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Automated Order Fulfillment Systems and Solutions

Depending on the technology implemented, order fulfillment solutions create efficient processes that can affect many aspects of order management, including capacity, accuracy, and customer satisfaction. Order fulfillment covers everything between the time a customer orders a product to when they receive it, including picking, routing, packing, label printing, shipping, and delivery.

Studies show that customers expect these processes to be transparent. They want to know where in the order fulfillment cycle their product is. They want to have delivery options, including paying more for fast delivery. And they expect the delivery to happen on time. Failing to meet these expectations has been shown to result in a loss of repeat business.

At PeakLogix, we’re a brand agnostic material handling systems integrator that specializes in innovative, bespoke automated solutions. By partnering with us, you can increase the consistency and efficiency of your distribution processes, from inbound receiving to outbound shipments and everything in between. We deliver customized solutions tailored to our partner’s needs that address issues ranging from ergonomics and employee safety to fully automated warehousing solutions.

Considerations for order fulfillment systems and solutions

Facility footprint

As a best practice, warehousing operations should consider a review of their current storage systems when the available space in their warehouse facility consistently falls below 15%, or when current systems lack proper organization and mistakes frequently occur.

For many facilities, expanding the physical footprint or completely relocating aren’t economically viable. Facilities that are located in dense urban areas usually lack the space to expand, and affordable real estate is too far from the consumer base to meet expectations for fast, cheap delivery.

Instead, facilities are looking to increase their storage density and fulfillment throughput by implementing automated or semi-automated solutions.

Software integration

To enable efficient processes and dense storage, companies need software that is capable of ordering the right amount of goods, of tracking goods as they are slotted, of receiving orders from customers, and of synchronizing all of the processes that happen as product is picked, packed, and shipped.

Proprietary software, like ScottTech PickPro®, can act as a Warehouse Management System (WMS), Warehouse Controls System (WCS), or Warehouse Executive System (WES), depending on the operational need. System agnostic solutions like ScottTech PickPro® can be integrated into existing systems and work seamlessly with third party hardware. They bring transparency into warehousing operations and enable real-time item tracking and coordinating of all of the processes needed to move product through your facility.

Product movement and SKUs

As well as the size and weight of an item, its SKU velocity – the frequency at which it’s picked – plays a large part in determining the kind of storage it needs and where it should be located in a warehouse.

The fastest moving items should be placed in the most convenient place possible for both put away and retrieval, and should be stored in a way that allows for efficient processing. It isn’t enough to block stack your three fastest movers in a staging area just outside of receiving – inevitably, the item you need will at some point be at the bottom of a stack.

Instead, storage solutions that are sufficient to the task should be integrated into the processes. For some, that may mean a system of pallet flow racking. For others, it may mean a system that’s more fully automated and can handle cases or eaches.

On-site storage needs

Ensuring that your storage is capable of handling your products is paramount in creating efficient order fulfillment solutions. Simple block stacking or stacking frames may be fine for low throughput facilities dealing with pallet loads. But as demand and SKU counts increase, storage solutions will have to improve. Double-deep pallet racks, drive-in racks, and pallet-flow and push-back racks are all economical upgrades for pallet loads.

For dealing with eaches or other small goods, companies can look to rack bins – storage containers designed to fit in racks – or shelves for economical, low-throughput solutions. As demand increases, companies should consider solutions that can pack goods more densely and allow for more efficient put away and retrieval, like carousels or vertical lift modules.

Hangers are another useful storage method. Automated systems can store small parts or pieces in bags that can be efficiently hung on moveable racks for dense storage.

Ergonomic picking and packing

Designing facilities to have ergonomic workstations increases productivity and safety. Properly set up workstations enable operators to work more quickly for more of their shift, while also increasing both their job satisfaction and overall quality of life.

Waiting to implement ergonomic workstations will lead to increased workers compensation claims as operators suffer overuse and related injuries.

