If your company sells products, picking and packing is an essential part of your supply chain. The efficiency of that process will have a direct bearing on the level of customer service you provide. As we all know, smaller companies rely on excellent customer service to make them stand out above their larger competitors. So, it’s a good idea to make sure you do everything you can to ensure your fulfilment process works as smoothly as possible.
You have two options: you can do it in-house or outsource the process to a third-party logistics company.
Although it’s a relatively simple process, getting the most out of it must be your priority. To help you decide whether outsourcing is the right option for you, let’s look at the process in a bit more detail.
What is picking and packing?
Also known as fulfilment, pick and pack is the process of getting goods off your shelves and shipped to your customers. It goes something like this:
It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But the more you drill down into it, the more you realise it’s not as straightforward as you thought because there are a few different ways you can go about it. You could opt for piece picking where each order is picked individually. That’s OK with you’re a small business and only have a few orders a day.
For bigger businesses, there’s batch picking. As the name suggests, orders located in the same area of the warehouse are ‘batched’, giving a more efficient process when you have several orders to fulfil at once.
Then there’s zone picking. This one is a bit more complicated. Pickers stay within a warehouse zone and pick products only within that area. They then pass these onto a worker in the next zone and so on until it reaches the packing station.
The benefits of outsourcing your picking and packing
As you can see, picking and packing isn’t as simple as you first thought. That’s why many businesses are turning to third-party logistics companies to streamline their fulfilment process.
Whether you’re a small business or a larger concern, fulfilment is a time-consuming process. By outsourcing it to experts, your orders are turned around faster, boosting your customer service while giving you more time to get on with running your business.
Lower storage costs
Premises cost a lot of money to maintain. By outsourcing your picking and packing, you’re doing away with the need for warehousing.
Keeping it personal
You might be worried that outsourcing will mean losing the personal touch your customer enjoys. Well, don’t. Your logistics company uses expert pickers who can work to your specific requirements, so your customers will never know their order wasn’t packed by your fair hand.
Don’t worry about being stuck in a service contract. Every business has peaks and troughs, so you can scale up and down as needed.
Not only will your customers benefit from a smoother service, so will your team. Without having the pressure of fulfilment weighing them down, they’ll have more time to sell and market your business to make sure the orders keep coming.
Look to the future
Your business is set to grow, so you’ll need room to expand. That means higher overheads in terms of property, people, and time. Don’t wait until you’re drowning and your customer service suffers. Outsourcing now will give you the confidence to grow your business unhindered.