A piece-picking process in which groups of forward pick locations are grouped into zones, staffed with one or more pickers who remain in their zones. As picks for a zone are completed, the WMS either directs the picker to close the carton/tote if all picks are finished or pass the carton/tote to the next zone for additional picks. In manual pick areas, the cartons/totes are moved by pushing them using a basic roller conveyor.
Some zone picking processes are automated, with cartons/totes moving on motorized conveyors and transferred laterally into zones to the left or right if there are picks for that carton/tote in a given zone. In non-automated pick areas, a differentiating WMS capability is to be able to create zones dynamically, balancing out the work across all zones.