Sainsbury’s picks orders in stores with Strongpoint

British food retailer Sainsbury’s has selected Strongpoint’s order picking solution. Software from the Norwegian specialist supports store employees picking online grocery orders.

Sainsbury’s picks most of its food home deliveries manually in stores. However, for e-commerce orders in the capital, London, the company opened a dedicated fulfilment centre in the east of the city at the end of 2016. With this step, it wanted to cope with the growing demand for food deliveries in the metropolis.


Strongpoint’s order picking application runs in the cloud and is designed to enable employees to pick goods more quickly and accurately. Using the solution, employees can pick 240 to 300 items per hour, according to the technology provider. This is around four times as efficient as traditional pen and paper picking. Strongpoint has developed the solution together with leading retailers over a period of twenty years. Users include ICA and Coop Sweden.

Software optimises route navigation

Employees use a mobile device for order picking. The system automatically determines the ideal route through the aisles. The software also supports the so-called pick-by-light method. This requires aptly equipped electronic shelf labels. These indicate the desired article by means of a light signal. This can help to identify the right item more quickly, especially on shelves with many similar products.

Each employee can process several orders at once. To do this, they place a corresponding number of bags or baskets on a trolley. Using a mobile printer, they generate a barcode label that identifies the respective customer order. They attach this to the corresponding container. When picking, they first scan an item and then the code for the order. In this way, the software ensures that orders will be assigned correctly. If an incorrect item is packed, the application will acknowledge this via an acoustic signal.

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Joachim Pinhammer

Joachim Pinhammer supports retail and technology companies with consulting and marketing expertise. He was Senior Analyst and Research Director Retail Technology at the London-based analyst group Planet Retail. Prior to that, he was the global marketing director for the retail division of Wincor Nixdorf (now Diebold Nixdorf). Joachim Pinhammer is a regular speaker at events organised by Messe Düsseldorf (EuroShop and EuroCIS), the EHI and further industry conferences. His reports are regularly published by trade magazines and online retail industry media.

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