Brick and mortar, as well as eCommerce, retailers of all sizes experience the pressures of order fulfillment. With competitors trying to undercut prices and customers demanding faster order turnaround times, the pick, pack, and ship process becomes critical to remaining competitive. Choosing and implementing the right warehouse management system (WMS) is foundational to making pick, pack and ship a well-oiled machine.

What is Pick, Pack, and Ship?

Pick, Pack, and Ship describe the process of fulfilling an order in the warehouse.
It’s an end-to-end process that includes everything from getting the right stuff, packing it the right way and getting it onto a truck for delivery to a customer.

  • Picking is the process of locating and gathering items stored in the warehouse and moving them to the packing operation
  • Packing is the process of putting items in the right sized box, labeling it for shipment and consolidating the boxed items onto a pallet
  • Shipping is the process of prepping the pallets for loading onto a truck, requesting a shipper to pick up the load, filling out paperwork and then physically putting the finished product onto the shipper’s truck

Warehouse Management Systems and Pick, Pack, and Ship.

The number one task in the pick, pack, and ship process is identifying, locating, and packing the right items in each step of the process. Utilizing a modern WMS to manage these critical tasks allows the people on your team to pick the right products faster, package orders more efficiently, and save on shipping. Specifically, a WMS can enable a world-class pick, pack, and ship process by:

  1. Improving the proper slotting – or locating – of the items to allow for efficient and accurate picking. Like items can be grouped together in sets that are the most often picked together.
  2. Utilizing the data and analytics capabilities of a WMS to analyze, over time, the product timing and seasonality increases the effectiveness of a slotting process.
  3. Increasing customer satisfaction by reducing possible errors during the order fulfillment process. By utilizing quality control within the WMS, it helps to reduce the potential for wrongly picked items.
  4. Increase accountability as inventory shifts through one warehouse or multiple warehouses and understanding why SKU counts fluctuated.

The flexibility made possible by implementing a proper WMS allows retailers the increased speed and efficiency of warehouse picking and packing operations while accommodating customer’s shipping requirements. By improving accuracy of the pick and pack operations, retailers will be able to ship orders faster than ever, increase customer satisfaction, and gain brand loyalty.