Pick, Pack, and Ship – these three little words are critical in successful order fulfillment.
Think about going into a grocery store and your spouse or wife has sent you with a grocery list to get. How often do you wander the aisles trying to find the products on the list? A simple grocery run sometimes takes you over an hour because you keep circling back to pick up missing items on the list.
But that’s not the end of it. What happens when you get home and you realized you forgot the coffee creamer? You need to make another trip to get your “Pumpkin Spice”!!
This situation is very similar to what happens in a warehouse and it is very important that you spend time in establishing an efficient pick, pack, and ship process. You don’t want your warehouse workers wandering for hours picking items that should only take 15 minutes. Let’s look at a few ways to get an efficient pick, pack and ship process in place.
In order to pick efficiently, you need to organize your warehouse in an efficient manner and you will need to provide your warehouse picker with all the information they need to cut out the extra steps.
Layout your warehouse so that you’re best selling products are in the front of the warehouse. Create a single pathway for the warehouse worker to pass from start to finish so they won’t have to keep going back and forth which will cost you time and money.
Once the layout is designed in an efficient manner, you need to provide the warehouse picker with all the information they need for a successful order pickup. Compile a pick list of all the orders you want to pick and include all the information such as product location and quantities.
If you are using an inventory solution, you can easily pull orders to fulfill and generate a pick list to hand out to your warehouse pickers.
If you are looking for further efficiency, take look at barcode scanning and do away with printed pick lists. Also, look into to order picking methods and implement a specific strategy to speed up your bulk picking process.
Pack and Ship
Once all your goods are picked, its time to pack and ship them to your customers. Pack your orders and place packing slips in the shipment to let your customers know what they are receiving. For example, you might have one product out of stock so a packing slip will let the customer know what is being shipped to them and what is still pending.
You might be a small business operating out of a garage or a small office, you need to find an efficient shipping method. You can’t spend time taking your packed boxes to the post office to get labels printed and shipped. Look into a shipping integration that will allow you to print your own shipping labels, which will save you hours at the post office. Print labels by selecting the preferred carrier, set up a pickup time and sit back while the courier does the rest.
Once the packages are picked up for shipment, notify your customer that the shipments are on the way. Having an inventory management system that integrates with your shipment platforms will automatically take the shipment notifications from your courier and alert customers.