Fundamentals of warehouse pick, pack and ship. What questions need to be answered and what are mission critical processes.
With your orders coming in all the time, fulfillment of those orders needs to be optimized. You wouldn’t go to the grocery store without a list, you need to have a basket or a cart to carry your groceries and you would not go without your wallet. Fulfillment of orders in your warehouse is similar. The right tools and processes will aid in fulfilling orders in a timely and efficient manner.
The fundamentals of fulfillment in Warehouse Inventory Management are Pick, Pack and Ship.
Having a logical layout of your warehouse is a best practice for picking orders efficiently. Knowing where your products are at all times is paramount. An inventory management system that is location based is the best tool for knowing where your products are and what products move the most. Having the most active products at easiest access will improve speed of picking and save time ultimately. Having a defined process for picking is the cornerstone to efficient picking.
Are you picking one order at a time?
Are you picking multiple orders?
Are those orders divided by a specific part or shipping type?
Answers to these questions will give insight into the process. If you do not have a defined process or work flow, answering questions like this will innately give definition to a process and optimize picking. As products and volumes change, tweaks to this process will change but knowing what it is will allow you to change the process in an intelligent way. Once the process is defined, a re-evaluation of it should happen periodically to verify that it is the most efficient and that the liveliest items are placed in the correct spot. Again, the correct inventory management system can devise reports that can assist with the analysis of this process.
This sounds fairly straight forward, but what can help in your shipping process is have a dedicated shipping area. A dedicated PC with a barcode scanner and label printer can also optimize the shipping process. A warehouse process it is all about economy of motion. Having your packaging neatly stacked and at the ready makes orders easily and quickly packed after picking. Keeping the area clean and free of clutter is important as well. Having handy packing documentation is good to place in the box. Savvy customer facing documents can make your business look more professional and further your brand loyalty with your customers. Efficiency is the name of the game when packing lots of merchandise.
The packing and shipping process should be integrated. Packing something in a box and labelled up for shipment can happen all in one shot in the packing and shipping area. If the label printer and dedicated PC are all in the packing area this can be done all in one fell swoop and your boxes get out the door and keep the dollars flowing in the door.
Contact Scout for additional information as we can help optimize the Pick, Pack and Ship process with topShelf.