Kitting and Pick & Pack services are also known as product assembly. This is the process where items are brought together and bundled into a single packaged product for the end customer to receive. Kitting and product assembly are a basic but important part of warehouse service and delivery.
Inefficient or ineffective kitting practices slow down your workflow and increase the risk of errors finding their way to you customers’ doorsteps. Fortunately, a good third party logistics (3PL) provider, like Dimensions, will take the necessary steps to ensure kitting is executed properly and accurately. To help you on your journey, we have put together the 3 best practices for quality kitting:
1. Bill of Materials
You’ll be surprised how often smaller items are left out or included in the wrong amounts. This is common in high-volume kitting operations. The reason being that as workers start packing on reflexes, it becomes easier for things to skip through the cracks.
To prevent this from reaching your end customers, we suggest developing a robust quality-control process where kits are selected at random and inspected for accuracy.
A bill of materials is also a good way to make sure your staff pause and pay attention during the packing process. This is a written notice that is created for each unique product kit and states (or depicts) the contents and their quantities. A bill of materials is a simple way of ensuring everything gets double-checked and verified.
2. Electronic Inventory Tracking
Kitting gives you flexibility to design numerous product bundle combinations. One of its downsides, however, is that in in-house operations certain products aren’t always kept at the same inventory level. So you may find yourself well-stocked in one item bit dangerously low on another.
Warehousing software lets you keep track of inventory levels in real time and can alert you when certain items are getting low. Dimensions’ preferred warehousing software is 3PL Central. The software gives kitting clients live insights of their stock levels and enables you to view reports on stock movements.
Such software is particularly important in campaigns where bulk orders are common. Software like 3PL Central can let you know how much of the order can be packed and shipped immediately and how much needs to wait for additional stock. The importance of effective inventory tracking increases in times of high demand, such as holiday periods and sales.
3. Quality Checks
A good kitting service undergoes quality and production checks at predetermined intervals. The exact timing depends on the scale of kit production, but generally a check is performed every 20 (when your campaigns is in the hundreds) to 200 (when your campaign is in the thousands) kits.
The reason for these frequent inspections is that if a problem is detected, you will have a smaller window of kits to double-check to determine how widespread the error is. In cases where your product kits are done as one-offs or off the assembly line, you can adopt a ‘measure twice and cut once’ approach where a secondary manager inspects and signs off on each kit.
Dimensions is a specialist in warehouse fulfilment and direct mail marketing and is based in Scotland, UK. We have stored, sorted and delivered products of all shapes and sizes for all kinds of companies since 1989. Contact us by phone at 0141 370 3883 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how third-party warehousing and fulfilment services can support and grow your business.