You will pick and pack more products as your business grows. You will need to pick and fill more orders to use a better pick-and-pack method. Picking the correct methods, such as 3pl pick and pack services, will allow you to save time, work with your fulfillment model, and create happy customers. This text will help you understand different methods to make your business successful.
What’s the Pick and Pack?
It is a type of order fulfillment that allows eCommerce merchants to handle low-volume orders that must be shipped worldwide. These retailers employ workers to pick the items from master cartons and then pack them into individual boxes or envelopes. The packages are then sent to the intended recipients for shipping. This pick-and-pack process flow saves time and money for both retailers and workers. This strategy reduces freight costs and other costs associated with online sales.
Picking an Order Picking Method
You should use the same methods to pick and pack in your childhood. You must first organize your items according to needs, select the product and pack it accordingly. Can also fill orders in the same way you would assemble gifts for friends. It might be a good option for your eCommerce company at first. As your business grows, it is essential to consider other strategies. Even if your business is located in your garage, it’s essential to use suitable pick-and-pack methods to reduce mistakes and minimize returns. Let’s look at some primary pick and pack methods eCommerce companies use for fulfillment.
Discrete order picking
Discrete picking- a single order, individual, or piece picking- is a method where the picker takes items line-by-line before moving on to the following order. This method is generally suitable for small orders if you have heavy or oversized products that require time and effort to move from your warehouse (or anywhere else you are packing).
This method is especially beneficial for small businesses because it reduces the chance of making mistakes. Every order gets the utmost attention to ensure accuracy and even a touch of magic for each customer. This method is not scalable. If you have a limited number of orders and plenty of time, spending the time necessary to complete each order correctly is not a problem. More orders are coming in, and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with them.
You might need to learn a new method to move toward higher orders. Wave picking is a more common method in larger companies. Wave picking is simply a combination of batch picking and discrete picking. This method allows groups of identical orders to be fulfilled within a set period (or waves, as some might call it). Depending on which batch is being picked, orders might have the same shipping deadlines or SKUs, or they could be near the warehouse. This method means that the picking cart holds more product than batch picking. It also improves efficiency for each batch tour.
One last primary method is zone picking. It is ideal if you have a high rate of inventory turnover. Zone picking is where warehouse workers are assigned to different areas or zones. These employees are only allowed to pick items within these zones. Each picker is assigned to pick one zone per shift, resulting in minimized walking times and efficiency gains for your company. An order that requires items from different zones can be moved through them on a conveyor (so-called sequential area picking).
7 Ultimate Tips To Pick And Pack Methods For Your Business
Keep Your Warehouse Well-Organized And Neat
To make picking and packing easy and quick, organize everything in your warehouse. To avoid any accidents:
- Keep the floors clean and remove all clutter.
- Ensure that all supplies required by your packers are organized around the workstation.
- For easy picking, ensure you place all inventory items in the same spot every time you receive them.
Maintain A Precise Inventory Count
A precise inventory system is essential for optimizing pick-and-pack processes. Simple spreadsheets can’t give you an accurate inventory count. Instead, you should use barcodes and RFIDs to identify inventory items. A permanent inventory system is better than a periodic one. It allows for easy tracking and simplified stock taking.
Create a warehouse management software
These software solutions help you centralize all warehouse information. They aim to simplify processes by providing an up-to-date copy of the picking route or picking list via a mobile device. This allows for quicker picking and packing while keeping workers connected for better resource management.
Programm Your WMS to Make Easy Picking
Programming a warehouse management program (WMS) so that items picked are listed in the order they will be found by the picker. This system is often used for wave or discrete picking. Pickers will have to figure out the pecking order by themselves if there is no organization, leading to more time wasted, especially if they are stuck with an Excel inventory management system.
Map out your routes and arrange items strategically.
Plan where the products will be located in your warehouse. To ensure faster order picking, consider the future and current order flow, warehouse dimensions, seasonality, nature of goods, and restocking frequency. Also, plan shorter routes for eCommerce picking up and packing.
Double Check Each Order
Even with the most accurate software, it is still important to double-check your goods before shipping. It will cost you far more to return an item or re-ship it correctly.
Invest In Infrastructure
Investing in this type of machinery will make a big difference in your picking speed and efficiency through shelving, stacker cranes, vehicles, and radiofrequency devices. The machinery can also be used in other logistics tasks, such as restocking or inventory counting.
Picking and packing are just one part of running a warehouse. An inventory management system is a glue that holds everything together. It tracks every item from when it arrives at your warehouse until shipped to your customer. An inventory management system that integrates with other business apps will automate your ordering and optimize your pick-pack-ship process. Order fulfillment is more than having neatly stacked products on shelves. You might not be able to ship orders to your customers quickly and accurately without efficient pick-and-pack processes.