Signs that workstations should be more ergonomic include a workforce that:

  • Suffers from joint aches caused by bending, lifting, or other repetitive motion
  • Appears disengaged, has poor morale, and frequently calls in
  • Slows down drastically over the course of a shift due to fatigue
  • Feels too tired after a shift to spend time with their friends and family outside of work

Advantages to order fulfillment systems and solutions

Eliminate errors

Implementing the right order fulfillment systems and solutions for your operations can all but eliminate errors in a number of ways. As orders grow increasingly complex – coming from an omnichannel retail presence, pulling from multiple warehouses, and involving either a drop-shipping or third party delivery service – the chance for mistakes increases.

At the warehouse level, implementing process automation and order fulfillment software can synchronize systems in ways that eliminate bottlenecks, can bring real-time tracking of both items and orders, and can integrate with both suppliers and third-party logistics providers.

At the level of individual workflows, supplementing operators with automation like wearable scanners, or pick-to-voice or augmented reality headsets, can increase order accuracy upwards of 99% while also increasing efficiency. And fully automating these tasks yields even better results.

Streamline operational workflows

Order fulfillment software can streamline operational workflows in a number of important ways. The right software solution can pull orders from both physical and online sales channels and funnel them through the appropriate systems for your operations. They can automatically decide which of your warehouses to pull merchandise from based on its proximity to the end user, as well your capacity and inventory levels.

After receiving an order and funneling it into the right channel for you, the right software solution will also synchronize the process of picking, packing, and shipping.

Remove the need for paperwork

Order fulfillment solutions are part of the process of digitization. They use cloud-based systems to automate processes like communicating between departments and facilities, recording transactions, and sending orders for picking, packing, and shipping inventory.

This eliminates the need for paper in many areas, including order processing but also in scheduling, data entry, inventory tracking, and more.

Simplify complex orders with advanced rules

As orders grow increasingly complex, coming from an omnichannel sales funnel and possibly including everything from perishables to hazardous chemicals, implementing a system that can automate as many of these processes as possible will both increase efficiency and decrease errors.

The right software solution can enable you to create advanced rules that simplify these processes, determining:

  • How to process, pack, and ship certain products that came in the same order, such as foods and detergents
  • How to handle orders that include special delivery instructions or personalized messages
  • How to process hazardous goods, including the appropriate labeling and shipping requirements, as well as shipping with specialist couriers
  • How to pack delicate and heavy items in a single box

Important considerations when evaluating a systems integration partner for an order fulfillment systems implementation

Are they consultative?

When partnering with a systems integrator, one of the risks material handling companies face is trying to work with a partner that promises more than they can deliver. The integration partner smiles through consultations and then, behind the scenes, desperately tries to invent the technology they need to deliver on their promises. They miss deadline after deadline until their client reaches a point of no return – they’re willing to justify their costs by seeing any kind of benefit from their investment. Even if those benefits are well below what was originally planned and agreed to.

PeakLogix is not that kind of partner. We are fully consultative, and prioritize your goals and needs. We undertake a thorough discovery process so that we understand both the roadblocks you face now and the goals you have for the future. Our solutions are designed to help you move past your roadblocks, and scale with your business growth. We don’t offer solutions in a top-down fashion that refuses input and denies questions, but collaborate with you and provide the recommendations we believe will best suit your needs.

Are they vendor agnostic?

Vendor agnostic solutions providers like PeakLogix don’t push their favorite suppliers onto their customers. Instead, we work with our suppliers to find and test the applications for which their product is the best fit. We don’t pitch untested products as viable solutions, but rather look for the best solution that already has a track record of solid performance.

Being open to integrating the best solutions on the market — regardless of their manufacturer — means we can truly optimize solutions for our clients, and quickly adjust to changing demands.

Do they develop tailored solutions for your unique challenges?

