Fulfillment: Six Picking and Packing Tips
Sometimes little changes can make a big difference in your pick and pack operations. Catalog and shipping industry experts presented such small changes at a rapid-fire “60 in 60” idea session at NCOF held earlier this month in Orlando, Fla.
Here are some of the more noteworthy tips delivered by a panel that included FedEx Retail Industry Manager Jose Li, Longaberger Co. Director of Operations and Transportation William Monk, Fortna Inc. Account Manager John Giangrande, VendorNet CEO Sharon Gardner, Container Store Vice President of Logistics and Distribution Amy Carovillano and Taylor Systems Engineering Corp. CEO Mark Taylor:
Li: To provide a perk that might be less costly than free shipping, try offering mail-in rebates for shipping. “Sixty-seven percent of consumers demand free shipping,” he noted, “but 25 percent of free shipping rebates are redeemed.”
Monk: Automate your singles (single-item order fulfillment) process using machines that enable you to place smart labels on products, print packing slips and place them in envelopes or on boxes -- all of which can improve productivity.
Giangrande: Pick orders directly into shipping containers to reduce costs.
Gardner: Implement speed lines whenever possible in place of conventional packing stations. “This is good for high-volume items, possibly back-orders or multi-line orders that use the same box,” she pointed out. “It has a significant impact on order throughput, cost savings and labor.”
Carovillano: Cross-train returns operators to do picking and packing so they’re trained to see opportunities in your operation.
Taylor: If you ship out packages with a value of more than $100, never pay the carrier for insurance. That’s because you can do it for just $1 by using a third-party insurance company.