It sure is difficult to get all your processes as efficient as possible, without sacrificing quality, when you ship out thousands of orders monthly, isn’t it?
When things happen at scale, that drives up your profit. But it also increases complexity.
So, here’s how to drive the most efficiency from your packing processes:
1. Have an Order Management System in Place
An order management system should have each of your products’ weight and dimensions. That way, it can tell you exactly what size box to use and how to pack the item.
That keeps you shipping costs low. This also keeps the packing time low. And it results in the fewest number of damaged items.
Now that’s some nice efficiency!
2. Keep Touches to One
Only one person should need to touch your product throughout the entire pick and pack process.
Any more than that, and you’re wasting time. You’re also increasing complication, which further increase your risk of a mistake.
3. Optimize Your Storage
You shouldn’t use a random storage approach. If you’re in the early days of your business, that may be what you have to do for a while.
But you need to have an organized approach. The volume-based approach means you store the most frequently purchased items nearest your shipping stations.
The class-based approach assigns items to an area based on demand, but then you put the item randomly in any open space within that area.
One of those two approaches greatly increases your efficiency versus random storage.
4. Direct Methods for Increasing Packaging Efficiency
Use zone, wave, or batch picking to get the most from your employees. Then, amplify their packing efforts with some level of automation.
Your company can get by early on with using only human labor. But if you’re going to keep costs down and efficiency high, you’ll need to augment with machine automation.
There’s more choices available than you have time to evaluate. So, you have to understand how you currently package and what your needs are.
You may be sophisticated enough to require packaging with machine learning and AI. You may need a label applicator or overwrapping machine. You may even want an all-one system that packages product by the case.
It all depends on your unique business needs.
Packaging efficiency gains can almost always be made. And now you have an excellent starting point to identify your next opportunities.