Goods-to-person technologies can revolutionize each picking by turning traditional warehouse processes on their head. Instead of pickers walking miles each day to find and pick products, a goods-to-person system delivers the right product at the right time to pickers who remain stationary. The result can be an increase in picking productivity, faster order cycle times, improved accuracy, reduced fatigue, and lower labor costs.

Making the Move to Goods-to-Person Picking

The path from person-to-goods to goods-to-person picking isn’t always fast or straightforward. There are different technologies to consider, design constraints, and implementation can be time-consuming and disruptive.

Third-party logistics providers have emerged as a key partner in helping organizations make this transition. While some 3PLs have avoided goods-to-person technologies due to the complexities and upfront costs associated with these systems, others have embraced them.

DHLis one who has embraced this paradigm, developing the vendor relationships, operational expertise and financial models required to optimize the deployment and operation of goods-to-person automation. As a technology-agnostic supply chain leader, DHL Supply Chain offers a deeper technology toolbox than any single automation provider or integrator and has the depth of resources to ensure the right system is deployed in the right application to maximize value for our customers as efficiently as possible.

DHL Supply Chain Support for Goods-to-Person Automation

Due to our scale and focus on accelerating supply chain digitalization, DHL has established close working relationships with major automation vendors that extend from product development through installation. We also capture our design and implementation experience with each system in a detailed playbook that streamlines processes and ensures a high-quality deployment. These are just some of the capabilities that lead us to deliver exceptional value at every stage of the goods-to-person lifecycle.

  • Consideration of alternate approaches: Goods-to-person technologies deliver strong value in some applications but not in all. DHL Supply Chain can help you evaluate goods-to-person picking against alternate approaches such as robot-assisted picking and make the right choice for your business.
  • Technology and vendor selection: The goods-to-person technology landscape is complex and constantly evolving. DHL works with multiple goods-to-person technology vendors, each with their own strengths. This allows us to match the right technology to the application based on multiple factors. We also closely monitor emerging technology companies to identify new solutions that show promise, work with those companies to ensure their technologies meet the unique requirements of material handling applications, and aid in bringing those solutions to market. That’s one of the reasons DHL Supply Chain has been a successful early adopter of several popular warehouse technologies.
  • Design and configuration expertise: Even the best solution can fail to deliver expected value if it isn’t configured properly or effectively integrated with other warehouse systems. Our experience managing multiple goods-to-person implementations has resulted in well-defined processes for hardware design and software integration. Our deep supply chain expertise also brings unmatched value to goods-to-person deployments. We not only optimize the design of the goods-to-person system but take a holistic engineering approach to ensure maximum throughput.
  • Implementation management: One of the challenges with goods-to-person technologies is that deployment can be time consuming and disrupt warehouse operations for months. DHL takes on the burden of managing the deployment and oversees the transition to keep products flowing during system implementation.
  • Ongoing optimization: Because they represent such a radical change in warehouse processes, there are typically opportunities to improve throughput and productivity post installation. Through our focus on continuous improvement, we combine data with our operational expertise to drive process improvements that maximize the throughput of the system.

Accelerating Digitalization

DHL has taken a leadership role in accelerating digitalization across the supply chain and goods-to-person technologies are no exception. From shuttles to cube-based AS/RS systems to mobile robots, we are successfully designing, implementing and operating goods-to-person automation that improves picking speed, productivity, and accuracy. For more information, visit