In a warehouse, pick and pack fulfillment is the process that occurs after an order is placed from an online store. Picking is the selecting of the proper quantities of each product from its respective location in the warehouse. Packing is the placing of the items into the proper box, along with the appropriate packing materials and documentation before the package is labelled and shipped to the end customer.
Pick and pack fulfillment must be streamlined to reduce the cost of fulfillment. For picking, this means reducing the labor required to choose the right products for an order. Warehouses that do pick and pack fulfillment have a few different ways to do this: piece picking, batch picking, zone picking, and wave picking.
- Piece picking is when an employee handpicks each product for an entire order, as they come in.
- Batch picking is similar to piece picking, except that orders will be done in batches all at once, instead of one at a time.
- Zone picking is when employees are assigned to a specific area of the warehouse and only pick one order at a time within that area. If an order needs products from more than one zone, it is handed off usually via conveyor belt.
Packing involves placing the items into the appropriate sized box with the right packaging materials to ensure they reach their final destination undamaged. To reduce costs, packing should keep an order within the smallest number of boxes and use the right type of packing material(s) for each product. Many warehouses will have a management system that can help detail which box will be the most appropriate choice for the order at hand.
When choosing a warehouse, pick and pack services are the bread and butter. A good warehouse can turn around orders quickly and with a high accuracy rate.