Warehouse Packing - An introduction

What is Warehouse Order Packing? How to optimize your order packing process to improve your warehouse efficiency and customer experience.

This post immediately follows our previous post on Warehouse Picking Process which you might want to read before starting this post. 

This post is part of a series of posts on Warehouse Operations. It is highly recommended that you have gone through the previous posts on Warehousing

In our next series of posts on Warehouse Operations, we’ll see about the Warehouse packing process. This is also called the Order Packing process. When you receive a new package from Amazon, you’ll be getting it in a box or a package with all the items put together. I’m sure you know, Amazon doesn’t keep all of these items packages together in their warehouses. What they do is pick the products using the picking process we spoke about earlier and pack them at the packing center. 

The general packing process is very straightforward. Described below.

The Packing Process

Pick the necessary items for a given order

All items for a given order are picked from the racks and bays of the warehouse and brought to the packing center. The picking process has been explained earlier. 

Pack the items

The packer looks at different orders in their screens and start packing things order by order. Each order is placed in single or multiple boxes depending on the size of the items. Mostly, the boxes or packaging are standardized for easier handling, reduced cost etc. 

Proceed to dispatch

Once the items are packed, each packed item is pushed to dispatch where it is loaded onto the trucks.

While the process is straightforward, there are aspects of packing that need to be paid attention in order to improve the efficiency of the process in the warehouse and the customer experience. Some of those are given below. 

How to optimize your packing process

Single order packing vs multi-order packing

Depending on the type of picking process you use in the warehouse (single order picking, batch picking, Zone picking etc), the type of packing will change. The packer will need to know the individual items in each order and access them easily to pack them faster. 

Personalization

When packing an order, it is encouraged to add a personal touch for the customer. This could be a small pamphlet or a small gift/branding material so the customer feels the brand’s presence at their home. This is an important aspect for any growing business. 

Item Serialization

The biggest area where packers spend their time is to identify each item in a given order at the packing station. This is why having all the items serialized is an important step in improving efficiency. When serialized, each item can be scanned using a scanner or a mobile phone and identified instantly which order they belong to. There are other aspects of serialization that need to be put in place before this can be automated. We will talk about this in a different post. 

Digital assistant tools

To make the job easier, each packing station must have a few tools. 

  • A tablet to show the open orders that need to be packed and the items in that order
  • A scanner or a mobile phone with an app that can help the user scan and pack the items. 
  • Ability to mark a given order as packing complete and dispatch it to the dispatch location. 

Hopefully, this post helped you understand how you can implement an efficient packing process at your warehouse. On a closing note, we’re building Zorp. Zorp is a platform to build powerful technology tools to automate all parts of your operations. The packing tools that were mentioned above can be easily implemented and automated using Zorp.