What is Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service? A Detailed Guide on Warehouse Processes in 2022
It is a known fact that selling is not an easy task and when it comes to online selling, retailers need to make a lot of efforts to sell a product. You could create a website or go on multiple channels, list products, take care of door-step delivery, and a lot more. Among all the selling processes, order fulfillment is one of the most important tasks after a buyer places an order.
Receiving and sending orders entails a complicated set of interconnected procedures known as Order Fulfillment. In the process of fulfilling an order, storage, picking, packing, distribution and receipt of the product by the customer are the important stages. Pick and pack fulfillment services are one of the earliest and most crucial stages in order fulfillment. It not only guarantees that the product can be sold to the buyer’s preferred location but is also useful in branding, marketing, and tracking the product.
This article will introduce you to the principles of pick and pack fulfillment as well as show you how to handle picking and packing.
- What is Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service?
- What are the Methods of Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service?
- What are the Benefits of Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service for eCommerce Businesses?
- Why should you choose a 3rd-Party Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service?
- What are the Main Points to Consider while Choosing a Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service?
- Conclusion: Should You Outsource Your Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service Needs?
- Pick and Pack Service FAQs (Frequently Asked Question)
What is Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service?
An online seller, after receiving an order on their website or another channel, sends an order confirmation message to the customer and then initiates order fulfillment. In the order fulfillment process, pick and pack fulfillment is the earliest process that a seller initiates. As the name pick, pack and ship fulfillment suggests, it is the process where ordered products are picked and packed, following a standardised process.
Picking is choosing the appropriate product from storage, in the least amount of time, after an order has been placed. Dedicated companies that provide picking and packing fulfillment, have a sophisticated way of doing it. It is further classified into piece picking, batch picking, zone picking, and wave picking.
Packing is placing the things in the correct sized box with the proper packaging materials to ensure that they arrive at their final destination unharmed and at the lowest possible cost. Packing should involve efficiently placing orders within the fewest number of boxes and use the right type of packing material(s) for each product to reduce shipping costs and maintain order accuracy. Many warehouses include a warehouse management system (WMS) that can assist in determining which box is the best fit for the order at hand.
What are the Methods of Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service?
Methods of pick and pack fulfillment may vary depending on the size, location, tie-ups with fulfillment centers, registration on different selling platforms, etc. A seller can change the picking and packing styles as per business requirements. Here are the standard pick and pack fulfillment methods that most companies do to fulfilling orders.
Piece picking method
In this method, a single product is picked and sent for packing and further processes.The retailer’s pick and pack fulfillment partner picks the order from the seller’s shop, warehouse, or fulfillment center shelves and initiates the order fulfillment process. Mostly piece picking is done by small businesses, luxury or heavy product sellers. For them, piece picking is the easiest pick and pack method.
Batch picking method
The batch picking method is an organized way of consolidating numerous orders to deliver to different locations. It is done, once a seller recieves orders in large numbers. The orders are picked up in batches according to the pick-up location of the fulfillment center and the location of the customer. You can have a single SKU for several orders, it makes sense to bundle those orders together which will save time and resources.
It is also done by small retailers, once they get a good amount of orders.
Zone picking method
In this method, objects are picked up zone-wise and later transferred to another zone till it is delivered. It requires a strong fulfillment network, complex coordination, and technology to achieve the most accurate results by the fulfillment center. Zone picking will need a good pick and pack Warehouse Management Software to handle and automate all the complex processes involved.
Wave picking method
It is a combination of batch picking and wave picking methods. Here, a person arranges the batches of products according to their zonal movement. Then they transfer the batches to the respected delivery personnel in different zones.
These days, most of the good fulfillment centers are doing the same. It saves time, energy, and cost.
What are the Benefits of Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service for eCommerce Businesses?
Suppose you are an eCommerce seller and do multi-channel selling, you get orders across the nation, and you can fulfill hundreds of orders in a single day. While focusing on your core work of selling, you will have to take up a new responsibility of pick and pack fulfillment and also keeping track of hundreds of orders. You will need dedicated resources and capital for it. You might not be able to solve disputes across the country, so this is where pick and pack fulfillment companies can help. They will store your inventory in their fulfillment centers. From the fulfillment centers, they will pick, pack and transport it to a shopping aggregator or courier service, which will then distribute it to the final location. In case you are a small seller, you can focus on the core aspects of your business such as expansion, marketing, development of new products and refining existing ones, instead of spending time and resources fulfilling orders miles away from your shop or godown.
The benefits of pick and pack fulfillment through pick, pack and ship services are listed below:
- Fulfillment of orders 24×7: A seller through online selling sells 24×7 so they should also have access to pick, pack and ship services fulfillment 24×7 for faster delivery and customer satisfaction. Pick, pack and ship services receive, pick, and pack items around the clock.
