Product fulfillment revolves around the practice of pick pack ship (PPS)
So what is it?
Pick pack ship involves:
- Selecting the correct item
- Grabbing the right box/shipping materials
- Sending the shipping materials to the customers
While the above list may not seem like it requires much explanation, there’s more than meets the eye with the process to ensure your products get delivered in a safe and timely manner.
The pick pack shipping process may begin with kitting and sorting.
Items that are often sold together are at times combined into a single box or bag with one identification number. Items that aren’t subject to kitting are given single identifications numbers to streamline the location process.
It’s easy to see how essential picking strategies are to companies. The easier it is to identify and pack products, the faster customers receive their orders.
Order Strategies for Pick Pack Ship
Piece picking involves picking an order’s items and placing the products in a container before shipping.
What kinds of companies utilize piece picking?
Companies that work through piece picking usually have large amounts of products pre-stored before a sale takes place. Keep in mind that all items in piece picking are picked individually instead of by pallet or case.
Piece picking labor costs are relatively high—around 55% of a distribution center or warehouse’s operating costs, to be exact. With the high prices that piece picking incurs, it’s essential to choose an appropriate method.
Piece Picking Methods
- Basic or single order picking consists of an employee handpicking each requested item individually until the list is complete. Companies with smaller order rates tend to utilize single order picking as a larger company couldn’t afford the process's time-consuming nature.
- Wave picking involves multiple orders being grouped into “waves” to streamline organization for shipping. Workers use a consolidated pick list to pick the items for orders. Consolidated lists or the consolidation process allows employees to pick and sort batches more efficiently through technology-assisted direction and training.
- Batch picking selects items for several orders through sorting items within smaller batches. Picking up multiple orders from the same aisle you visit helps cut down on travel time. One danger associated with batch picking is the chance of accidentally mixing an order. Order management systems serve to lessen the likelihood of a mixing occurrence.
- Zone picking divides a warehouse or picking area into many zones with workers assigned at a single zone. Once picking from one zone is complete, orders move from that zone to the next. Some companies make use of automation equipment to assist with transporting orders between zones.
Benefits of Piece Picking
Pick rate serves as the metric that measures the success of picking.
How is the pick rate measured?
The pick rate is usually reflected in terms of picks per hour. How companies measure pick rate serves to emphasize how important choosing the right picking routes and practices is. Once a company improves its pick rate, labor costs drop. Automation technology can do wonders in helping companies improve pick rates and reduce labor costs.
Order accuracy is vital in the realm of shipping. While piece picking is time-consuming, individually sorting out items helps create space to ensure accuracy. Human error can be reduced through automation technology that leads workers to specific pick spots.
Once customers receive their products promptly with no errors, pick pack and ship speaks for itself. Using the right assistance equipment and choosing a piece picking method that’s right for you will generate quality results.
Let’s evaluate the type of technology used to assist piece picking practices:
Piece Picking Equipment
Carton flow racks are shelves that use gravity conveyors.
What’s a gravity conveyor?
Gravity conveyors lean on the force of gravity to lead items on a downward path. Products removed from the front of the conveyor leading to rear stocked items flowing forward. Companies that deal with large numbers of picks per order like to utilize gravity conveyors.
Static shelving arranges products on shelving or bins. Smaller operations tend to utilize static shelving arrangements due to the economical nature of the setup.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AR/RS) help facilities place and retrieve products automatically to reduce human labor. An example of AR/RS would be rotating, or carousel shelves that store items efficiently and adjust to make the item needed for picking available.
Collaborative mobile robots:
- Direct staff members to pick locations.
- Walk the staff through the picking task.
Employee focus and productivity are fostered through the use of collaborative mobile robots.
When it comes to packing, logistics partners come in to assist.
Selecting the Right Picking Method
Selecting the right picking method will be the difference-maker whether or not a pick pack ship method floats or sinks.
How do you select the right method?
A picking strategy will be influenced by:
- Facility costs
- Labor costs
- Order quantities
- Size and class of items
- Amount of customer orders
Companies don’t have to limit themselves to only one picking method. You can combine parts of different picking strategies to find an overarching method that’s conducive to your needs.
Companies don’t use any old random box to ship your goods. Instead, companies use logistic partners to decide which packages are most conducive to shippers. Using different standard size boxes and lightweight packing materials allow companies to save time and money during the shipping process.
You probably want a clearer picture of how pick pack ship benefits companies.
Dane Manufacturing: Pick Pack Ship
Dane Manufacturing recognizes the importance of pick pack ship and has worked to create an agile PPS approach that satisfies our customers. PPS agility is critical to us as we can provide flexible solutions for those we serve. If your product needs custom or discrete labeling, no problem—we have you covered.
Nobody likes a messed up order.
In-house logistics is a defining point of our pick pack ship strategy to ensure your order's accurate and timely delivery.
Dane Manufacturing is continually working to improve our processes so you can be amazed at the service you receive.