Although it is a common phrase in the logistics and fulfillment industries, the intricacies of “pick and pack” remain a mystery to the average consumer. However, proper management of pick and pack processes can have a tremendous impact on both the bottom line of companies and the final cost of the products that they sell.
Pick and Pack Understood
Broadly defined, “pick and pack” encompasses all components of supply chain management required to pick a customer’s ordered items from storage shelves and pack them into boxes for shipment. The packing phase also involves the insertion of invoices, receipts, slips, and flyers among other paper records and promotional materials.
It is a simple concept, but for companies that want to be truly efficient, pick and pack operations require a tremendous amount of intricacy and finesse. To deal with the most complicated pick and pack demands, logistics and fulfillment innovators have developed equally complicated pick and pack methods.
The Pick and Pack Process
Whether completed in-house or outsourced to a third-party logistics provider, the standard pick and pack process involves the following:
- Order receiving – A packing slip is created for each customer order.
- Order picking – The products on the packing slip are taken off warehouse shelves.
- Order packing – These products proceed to a packing station for secure and protected packing, sealing, and labeling.
- Order shipping – Secured packages are shipped through a mail carrier as prescribed.
Pick and Pack Methods
Pick and pack approaches vary widely throughout the logistics and fulfillment sector. Ideally, they should be tailored to meet the precise wants and needs of individual companies and the customers that they serve.
To gain a firmer understanding of pick and pack methodology, it is helpful to think of a warehouse as a large version of a home closet. While many people tend to organize their closets according to categories of clothing (shirts, pants, shoes, etc.), others may lay complete outfits out or aid in matching by grouping certain colors together.
No matter what pick and pack approach you take, it is important to remain flexible. As your business evolves and grows, you will likely need to adopt different strategies.
Who Needs Dedicated Pick and Pack Services?
The pick and pack operations of some companies are extremely simple. If you only sell a few products that come in even fewer variations, you may not need to worry all that much about pick and pack processes.
Just remember, however, that these processes can easily cause major inefficiencies when companies sell numerous items in a variety of styles, sizes, colors, and other options. Just think about how labored picking and packing can become when a single customer orders multiple items of specific variation that workers must retrieve from different warehouse sections or entirely different warehouses!
To Learn More
For more information about pick and pack services, contact a warehousing and distribution professional at American Warehouse, Inc. today. Located in Hudson and Nashua, New Hampshire, American Warehouse, Inc. provides a broad spectrum of state-of-the-art warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment services to companies of all types and sizes.