- Access to branded packing: Most fulfillment companies provide branded packing services that help you with customized packing. It saves you the cost of packaging and transportation and also the hassle of trying to make your packaging appealing to attract more customers.
- Transportation to the best courier service: To make pick and pack fulfillment a better experience for both the seller and their customers, this pick, pack and ship services drop off the ordered items to the best logistics providers and courier services in a certain delivery area. They have enough experience to know who offers better delivery service in that area/city/state/region where orders need to be shipped.
- Customized pick and pack fulfillment methods: Orders are picked and packed after analyzing and bifurcating the ordered items according to their demand and estimated delivery time. They use the wave picking method in which they save cost, time, and energy.
- Professional fulfillment staff: These pick and pack fulfillment companies are professionals in the field of pick, pack and ship services and order fulfillment. They have a number of solutions for any mishap that could occur and contacts to resolve them in the shortest amount of time possible and at the cheapest rates.
- Enhanced reverse logistics: After selling the product, companies need to have a comprehensive reverse logistics service in place in order to combat any wastage that could occur. Pick and pack fulfillment services take care of the entire reverse logistics process.
Why should you choose a 3rd-Party Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service?
In the era, where multiple unicorn start-ups are mostly outsourcing resources, there is a huge demand for pick, pack and ship services. Oyo outsources rooms, Ola outsources cars, etc. So the idea here is to not get stuck in micro-management and distract from the core task. Some services which you are able to outsource to pick and pack fulfillment companies are:
Branded shipping is the shipping of a product by a seller to the buyer’s address which includes packing, packaging slips & labels, sending order confirmation messages with tracking details, highlighting product presentations and adding various personalized touches.
It is an opportunity to brand your business which can be done by an expert to reiterate the proper message to the target MQLs that may become SQLs in the future.
Technology and automation
Pick and pack businesses use cutting-edge technology and have well-trained service teams to provide high-quality, professional pick and pack fulfillment services among much more. Most pick, pack and ship services provide access to an online management system that allows you to monitor, authorize, and cancel purchases that are submitted by your company at any time.
Pick and pack fulfillment service providers are experts and equipped with high-tech devices, and software to mitigate any errors in the order fulfillment process. They pick items in batches, according to various metrics which make it more accurate when transferring goods from one place to another. They also use dedicated vehicles customized according to the product size, area of delivery, freight charges, and much more.
If you are a multi-channel eCommerce seller, choosing a pick and pack fulfillment partner is beneficial from your business’s point of view. They provide multiple options to you such as custom picking and packing where all the sales done on multiple platforms can be fulfilled from the same location and packed in a customized manner according to the requirements of the channel.
Because a pick and pack fulfillment company’s major duty is to execute the supply chain in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible, there are fewer distractions for them and their employees, as well as other obligations that get in the way. When organizations have to manage major processes themselves, it isn’t usually the case because individuals are continually pushed in different directions. The supply chain can be reconfigured considerably more readily if required. Pick, pack and ship services are knowledgeable about the most recent technologies and procedures, as well as the full process from start to finish. This is especially useful if there are any problems or unexpected events along the way. A 3PL pick and pack fulfillment service can put your mind at ease if you’re unsure about the capabilities or requirements of your business.
Assistance and scalability
Scalability refers to a company’s ability to handle increasing workloads and the potential for expansion. The capacity to alter space and labor based on inventory and products is another advantage of employing a 3PL fulfillment company. Many pick and pack logistics companies have deliberately established facilities throughout the country to ensure efficiency and nationwide delivery at low prices that enable higher profit margins. This can lead to a re-engineering of distribution markets, which might be a blessing in disguise during periods of rapid expansion.
Pick and pack fulfillment cannot be completed without a return policy. Pick, pack and ship services are done by dedicated fulfillment companies. In case of a return, they will have to perform all the similar steps in the regular supply chain, but in reverse. If a bad delivery is a bad experience for a buyer then a bad return is similar for a seller.
What are the Main Points to Consider while Choosing a Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service?
Hidden Fees & Additional Costs
You are in a business so you have to record the expenses. Before you choose a fulfillment partner for order fulfillment, you should know all their terms and conditions. Read twice about the minimum fee, storage costs, and pallet fees are all possible fees. Inquire about fees and compare them. Also, keep an eye on any hidden costs.
Knowledge About Your Pick and Pack Fulfillment Partner
Visit the warehouse of your potential pick and pack fulfillment service if at all feasible, or at least contact prior and current clients to learn more about the company. Pay attention to your encounters with them; the way they respond to you will most likely be similar to how they respond to your clients after you start working with them. Also, request a demonstration of any systems that will be used. Before committing, it’s a good idea to get a thorough idea of their skills.
Check their terms and conditions regarding the duration of the contract they are offering. If you want a long-term contract then how long they can offer a partnership contract with you would be important and in case you do not feel like continuing with them then how easily can you discontinue the contract is just as important.
