The integration of put walls into fulfillment processes can vary widely, often depending on the mix of technologies available and business case of the specific operation. The basic idea is that demand is aggregated via the upstream picking process, and then items are distributed to the appropriate cubby to consolidate orders at the put wall.
Put wall utilization is typically determined by the method of upstream picking and/or sortation used in the facility. Whether DCs rely on operator-to-goods batch picking, disparate zone picking processes, or opt for the mechanized precision of an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) for goods-to-operator workflow, put walls serve as points of demand consolidation to drive order fulfillment efficiencies. Common scenarios include:
- Batch pick to put wall
- Zone picking to put wall
- AS/RS (goods-to-operator) to put wall
- Pick to unit sorter, then to put wall
- Break-pack, cross-dock via put wall