Being a consultative, vendor agnostic firm means that we look at every project with fresh eyes. Yes, we have decades of experience that inform our decisions and help us quickly find solutions to problems — but we don’t try to force the same solution on every client.

Instead, we work with our clients to discover both their pain points and goals. And our approach often leads to two positive outcomes. First, the discovery of unknown root causes to problems that allow us to address systemic issues with solutions of a customized design. And second, the application of scalable solutions that will both meet today’s challenges, and scale in ways the company needs to meet its future goals.

Can they scale to your needs?

The changing urban landscape, an aging workforce, the large-scale adoption of ecommerce, and the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning have created challenges and brought opportunities that are continuing to change industries in every sector. Businesses need solutions that are more responsive than ever, with the ability to scale both up and down to meet a company’s growth as well as periodic changes in demand.

PeakLogix has been solving the material-handling needs of companies of every size, and in many industries, for over 30 years. We are dedicated to our own continuous improvement because we know that designing systems that will adapt to your changing business needs means being knowledgeable about changes in the industry. By offering adaptive solutions where appropriate, we bring added value to our partners.

Are they available when you need them?

PeakLogix started in 1989 as a material handling and systems integrator serving clients across the Mid-Atlantic. Over the past 30 years, we’ve completed thousands of successful projects and have grown to become a thought leader in the industry and a national provider of innovative solutions, software systems, and automated technologies.

From the beginning of our working relationships with clients, our team works to discover your goals and challenges. We collaborate with you to develop solutions that meet your needs today and also lay the groundwork for your future growth. When your project is complete, we offer services including 24/7 system support, operator training, and maintenance and repairs.

At PeakLogix, our partnerships are our priority.

What logistics, automation, and distribution solutions should you consider for your order fulfillment systems and solutions?

WMS Software (PickPro®)

ScottTech PickPro® is our proprietary Warehouse Management Software (WMS). It’s a fully independent, system-agnostic, web-based software solution that can control all aspects of distribution, and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of any material handling company.

ScottTech PickPro® can serve as a standalone solution, or integrate with your ERP. It can incorporate AS/RS equipment and all the peripherals, track and manage inventory of both parts and goods, and layer seamlessly with your software architecture to provide granular feedback on, and control of, your operations.

Horizontal Carousels

Horizontal Carousels are a cost-effective way to quickly add storage capacity and increase put away and retrieval accuracy and efficiency. They are ideal for high throughput facilities and high speed picking, and can increase storage density by up to 75%.

Horizontal Carousels are generally arranged into pods or zones. Multiple carousels in a pod can create variable access points to create an efficient, worker-friendly layout that can triple average pick rates.

Pick to Light

Pick-to-light is a cost-effective solution that streamlines warehouse picking operations and increases picking speed, accuracy, and productivity. Especially in omnichannel fulfillment centers, pick-to-light solutions enable the reliable processing of high numbers of SKUs, while increasing efficiency.

Pick-to-light solutions are often a good entry point for a warehouse’s automation transformation. They can work as standalone systems, or integrate with Warehouse Management Software, enabling them to easily scale with a company’s growth.

Barcode Technologies

Barcode labels and scanners were first introduced in the retail sector in 1974, where they increased grocery tellers’ speeds and accuracies, and helped keep more accurate inventory counts.

For the same reasons, barcode technology is an integral part of many high-throughput distribution centers. Combined with a robust WMS and smart technologies, barcode scanning also enables real-time visibility into the movement of goods throughout a facility.

Print and Apply

Print and apply labeling reduces the number of touches, labor, and costs associated with shipping processes, improving shipping accuracy and warehouse throughput. Print and apply allows a facility to process hundreds or even thousands of packages an hour, all with accurate weight, measurements, and freight costs.

Shipping manifestos and labels can be automatically printed and applied to a variety of packaging materials, shapes, and sizes. They can be combined with accumulation conveyors and other automation to further increase shipping efficiencies.

