We are Invenco, the specialist 3PL management solution that looks after customer orders from the moment they are placed – which includes pick and pack services direct from your order queue – to the moment they arrive at your customer’s door via the lowest cost shipping available. You are most likely here and reading this because you’re looking for information or guidance about your eCommerce logistics, your order fulfilment services (the pick and packing of your shipments) ideally for a small to medium sized online business.
If you’re new to the world of warehousing then you’re probably not familiar with terms like third party logistics, pick and pack and shipping, order fulfilment or cross docking. You are no doubt the owner of your online business and you know that the cost of picking, packing and shipping your customer orders should be lower and more efficient, but you’re not sure how to make the leap from a small local operation into a larger eCommerce business. We’ll take you some of how the warehouse packing procedures should work and the kind of warehouse management solution that we can offer your business which will help you lower the cost of your pick, pack and ship process and help you to more accurately price your products for healthy profit margins.
Batching is the process of doing a lot of individual processes in one go. Order fulfilment batching means processing a lot of order at the same time. Like anything, the more you order of a particular thing, the cheaper the overall price becomes. Warehouse picking and packing works the same way. But how does order fulfilment batching help you reduce your pick and fulfilment cost?
When you own and operate an online store, you are responsible for ensuring that every order is picked and packed and then shipped to your customers. As a small online business, you probably undertook the picking and packing orders yourself or you recruited whoever would help out, particularly throughout the busy periods. As your business begins to grow, your packing and processing costs increase and so does your labour demand. Not all online businesses can accurately manage the costs of a labour increase.
In order to own or rent the space you need for accurate and timely order fulfilment, you could be looking at very high overhead costs. This is particularly true in cities or areas like Sydney where space is at an absolute premium. If you need to include some kitting assembly before your orders are shipped, you will need even more space. Invenco is a third party logistics service which means we look after the whole warehousing and distribution process for a range of different online stores. Our resources are much larger than a single online store can conceivably manage because we service a lot of online stores simultaneously. We can offer you bulk prices on your warehouse and pick packer costs because we specialise in warehousing storage, pick and pack fulfillment and getting our customers the lowest possible shipping rates.
We are able to invest in state of the art warehouse automation and professional process workers like a pick and packer who is fast, accurate and adheres to strict quality control protocols.
We are also large enough to be flexible for our customers. You only purchase the warehousing and inventory management systems that you need for your business and you have room to grow. By outsourcing the order processing for your business, you can free up that precious labour time to concentrate on building your business and accurately pricing your products.
Our services include warehousing storage, picking and packing in a warehouse space large enough to comfortably hold your ideal stock levels, and shipping your orders direct to your customers via the lowest cost shipping method available. This way, you can accurately price each item taking into account how much the pick and pack service costs your business and ensuring that you’re only offering your customer the most cost effective shipping rates for their delivery region. We can take you through exactly what pick and pack fulfillment costs entail and how much you’re saving per item compared to your current warehousing method and business model.
A picker and packer is a specially trained process worker in a warehouse who is responsible for accepting customer orders, finding the stock they have ordered in the warehouse and fulfilling that order accurately. This process is known as ‘pick and pack orders’ and relates to picking the items ordered off the warehouse shelf (or wherever and however they have been stored), and packing them, addressing the package and readying the order for shipment. Picking orders can be time consuming, especially for larger warehouses or bulky items, so these highly trained individuals will be fast, effective and safe at what they do, carefully monitored by warehousing management to ensure complete compliance is maintained by all staff.
Ordinarily, a picker and packer will interchange between picking the items for each order and packing them into the boxes or satchels they need to be shipped in, but this isn’t always the case. Some warehouses train picker and packers separately and very specifically, depending on the kind stock the warehouse is responsible for housing and dispatching. In cases like these, to define an order picker would mostly likely be a highly trained warehouse employee in possession of a forklift licence or something similar for operating heavy machinery safely and effectively in retrieving stock items for customer orders.
These types of workers are highly trained professionals who are often administered KPIs relating to their service output. This makes them highly motivated to accurately and quickly pick the orders they are given or pack the orders that they receive quickly and securely. The more orders they pick and pack, and the more accurate and quality controlled their work is, the higher the rewards they are likely to receive. They are most likely to be very fit individuals, used to working their shifts constantly on the move, covering considerable daily distances across the warehouse as they locate, pick and pack orders they receive to their order queues.
In Australia, workplace safety is paramount in environments like warehouses so they will most likely be trained to use specific lifting methods for both the pick and pack process, take regular breaks or alternate their daily tasks effectively to ensure optimum output under safe working conditions. It is also highly likely that they are used to alternating shifts ranging from morning to evening, especially is high output warehouses.
As mentioned, pick and pack workers and shipping workers are the warehouse process workers responsible for obtaining stock from the warehouse shelves and sending them out to customers. They’re typically called pickers or packers, or pick packers. They will have been trained on the safe and appropriate use of warehouse machinery like forklifts and pallet jacks, and they are usually fast operating individuals motivated to achieve high levels of accuracy and order fulfilment.
Usually, stock held in a warehouse is barcoded. Each barcode is unique to reduce the chance of the wrong stock being sent to the wrong customer. Invenco offer your business its own barcoding system for our warehouse space.
When then picker leaves the pick queue to collect an order for a customer, they will usually be equipped with an RF gun which scans and reads the barcodes of each order. When the correct item has been scanned by the picker, the RF gun automatically moves onto the next item on the order until the entire order has been fulfilled. By using barcodes and this method of picking packing, not only does the customer order remain accurate, but the warehouse inventory system will also accurately account for the movements of individual stock items.
Accurate inventory control is key to maintaining the lowest cost warehousing solution and for ensuring that you are able to meet customer expectations. The last thing you want is for customer to be placing orders for stock that your website says is available, but which is not physically available to pick off the shelves and dispatch.
When the items have been picked by the picker in the warehouse, the items dispatched are then removed from the available stock quantities on the system. Regular stock taking also ensuring that the numbers in the inventory management system and the numbers on the actual shelves are both accurate. Invenco inventory and warehousing software integrates seamlessly with most online store ERPs, so you have instant and real time visibility into which stock is moving the fastest, the slowest and what you need to order more of.
To find out how Invenco can help your business to reduce the cost of warehousing and increase the efficiency of your pick and pack and ship process, contact one of our consultants today. We will take you exactly what Invenco offers, the kinds of businesses who benefit the most from our third party logistics solutions, and how your business can be quickly and easily on-boarded into our system.