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Goods-to-Person (GTP)

Goods-to-Person (GTP) operations use automation to bring goods from storage or staging areas to operators. GTP is often used in distribution to bring merchandise to pick and pack stations, and in manufacturing to bring raw materials, parts, or equipment to operators working an assembly line.

GTP systems might use a combination of specialized racking, shuttles, AGVs and AMRs, vertical lift modules, or fully automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RSs) to bring anything from small pieces to pallets to the operator. Compared to conventional, person-to-goods operations, GTP systems offer improved throughput, accuracy, safety, and efficiency.

Benefits of goods-to-person systems

Rapid implementation and start-up

Good-to-person (GTP) solutions have been on the market for decades. But with the recent exponential growth of e-commerce — and the parallel need to fill more orders more quickly than ever — the industry is constantly inventing new ways to meet the demand for automated solutions.

The result is a diverse market of automated solutions, many of which can be implemented quickly and with little impact on a facility’s ongoing operations. Many solutions are modular and scalable, allowing facilities to invest in automation that can be quickly implemented and that best targets their most crucial pain points. As their investment helps their capacity grow, they can continue to scale up their investment in automation by targeting the processes that will most benefit.

This allows for a facility to grow its capacity while achieving realistic ROIs.

Significantly lower operating costs than manual alternatives

Introducing automated solutions usually represents a capital expenditure. However, the benefits of implementing the right solutions for a facility means lower operating expenses that will, in the long run, outweigh the costs of the investment.

Automated or semi-automated GTP solutions can lower order cycle times, increase throughput, and improve sequencing and balance the loads across the facility. Because they eliminate an operator’s travel through a facility, they reduce the dependence on labor and decrease wasted motion and the number of touches per order.

Increased productivity and efficiency

In a person-to-goods operation, operators spend the majority of their time traveling through the warehouse, which makes picking the largest operational expense for most facilities. Removing operators from the low-value task of pulling goods from storage removes them from a slow and injury-prone job.

Bringing goods to the operator also allows a facility to re-think how it’s organized. In high throughput applications, goods can be stored as much as 50% more densely in automated systems than in conventional systems. And workstations can be made highly functional as well as redundant or specialized. If a station isn’t being used for a shift, it can simply be closed without affecting the rest of the operation.

Reduced labor requirements

In a conventional warehousing operation, travel to and from the pick face accounts for the majority of the operator’s time. By implementing a goods-to-person system, you deliver goods directly to the operator’s workstation and eliminate this major source of wasted motion, as well as the extra touches manual picking requires.

This makes your picking operations much more efficient while also increasing order accuracy. Depending on the exact nature of your goods-to-person system, it can also increase your storage density, your overall inventory controls, and even the safety of your workers. Not only are they removed from traveling a warehouse also used by forklifts and other machinery, but they also have items delivered to them at an ergonomic height that reduces overuse injuries.

Integratable with WMS system

The market has a wide variety of goods-to-person solutions and each operates using their own hardware and software. You need to know that, whichever GTP solution you choose, it will interface with your other systems.

A warehouse management system (WMS) like ScottTech PickPro® can both integrate with your third-party GTP system, and also control and optimize the other components of your distribution. Because ScottTech PickPro® is a cloud-based, system-agnostic WMS, it interfaces seamlessly with, and helps optimize, all aspects of your warehouse operations.

Applications of Goods-to-Person Systems

High-density storage

In conventional picking operations, static racking is often a universal solution to storage. Half-pallets are slotted into bays capable of holding full pallets or even multiple pallets. Shelves are put at the operator’s level, but void space is left between the goods and the racking above. While these shelves can be adjusted, it’s a labor intensive process that can’t be done for every box or pallet in the warehouse.

Many GTP systems, in contrast, can eliminate void space, saving between 30% and 90% of the overall footprint compared to traditional storage. Vertical lift modules (VLMs), for example, know the dimensions of the goods being stored and automatically slot them in the smallest possible space. If a box or good is picked from a tray — changing the overall dimensions — the system can detect this and slot the tray in a different space that minimizes its footprint.

Fast-moving SKUs

In high-throughput applications — whether meeting seasonal peaks for a few items or consistent demand in large distribution centers — GTP systems can help hectic and confusing workflows become more stable and efficient. As orders come in, the system can automatically determine how many goods to send to which workstation, and send them without interference from the operator.

From the operator’s perspective, instead of walking to the same pick face again and again — and potentially increasing their walking distance by miles per shift during periods of high demand — goods are delivered to their workstations at a steady pace and at an ergonomic height.

Small pick quantities

With the exponential growth of e-commerce and business-to-consumer order fulfillment, engineering economy into the picking process has become essential. Picking and packing small quantities or individual pieces is more time consuming and labor intensive than, for example, simply rolling full pallets onto a trailer for a retail store.

Especially as a facility’s throughput increases, automating as many of the processes as possible in the sortation, picking, and packing of goods becomes essential. Automation enables fulfillment centers to meet the speeds, accuracies, and efficiencies their customers expect.

Distribution operations

In a fast-paced distribution center, automating the picking process with a GTP system can be an integral part of the basic operations of the facility. As other processes that take place in a distribution center — including product mixing, cross docking, sortation, packaging, and distribution to business and residential customers — become automated, an automated picking process will enable the proper sequencing of all the business’s other moving parts.

For facilities that are not yet automated, the picking process can be an efficient first place to start. Person-to-goods picking is an unnecessary source of increased order cycle times and error rates, while also being one of the least efficient — and most easily rectified — operations in most facilities.

Flexibility for expansion or changing requirements

For high-throughput facilities, and especially for high-throughput facilities that are just being built or remodeled, fixed solutions like sortation conveyors, vertical lift modules, and automated storage and retrieval systems can offer the most cost effective solutions on the market.

For facilities that are seeing growth, that have seasonal peaks, or that need to incorporate automation with minimal impact on their ongoing operations, modular and scalable GTP systems are available. By identifying the most beneficial use-case in a facility, and targeting modular solutions to solve the biggest pain points, facilities can introduce cost-effective solutions that can scale up as their business grows.

Key considerations when working with a solutions partner for goods-to-person (GTP) systems

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.

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.

Can you contact customer support 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.

Goods-to-person solutions to consider for your inbound handling

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, control AGVs as well as AMRs, 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.

In GTP operations, PickPro® can enable all of the sequencing and load balancing needed for an effective operation.

Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs)

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.


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.

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 Module

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.


Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) use sensors to detect their surroundings, which they navigate safely and independently. Efficient material handlers, they are programmed to safely follow the most functional path through a facility. They can be integrated into a facility in a matter of weeks with minimal negative effect on ongoing processes and without changing the facility’s infrastructure.

AMRs are equipped with a range of features that make them safe for operators to work with and around, including audible alarms, visual signals, and emergency stops. Depending on how they are tooled, they can interact with conveyor transfer stations to enhance both inbound and outbound processes, can lift pallets either by forks or at a pick and drop (P&D) stand, or can carry small parts or pieces in totes.

Because of their modular nature, they can be easily integrated into many facilities as part of a GTP solution.

Advance your goods-to-person picking operations.

Schedule a consultation.

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