Warehousing & Fulfillment

10 Pick and Pack Tips to Optimize Your Warehouse for Shipping

Learn about the different pick & pack processes in our latest guide. We share 10 valuable ways to improve picking & packing efficiencies.
10 Pick and Pack Tips to Optimize Your Warehouse for Shipping
Gayatri Bhaumik

By Gayatri Bhaumik

 

December 11, 2019

Warehouse optimization is key for eCommerce companies, especially when it comes to picking and packing your orders. To reduce the cost of fulfilling orders, online retailers need to adopt and streamline a variety of pick and pack methods. This guide will show you some of the ways to optimize your warehouse operations so you can expedite shipping your orders.

What is Pick and Pack?

This is a type of order fulfillment. It allows eCommerce merchants to tackle low volume orders that need to be shipped around the globe. Instead of preparing and sending bulk shipments, these retailers have workers who pick items from master cartons in the warehouse and pack these items into individual boxes and envelopes.

The packages are then addressed to the recipients for shipping. The good thing about this pick and pack process flow is that is allows workers to easily access and package goods, which saves both workers and retailers time and money. This strategy also reduces freight charges and other costs associated with online sales.

Picking and Packing Best Practices for Warehouse Optimization

If you’re going to do this right, you need to understand the basics of picking and packing so that your operations are as efficient as possible. Here are a few tips to get you on the right foot with pick and pack:

1. Easier Item Location

If you want to efficiently pick and pack your items, this tip is a must. If you have fast-moving goods, arrange them so that they are close to your packing station. Also, if you have items that are often bought together, keep these close by so you can grab them all at once. This enhances labor productivity as workers spend less time and energy to process each order.

2. Packaging Matters

Always ensure that you have the right boxes and envelopes for your orders. Having the correct packaging handy means you’ll spend less time looking for them when you need to fulfill orders quickly.

3. Handle Packages with Care

If you’re looking at how to pick and pack in a warehouse that deals with fragile items, this tip is for you. Vendors dealing in breakable items like porcelain teapots, glass figurines, and glass cups, for example, need to take extra care in their warehouse. Make sure your pickers take their time to handle the products carefully and secure them for delivery with additional cushioning materials such as bubble wrap.

4. Keep Singles Separate from Multiples

This is another tip that’s been proven to significantly improve efficiency in picking and packing orders. Separate the orders you receive by single items, multiple items, and bulkier items. This will help you maintain a good packing rhythm and makes it easier to keep up an orderly workflow.

5. Technology Is Your Friend

Investing in packer-friendly technology in your pick and pack warehouse is one way to ensure that your workers are safer, happier, and more productive. This is a job that involves repetitive motions and sometimes hazardous conditions. Make things easier for them by installing ergonomic packer-friendly supply stations so that most of the things they need on a daily basis are within easy reach.

6.  Keep Your Packing Station Fully Stocked

You’ll need everything from boxes and tapes to envelopes and wrapping papers to fulfill your orders, so make sure that all these items are always available at your packing stations. You should also be ready to review your choice of packing materials. Is your present packing tape slowing your packers down? Get them a straight gun tape instead.

7. How Can You Improve Packing Efficiency With Optimized Layouts?

In carrying out pick and pack tasks, it’s important that your packers can reach all your products easily. Otherwise, you’ll find that the entire order fulfillment process is too slow to be efficient. Think about making sure that the shelves in your warehouse are laid out in a way that facilitates accurate, efficient packing. Your workers should be able to see the contents of each bin at a glance and reach them with ease. Bins should also be proportional to the quantity and size of products kept in them. This allows workers to quickly pick items to pack orders.

8. Explore a Variety of Picking Methods

Not all picking methods are going to suit all retailers. So, make sure to check out your options before finding a picking method that suits your needs properly. Among the most popular warehouse picking methods are:

·   Zone Picking: Each picker is assigned a specific zone and concentrates solely on picking orders in his or her zone.

·   Batch Picking: With this method, a picker is assigned multiple orders which he or she picks up simultaneously. The upside is that it minimizes the number of warehouse trips made to fulfill orders.

·   Wave Picking: This method sees products from various zones picked up at the same time. Afterwards, the items are sorted and separated into individual orders or shipments.

9. Consider Automated Solutions

Using an automated pick and pack system can save a lot of travel time, especially since pickers spend about 60% of their time moving products from one position to another. With automation software that can generate batch orders, barcodes, and perform other inventory management tasks, pickers can easily and accurately pick and drop orders.

10. Explore Various Storage Strategies

This tip is all about learning what helps improve the efficiency of your warehouse. For example, you can try the slotting strategy, which is known to minimize congestion in a pick and pack warehouse, decrease the time spent in gathering items, cause fewer accidents, and reduce product damages. Keep exploring until you find an efficient storage strategy that works well for you.

Pick and Pack Your Way to a More Efficient Warehouse!

Successful order fulfillment goes beyond having multiple shelves of neatly-stacked products. Without efficient pick and pack processes, you might not be able to ship your customers’ orders with speed and accuracy.Easyship can help with fulfillment. We’re here to help you find the best picking and packing options for your business. If you are ready to see what a difference a great pick and pack system will make for your small or medium business, sign up for a free Easyship account today.