Authors: Craig Dixon and Elizabeth Korda

There are many processes involved in the order fulfillment journey at ShipSage like receiving, processing, and shipping orders. A lot of these components would be in disarray if inventory ceased to be updated or if the warehouse did not already have automated systems in place. This is one of the reasons why a 3PL must have access to the best software systems. Accurate order picking has a significant impact on supply chain management, satisfaction of your customers, and operational coordination of a 3PL.

However, there are some processes that require teamwork and human effort to complete. Some people are tasked with picking items, and some are tasked with packing items. For example, during the picking process, the computer lets a warehouse worker know where to find the item(s) for the order received and whether to gather the product(s) individually or in a bundle to kit them in a designated area in the warehouse.

Basic, Bundling, and Kitting

As per ShipSage standards, basic consists of an individual item or product. For example, a basic item can range from a single pen to a washing machine which would include the instruction manual, an electrical cord, or a coupon for a discount on detergent. If the warehouse receives an order like this and all the components are already together, it is packaged, labeled, and shipped off to the customer.

Bundling consists of picking assorted accessories that belong to the primary item. For example, if we receive the washing machine into our warehouse, but the instruction manual, electrical cord and coupon is received in a separate shipment or even a separate box, it is the warehouse personnel’s responsibility to pick all the items and then ship them together. We would create a bundle so that every time we receive that order, the personnel will know where in the warehouse they must pick the assorted items. After the items have been bundled and packed, they are ready to be labeled and shipped.

Kitting is pre-bundling before we receive the order. When an order is received, the warehouse team only needs to go to one location in the warehouse to pick up the items and then prepare the order for shipment. This saves time (less time spent picking the order of four items) and since the packing has already been completed, the team only needs to place a shipping label on the shipment. Kitting can increase order accuracy and supply the ability to prep shipments for same-day and two-day delivery.

Rule of Thumb: If you have a bundle of five items or more you should consider kitting that package.

Money, Storage, and Time Saved

Overall, these pick and pack services save the client and ShipSage money on shipping costs, storage space, and time.

Our automated inventory system helps clients select the services they need, and this, in turn, accurately informs ShipSage of the specifics of the picking and packing process. The system also saves both parties’ time by accurately reporting, recording, and managing the supply chain and logistical business services.

Further, bundling and kitting increases storage space when more items are grouped together, rather than sitting on the warehouse shelves individually. Grouping items together also saves the client money because the kitted items are charged together as a whole instead of individually.

Lastly, when the client redirects these pick and pack priorities to a 3PL like ShipSage, they are no longer burdened with the order fulfillment process and have the freedom to prioritize their business.