Robotic Palletizers

Robotic palletizing increases the accuracy, consistency, and efficiency of palletizing operations. This not only increases throughput, but also lowers shipping fees and optimizes the use of space in a warehouse by palletizing items more compactly.

Automation can eliminate, or at least reduce, the manual labor associated with palletizing, freeing that labor to move on to more value-adding and rewarding tasks. With the right end-of-arm tool, they can handle everything from the heaviest boxes and pails to the thinnest slip sheets and dunnage.


Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RSs) optimize productivity and operational throughput through the combination of data-driven optimization, warehouse management software, and labor reallocation. Especially in ecommerce, the manual storage and retrieval of small pieces can drain a facility’s profitability. By automating this non-value-adding task, companies can increase both profitability and employee morale.

Any business that deals with the movement and storage of physical goods needs fast, accurate, and efficient storage and retrieval systems. AS/RSs integrate with a facility’s WMS to allow for increased throughput in decanting, reracking, and conveyance of goods; expanded floorspace through the maximization of vertical storage; reduced or avoided capital expenses related to expansions and reallocations; and lowered labor costs.


Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) enhance productivity and workflow in both manufacturing and distribution facilities. AGVs help streamline processes, decrease delays, and move heavy, bulky materials efficiently and safely.

Guided vehicles use a number of navigational methods, tailored to your facility’s needs. They can be customized and programmed to follow the paths in a facility that are safest for staff and most efficient. They can be an integral part of a facility’s material handling and also programmed for complementary tasks such as trash collection or other housekeeping tasks.

Vertical Lift Modules

Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) are ideal for expanding a facility’s footprint by maximizing vertical storage while also improving throughput rates and reducing labor costs. Vertical lift modules can be ideal for small parts and pieces, as they use inserters and extractors to automatically move trays of goods in and out of compact storage. They can also work with cases, totes, and large items.

VLMs provide user-level access for restricted goods, have basic user controls, and integrate with existing software management systems. Because of their small footprint, they optimize vertical space while freeing up valuable floor space.

Pick Modules

Pick modules use pallet or carton flow racks to push eaches, cartons, totes, or containers through a facility. PeakLogix integrates a variety of pick modules that can be tailored to your facility’s needs.

Pick modules can allow operators to pick small parts quickly and reliably, increasing speed and accuracy in assembly, manufacturing, or distribution processes.


Conveyors are a time-tested means of efficiently moving material of all shapes and sizes, from heavy pallets to fine powders.

Simple roller conveyor systems can be used to help employee ergonomics and lower the risk of injury. Energy efficient motorized drive rollers (MDRs) can be spaced throughout a long conveyor, creating accumulation zones. The speed and even direction of MDRs can be controlled with optical sensors.

More complicated systems, like sortation conveyors with pick and divert technology, are part of highly complex ecommerce fulfillment centers.

Sortation Conveyor Systems

Automated sortation is the process of first identifying and then diverting items on a conveyance system. The conveyor is connected with the facility’s Warehouse Management System (WMS) and, depending on the system, can identify items by weight, color, shape or identifying tags.

Conveyors might use a number of sortation systems to get product to the right destination, including pushers, paddles, shoes, cross belts, and more. In the right applications, automated sortation systems are both faster and more accurate than manual sortation and picking.


Especially in large warehouse environments, deep lane, high density pallet storage is key to an efficient process that maximizes pallet density. PALLET RUNNER® can be configured to operate either with both first-in, last-out (FIFO) and last-in, first-out (LIFO) inventory models, making it ideal for nearly all large scale inventory models.

With the semi-automated PALLET RUNNER® storage system, you can store more while optimizing the flow of your operations. With deep lane storage, each item has a discrete channel in the racking system, which makes both put away and retrieval more efficient and keeps items properly rotated.

Schedule a consultation.

Tell us about your needs and we’ll have someone contact you to talk about the various automated material handling solutions for the automated order fulfillment systems and solutions