Every business that ships products has two main options for ensuring smooth shipping operations: ship the products themselves or outsource the service to a logistics or warehousing company. If you opt for the latter, the company contracted will provide what is known as pick-and-pack services. Here’s what you need to know about them.
Pick and pack is a system where items are selected from a warehouse inventory and packed into boxes or other types of packages so they can be shipped. This is a labour-intensive job that requires lots of manpower, attention to detail, accuracy and speed.
Pick and pack workers are often required to work with a smartphone or scanner to ensure they are picking the right items. It also helps track items they put into different packages to ensure they do everything right. Paper order lists that were popular in the past have all but disappeared because of how inaccurate they are.
Pick and pack entails a few key items that all make up an order fulfilment cycle.
Receiving the goods at the warehouse entails taking them out of the shipping container, recording them and placing them in storage. For small orders, the products can be stored right away, but bulk products need to be unloaded, separated, or otherwise removed from the pallets they come in.
While this step might seem straightforward, it is one of the most important parts of this process. Inventory management at this stage is crucial to keep track of what is where and how much of it is there. Inventory management systems make doing so easier and are usually a part of the overall management system.
When a customer places an order, the warehouse will receive the order and then pass it on to an employee. The employee will use the management software to locate and pick items from the shelf. They will then transfer it to the packaging station.
Once at the packing station, the correct items are placed in boxes, envelopes or other packaging material and addressed to a warehouse, business, customer or other entity. Employees will add packaging materials to minimise damage during shipping, add packing labels, label individual products and address the packages correctly.
This part of the pick and pack process is so crucial, especially for sensitive items. This is why businesses hire companies like K2 Storage Solutions with extensive experience providing pick-and-pack services with very high customer satisfaction scores.
Distribution is simply getting the products to the customers. Many businesses outsource this process too, but the pick and packing company can also handle it for you.
Tracking happens once the products are out for delivery. The business and individual customers need to know where their packages are and when the expected delivery time is. Hiring the right company to handle all this ensures the products get to customers on time and in the best condition. This is how pick-and-pack companies ensure customer satisfaction.
Product fulfilment is usually the last part of the supply chain, but it is one of the most important ones. Companies providing pick-and-pack services typically handle product fulfilment, but businesses can opt to handle it themselves.