready for despatch. Of course, the challenge is to have no more staff but loads more orders picked per day; that's where the order to pick to despatch system has to be slick.
Our new mission is now "to put in warehouse management systems that enable 100% of orders to be picked within the hour of receiving them, without increasing staff". Good news, there is a simple report within most systems to see how you are performing.