Pick, pack and ship — these three little words might not mean much to you, but they mean everything to your successful product fulfillment.
When you’ve finally grown your company to the point that you no longer just deal with the odd shipment here and there, it’s time to look fulfillment service companies. These shipping specialists streamline the ordering process, whether your customers buy using your online shopping cart, call in from a catalog or send you orders via carrier pigeon.
What is Pick, Pack and Ship?
Pick, pack and ship is the process of grabbing the right item, choosing the right box and packing materials and then shipping it off to the customer.
It may sound simple, but there’s actually a very detailed system in the background that ensures your item arrives on time and in perfect condition. Pick, pack and ship may start with kitting and sorting. Kits are items that are frequently sold together, so to speed up the process, fulfillment companies combine these items into one box or bag and assign a single identification number (called a SKU) to it.
At the same time the kits are being built, the rest of your inventory is given unique identification numbers so that each item can be located quickly. Whether your logistics partner uses a robotic warehouse or employs individuals, these numbers help track inventory, tell the company when you need to reorder a popular product and eliminate picking errors.
Organization and Speed are Vital
To speed up the process even more, your most popular items and any flyers or catalogs you want to send along with the order are stored near one another. When your order is picked, the picker can grab everything they need quickly. Speed is key, the sooner your orders are picked and packed, the faster they’ll ship out and the happier your customers will be.
Speaking of packing, that’s the next step — and it’s a place where you can save a lot of money. Instead of shipping your items out in random boxes, your logistics partner knows exactly what size boxes work best with what shippers. These standard-sized boxes save money on shipping and help prevent extra inspections that may slow your shipment down — standard-sized boxes and lightweight packing materials are a potent combination when it comes to the “ship” part of pick, pack and ship.
Running an Internet-based company or a catalog-based company can be a complicated ordeal without the right systems in place to store, retrieve and address your products. Errors mean a loss of business and a dent in your reputation, but hiring a logistics expert will speed up your processes and ensure your customers keep coming back.