The PICK and PACK ERA
“Pick and pack” is a service more and more companies require with the explosion of internet sales a.k.a. eCommerce. On a daily basis, Westset Logistics provides pick and pack services for various clothing, electronics, soft furnishings and shoe manufacturers who require small orders to be shipped out directly to online buyers. However on reflection, there has always been the need for pick and pack services pre-eCommerce era. The landscape from a warehouse operations perspective has had to shift rapidly because of the spikes in market demand. Westset has invested heavily in systems and procedures and is proud of its’ cloud based warehouse management system (WMS).
In-house or Outsource?
Doing it yourself may seem worth the effort, empowers you as the business owner to be in control of inventory, people management and expediting goods to a standard. However if this is not your core business, the investment that goes into managing a warehouse and to cope with picking and packing orders can get very hefty. There are significant costs associated with attention to detail, accuracy in inventory, on time receipt of orders, packing and dispatch.
It really is worth the exercise for your financial experts to model “what-if” scenarios to review the allocation of costs in-house to this department within the business. Issues around customer satisfaction in meeting and exceeding customer satisfaction should be part of this financial modeling as well. Our experience at Westset tells us that when you truly dive into the numbers, it does make sense to partner up with a 3PL who specializes in start state of the art systems and procedures to offer optimal service, customer satisfaction and cost efficiencies.
For non logistics folks, the term “Pick and Pack” services simply means that upon a sale on the internet generally in volumes of ones and twos, the items are hand picked from storage, processed and packed individually for shipment to the assigned address. Generally speaking the majority of these are shipped to consumer residential addresses and at times to business addresses.
Online stores have created the expectation that anything and everything can be sold and shipped either on the same day or next day to the consumer which makes this a very fast- paced environment we live in these days!. The holidays tend to promote a spike in demand for small parcel shipments. So what does this mean from a management standpoint?
Demand equals more work!. The need for qualified and experienced workers becomes essential, albeit the majority of the process is automated, the human element still prevails! For example, we need humans to sort and verify incoming orders from the internet, check on inventory allocation and computational processing. There needs to be supervision on, the items that have to be picked and placed in its’ packaging matching all paperwork or order information on the system. Packing may include special request for safety purposes, and must be accompanied by an invoice and packing slip. One mistake and the shipment may just get lost or be in the hands of another person. Some warehouses have implemented robotic pick and pack devices which are very impressive but there is still the need for human supervision in any circumstance.
This is only scratching the surface on the process behind picking and packing small parcel shipments. It isn’t a tutorial on how to set up a warehouse but to set the scene for business owners to apply the costs associated with managing an operation like this! Do you still want to do it yourself? At Westset Logistics we cater for general non-perishable pick and pack clients, such as clothing, shoes, consumer electronics and some home furnishing items. We welcome reviewing your case with you, I think you might be surprised how we not only create efficiencies for your business but also reduce the hassle factors associated with logistics and supply chain issues. Many businesses, both industrial and eCommerce, have chosen Westset Logistics as the hub for all West Coast shipping and warehousing both main freight and small parcel.
For more information please contact our account representatives at www.westsetlogistics.com