Prior Track Record
Always check online for any positive or negative evaluations of your potential pick and pack fulfillment service. It is always a good idea to get a sense of how other vendors and customers feel about a firm before committing. Check how long they have been in business and other metrics such as prior mishaps and how they were handled by the company.
Handling of Bad Situations
A business is always accountable. Before going ahead with a pick and pack fulfillment company, it is important to know what the company’s procedure is if your product gets misplaced, whether they keep track of damaged goods and how often they count them. There should be full transparency between you and your pick, pack and ship fulfillment service.
Software and Technology
Check to see if your potential pick and pack fulfillment service has a reliable warehouse management system (WMS), if they can link to your sales channels to automatically retrieve orders, and can provide real-time data. It should all be automated by technology and all the information about your products in the warehouse or the process of fulfillment should be at your fingertips. It will help you to be answerable to your customers directly.
Conclusion: Should You Outsource Your Pick and Pack Fulfillment Service Needs?
When you grow as a business, you start delegating the work to your manager, supervisors, and other employees. You hire experts with years of experience in certain fields, so similarly, you should do the same with your company’s requirements. You need to choose a cost-effect pick and pack fulfillment company for all your shipping and warehousing needs. They provide adaptable solutions for organizations of all sizes. If your firm is short on space, manpower, or time-related resources, a pick and pack fulfillment company can relieve tension while also saving you time and money, all of which affect your bottom line. Examine your alternatives and select the one that best suits your company.
WareIQ has emerged as one of the trusted Order Fulfillment companies equipped with all the resources in pick, pack and ship services, warehousing, logistics and much more.
Established in 2019, WareIQ, a Y-combinator backed startup, has rapidly grown to be the leading full-stack eCommerce fulfillment company for some of the most reputed brands in India. WareIQ offers a full-stack platform for eCommerce companies to enable same-day delivery and next day delivery to customers – an Amazon Prime-like experience but accessible to everyone.
WareIQ manages the entire range of complex operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, such as inbound functions like scanning and quality check, 100% accurate Pick and Pack, and inventory management across all channels, with a centralized platform for core fulfillment and shipping operations and post-shipping apps for a delightful experience and zero to minimal supply chain leakages.
WareIQ has empowered brands to sell more, sell faster & sell everywhere due to:
- Access to WareIQ’s strong nationwide network of fulfilment centres, micro-fulfillment centers & urban dark stores near their customers
- Access to all major national & hyperlocal last-mile courier services at discounted rates for making same/next day deliveries possible
- Easy integration across multiple online platforms & marketplaces enhancing multi-channel selling
- Access to a superior centralised tech platform for eCommerce operations
- ML-based prediction engine for efficient warehouse network design & smart inventory placement
- Centralised platform for core fulfilment & shipping operations
- Post-shipping apps for delightful experience & zero to minimum supply chain leakages (Branded tracking page with smart marketing placements; Trigger-based updates & smart communication platform)
WareIQ has customised offerings for merchants experiencing different order volumes as well as having different delivery speed expectations. WareIQ is probably one of the very few fulfilment tech companies in the world that have same-day delivery service for their customers under their product “WareIQ RUSH”.
With world-class WMS functionalities, WareIQ handles the entire range of intricate operations in the eCommerce fulfillment process, ranging from Inbound Operations such as scanning and quality check, through 100% accurate Pick and Pack, to Inventory Management across all channels. At the same time, WareIQ customers realise significant cost savings and wider reach due to better negotiations with shipping partners, strategically placed warehouses, economies of scale and scope in warehousing and data-driven decision making.
WareIQ’s WMS, a centralised tech platform helps to better manage undelivered orders by reducing NDR processing time by 12 hours – a multifunctional NDR dashboard helps to track and take immediate action for undelivered orders in real-time, thereby reducing RTO by up to 10%. Automatic replenishment recommendations and easy purchase order creation capabilities on the WareIQ platform further empower eCommerce companies to leverage all possible ways of increasing their ROI.
300+ brands, such as The Man Company, Future Group, Kama Ayurveda and Wingreens Farms, have trusted WareIQ as a reliable partner in their growth journeys. No minimum order quantity requirements make it suitable even for small businesses, having low order quantities, to take advantage of the latest trends such as next day delivery and same-day delivery. The onboarding process is simple, convenient and less time consuming, while the pricing policy is clear and transparent. WareIQ also undertakes strict safety precautions at its warehouses and complete ownership of the operations, thereby minimising the risk exposure of WareIQ customers.
Thus WareIQ will definitely prove to be a more reliable and trusted long-term fulfillment partner compared to dropshipping and conventional 3PL companies.
Sign Up Now with WareIQ to avail our superior fulfillment tech platform & enhance your online business growth.