Pick and Pack Fulfilment Systems
Warehouse Pick And Pack Fulfilment Processes
You’re never done learning the basics in the 3rd party fulfilment business.
In the last six months we have won pick and pack fulfilment and warehousing contracts with six different companies and everyone needed a variation on the type of pick and pack fulfilment service they required. Our flexible tailored approach to fulfilment is recognised by these companies as the nearest they can get to run their own warehouse without the hassle of managing facilities, employees and the supply chain.
Our clients vary from crowdfunded start-ups to experienced e-commerce multi-platform operators with 1000’s of orders per week.
For some, we will be describing the basics of the Pick and Pack Warehouse process for the first time.
Picking, the process of pulling inventory from the warehouse to be included in the customer order and the associated gift slips or paperwork.
Packing, the process of gathering and packaging these items to a range of specifications to prepare them for shipment to the customer.
The pick and pack process is a set of procedures and tools agreed with each client that our trained staff use to accurately fulfil customer orders quickly and efficiently.
For clients who are well established we can discuss a range of processes depending on the order volumes and the range of SKU’s that they are already supplying: –
Discrete Order Picking
Discrete order picking is the process preferred most by small businesses with low order volumes.
This works quite simply.
For example, 2 orders are received. We pick and pack all the items for the first order. Then you proceed to pick and pack all the items for the second order. Then watch for new orders arriving before the dispatch cut off time and complete those. You only ever complete the pick and pack process for one order at a time.
For higher volume orders with a larger number of SKU’s batch picking is the preferred solution.
This works well with our subscription and retail type clients where we’ll pick 100 of item A and 200 of item B and dispatch them in batches.
This helps save time and fulfill more orders quickly – making it ideal for medium-sized businesses with larger product and order volumes.
Wave picking is a process that combines discrete and batch picking together.
Groups of similar orders are fulfilled during scheduled time frames or waves.
The orders may have similar SKUs, similar shipping deadlines, or could simply be near one another in the warehouse locations.
Zone picking uses specific staff assigned to different clients dedicated areas within the warehouse or in certain cases dedicated pick rooms and only picking items located in their specific zone.
This is ideal for large businesses with a high rate of inventory turnover.
We constantly strive to optimise our pick and pack processes. Whichever process you use there are some basics which need a disciplined approach to maximise the efficiency and accuracy of the system.
When you visit us, you’ll see just some of these simple but effective warehouse management processes in action.
Top-selling items nearest the packing stations (since they’re going to be picked more often).
Combinations or bundle items close to each other for rapid picking.
Storing products in easier locations that are fast moving.
Allowing time to keep the warehouse clean and tidy with no waste build up on floors or the bulk storage. This also assists with the health and safety aspects of the management of the warehouse.
Hold sensible levels of stock of all standard and bespoke packaging, close to the packing stations. Always replenish these at the end of each shift.
Move new received stock from the Goods in are swiftly assigned to the same locations so packers always know where to pick from. Typically, new stock should be ready for dispatching inside 24 hours from a container offload.
Of course, all this needs driving by an effective Order Management and Warehouse Management System. At ATL Fulfilment we have been using Mintsoft extremely successfully for 4 years. More of that in the next blog