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At times, it seems like picking and packing methods are like a favorite home recipe: there’s a ton of different ways to do it, everyone insists their way is best, and it can be hard to get away from your favorite method once it becomes a habit.

And while it can be tough to figure out exactly how you can be picking and packing your items better, it’s always worth keeping an open mind about new tricks. As ecommerce becomes ever more sophisticated (and complicated), it’s worth trying to see what the pros are doing to get their items out the door and figure out if those methods can help you at all.

Here’s a few of the best picking and packing tips we’ve seen from ecommerce businesses just like yours, and how they might help your business get more done:

 

Ecommerce Pick & Pack Tips

 

Get creative with barcodes

Barcodes (and the scanners needed to make them work) are a staple of warehouses these days, and have been for some time. These days, however, you can do a lot more with them than simply track item location.

Depending on the sophistication of your chosen barcode system, you can actually use your barcodes to track things like where the item is in the shipping process, estimated delivery dates, and more. This can open up new worlds of communication with your customers, and who doesn’t love getting those tracking numbers these days? Make sure to use shelving label holders to keep these barcodes in a prominent place.

 

Utilize crossdocking more often

Cross-docking is the act of keeping items in your warehouse just long enough to scan them and pick them, and then placing them right on a different outgoing truck to their final destination. It’s a practice that’s risen in popularity during the recent ecommerce boom, and it shows no signs of changing or going away.

If your warehouse doesn’t already use crossdocking to fulfill orders, it’s not as difficult to implement as you may expect. Make sure to use workstations to create a space for checking the items in and getting them ready to ship out (creating address labels, repacking into larger boxes, etc), and make sure your workers have a clear path between the two docks.

 

Use volume-based inventory

Inventory management is a beast with many heads, and there’s always some new hurdle to cross when it comes to accurate picking, shipping, and fulfillment. A method many modern ecommerce warehouses have begun to use is the “volume-based” inventory system.

“Volume-based” refers to any inventory method that focuses on the amount of sales a given SKU gets. Instead of grouping products “like with like”, which can slow down your picking speed, priority is given to the most popular items or most popular example of every item. By rearranging your warehouse shelves to focus more on the most popular items that get shipped more often, you can help cut down on travel time and get those orders out the door faster.

 

Don’t be afraid to reevaluate your methods

Even the most successful ecommerce businesses need a little freshening up every now and again, and this goes double for their processes. If you’ve noticed a constant snag in a certain part of the warehouse, or the same errors getting repeated with more frequency, then it might be time to take a look at your practices and see what can be done to update them, or at least correct whatever the repeating issues are.

And, of course, if you need to buy wire shelving or buy pallet racks to help keep your warehouse organized, Shelving Inc. is right here to help!

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