Pick and pack warehousing and fulfillment has become extremely popular with the growing popularity of online shopping or e-commerce boom, as we like to call it. With same day and next day delivery becoming increasingly popular, it is vital for e-commerce businesses to streamline their processes, right from procurement to delivery in order to save on additional costs – this is where pick and pack process helps.
What is Pick and Pack Warehousing and Fulfillment?
Pick and pack also known as order processing or order fulfillment, is a part of the overall supply chain process of an e-commerce business. The process where the warehouse and fulfillment centers choose relevant products from the inventory of a bigger shipment and re-pack them for distribution to the end customer is known as pick and pack fulfillment. It is quite popular among online stores e-coomerce businesses.
When an order is placed by a customer on an e-commerce website or app, the process of pick and pack begins. Picking involves locating the right products in the right quantity from the warehouse. Packing involves packing these picked products in right boxes along with right kind of packaging, relevant documents, labels and shipping them to the right person.
Order Picking Process
Picking, obviously, is the first step in the Picking and Packing process. Labors or warehouse workers use WMS (Warehouse Management System), which records an order received by the e-commerce business and reflects in the system. After receiving the order, the warehouse staff will locate the relevant items in the warehouse shelf and pick the SKUs / products for the next step of order fulfillment – this is called picking process.
Different warehouses have different types of Picking, some of the most common picking process types are:
Piece Picking is when the worker picks each SKU / product for one order at a time, as and when they are received. Many small businesses use this method given their smaller SKU size and inventory of products.
Batch Picking is similar to piece picking, just that it is done in batches. Just that in batch picking, instead of picking SKUs for one order at a time, it is picked for multiple orders at the same time. All the SKUs in multiple orders are picked together and then packed.
Wave picking is a mix of Piece and Batch picking. The SKUs /products are fulfilled for similar orders during scheduled time frames, called waves. This method is suitable when sifferent orders have similar delivery times, are closely located to each other or have similar SKUs to be packed.
Zone picking, generally preferred by large businesses. In zone picking, specific zones in the warehouse are allotted to workers. The workers will pick orders only within their specified zones and gather them for packing.
There are multiple ways to streamline the picking process in order to be cost and resource efficient, like having an advanced WMS and inventory management system, having a well-thought, and organized warehouse layout and the likes.
Order Packing Process
Once the products / SKUs are picked, they need to be packed and prepared for shipping to the end customer. While this sounds pretty straightforward, it actually is not – in case there are multiple products to be packed in one package. Bigger orders, involving multiple products needs to be gathered or grouped at one place and then packed – this is the critical part of the packing process.
Once the products of the order are gathered, the next step of packing begins. Choosing appropriate packaging like box / carton, adding relevant dunnage / packing material like wood, foam, packing, bubble wrap, etc. is important and finally adding any promotional flyers / leaflets is involved this step of the packing process. The final step, then is to print shipping labels and other relevant documents and ship the package after they have been checked for quality assurance.
Thus, order packing process isn’t as simple as it would be if there was just one single product.
Why Choose a 3PL Pick and Pack Warehousing and Fulfillment?
Pick and pack warehouse and fulfillment centers, like ProConnect Integrated Logistics, offer multiple benefits to companies. Here’s a list of some of the top benefits –
Speed – A pick and pack warehouse will have organized infrastructure, management and process setup for picking and packing processes, this will help you with efficient handling and faster turnaround times for your order fulfillment.
Efficiency – Pick and pack fulfillment is known to be an efficient method. Having an experienced 3PL like ProConnect Integrated Logistics can contribute to the efficiency further. With experienced workers handling large volumes of pick and pack orders day in and day out, the efficiency comes into picture.
Also, pick and pack order fulfillment eliminates the need of middle-men, who first collect the goods from a different warehouse and ship them from another warehouse, thus bringing in efficiency on time, cost and resources.
Lesser Cost – Pick and pack process can handle multiple orders with different SKUs and order sizes, leading to lesser cost on order fulfillment.
Also, setting up this process requires setting up of an entire system along with infrastructure and planning, which could lead to larger capital investment for companies looking to do this in-house. A 3PL already has this in place, thus you can save on the investment cost.
Technology – Having an advanced WMS is an integral part of an efficient pick and pack warehousing and fulfillment process. Logistics companies like ours possess state of the art, scalable WMS systems and offer the ability to integrate their WMS with your systems.
Better Customer Satisfaction – Every company yearns to achieve greater customer satisfaction – pick and pack process could play a part in this. Efficient handling, process accuracy and faster turnaround time lead to faster deliveries without damage – a perfect mix for customer satisfaction and delight. This is turn leads to higher possibility of repeat purchases and recall in the customers mind.
ProConnect Integrated Logistics has 21 warehouses across UAE and Saudi Arabia with a state of the art, advanced WMS, experienced warehouse staff and fast turnaround times for the pick and pack fulfillment process, and that too at a competitive price. We serve many brands across the region, if you are looking for a 3PL for your order fulfillment services, evaluate us!