Pick and Pack: A technique to increase efficiency of the warehouse
Pick and Pack order fulfillment method is used by e-Commerce retailers receiving small orders that are shipped around the borders. What happens in such warehousing is that products are chosen from the shipments and re-packaged again for distribution.
How does it work?
As soon as the shipment is received in the warehouse, shipment is scanned and entered into an inventory management system or WMS for tracking. In the pick and pack process, pick refers to selecting the right order quantities from the warehouse storage while packing means placing those products into shipping boxes along with packing materials and documents before the package is labeled and shipped.
Steps involved in Pick and Pack
Step 1 – Receiving Order
Your customers’ sales channel is integrated with your warehouse system. As soon as one of your customers places an order, a packing slip will get generated into the warehouse system.
Step 2 – Order Picking
A warehouse staff is assigned the job. He or she takes the packing slip and picks the items off the warehouse shelves. The main job is done but here you should know which pick and pack method will work best for your warehouse and customers. Each customer requirement is different, depending on the sales volume and choosing the best method is the key to getting the job done in an efficient manner.
Step 3 – Order Packing
The staff leaves the picked order at the packing station where it is packed, sealed and labeled for shipping.
Step 4- Order Shipping
Orders are sorted by carriers on the loading dock, ready to be picked up by carrier(s) at the end of day.
Pick and Pack strategies
To make pick and pack work smoothly, there are four common order picking strategies:
Piece picking: Piece picking is a simple picking method. It is best suited for extremely small warehouses where the staff picks order off shelves as soon as it is received. They go with one order at a time, once it’s complete, they pick the next order, and this involves huge time spent on picking. For medium and huge warehouses, such a process will not work.
Batch picking: If a warehouse has more traffic to organize them into batches wherein orders added to each batch are available is the same area of the warehouse. For example, if one item is needed for different orders, then it makes sense to pick all those items in a single batch. In this way the staff avoids walking in and out and fulfills more than one order at a time.
Zone picking: This picking method is one of the best. The warehouse is divided into areas called zones. Staff are assigned to each zone from where they can pick items. If an order is to be picked from multiple zones, then the staff passes boxes or carts from one zone to the next wherein the items can be picked and the cart moved to the next zone and henceforth.
The warehouse can do the passing of carts of boxes manually or can have conveyor belts to move.
Wave picking: Wave picking is a combination of zone and batch picking. Staffs involved in this method are assigned to zones and pick orders in bathes but they are confined to their zones only.
Benefits of pick and pack warehousing
Efficiency: The right pick and pack distribution method streamlines order fulfillment because it helps picking the orders quickly even if the items are in different zones of the warehouse. Based on the warehouse and type of the customers one has, the pick and pack method can be chosen for better efficiency.
Customer satisfaction: With the right pick and pack method, nothing can go wrong. Deliver the customer requirements accurately and completely without any damage, then it will surely improve customer satisfaction.
Quick turnaround time: Well- organized and managed pick and pack technique will lead to shorter turnaround time with regards to completing the order and moving it to the final delivery destination.
Today the pick and pack method has become the best way for ecommerce orders fulfillment. The staff are the key that pick orders and fulfill the requirement of the customers; however organizations have to continually keep improving the process to streamline operations to ensure best results with pick and pack order fulfillment method.
20cube follows the pick and pack method in its warehouses where the orders are majorly from the ecommerce division.