What is order packing?
Order packing is the process of packing all the items for an order into an appropriate container before shipping it to the customer. It is the second step in order fulfillment, right after the picking process. The packing process takes place in the warehouse and typically consists of choosing appropriate materials and an appropriate container to pack the products, weighing the package, and labeling it with the relevant invoice or packing slip.
What makes order packing important?
Here are a few reasons why order packing is an important process:
Just as it’s important for customers to receive the right items, it’s equally important that they get them in good condition. Damaged goods are a headache for both the customer and the business. For the customer, it means that they have to return the product and then wait all over again for a replacement or refund—which can take weeks to arrive. And for the business, it means collecting the damaged product, then shipping a replacement or giving a refund. All this doesn’t reflect well on the company. Therefore, the packaging of an order protects your products from breakage so that they are kept intact when they reach your customer.
Apart from expenses related to the products that are being dealt with, most warehouses have other expenses as well. Some of these expenses are fixed like rent and electricity and others can differ, like the amount spent on packaging materials. How efficiently a business packs their products, will determine how much they end up spending on packaging materials, where efficient packing is using just the right amount of materials needed to make sure that a product safely reaches a customer – not too much to be considered a waste of material and money, and not too little for there to be a risk of damage. Since this expense can be controlled, efficient packaging can help with reducing the overall spending in a warehouse.
Additionally, when a customer receives damaged products, they would usually request for a refund or exchange. This would mean that the business would have to spend extra money to retrieve the product and then replace it or refund it, which is a loss either way. But since efficient packaging minimizes the chances of damage or breakage, it also reduces the number of refunds or exchanges issued, and saves the business of this expense.
Promote brand identity
Most businesses that take care of their own shipping add something else, besides the invoice and shipping label, to their packaging to identify themselves. This could be their logo, the colors they use, the design of the box, or some other aspect of the packaging. For example, Amazon and Faasos add their brand names and logos to each box, so that their customers can tell where the package is from before even opening it. This form of packaging is not only visually appealing, but it also helps boost brand identity and can be used as a marketing tool.
How does order packing work?
Here are the steps of a typical order packing process:
Once the products have been picked and brought to the packing area, packers choose an appropriate box or container to put the products in. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to use a properly sized box so that you can reduce the amount of wasted space.
The next step is to actually pack the products. Packers usually choose packaging material based on the nature of the products that they are packing. For example, glass and other fragile products require extra material, such as foam peanuts, bubble wrap, or even air cushions, so that they don’t break during delivery. Some warehouse management software can even chalk out the most efficient way to pack, based on the weights and dimensions of all the boxes and products used.
After the products have been packed, wrapped, and sealed, the package is weighed and measured. Packers enter this information into their order management software to generate an accurate packing slip for the package.
Lastly, a courier service is chosen to deliver the package. Packers print out the shipping label for the package and the invoice for the order, and attach both to the package. Once this is done, the package is ready to be shipped!