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What Exactly is Pick, Pack and Ship from Store?

This is an archived post from OrderDynamics, now Tecsys retail division.
What Exactly is Pick, Pack and Ship from Store? Pick, Pack and Ship from Store is a recent evolution in Stores. It is relatively unknown to most Store Managers until they are asked to handle the responsibilities that come along with it. As more retailers learn how omni-channel can benefit their organizations, especially through Ship from Store, this is becoming a fast-growing global trend. And as more and more Store Managers are being asked to assume these responsibilities, let’s talk about exactly what it is, and how will it impact you.

What is Pick, Pack and Ship? 

Pick, Pack and Ship is exactly as it sounds. It is the process of collecting the right items for an Order (or Orders), putting it into a box and/or packing materials and then shipping it off to the customer. Sometimes this is Shipment by Shipment, and sometimes in a bulk fashion. Tactically, the pick, pack and ship process gives the employee a list of what needs to be collected for an order. Historically, these pick lists were used in warehouses. They streamline the process of collecting merchandise for an order fulfillment. Whether in-store or in a warehouse, pick lists provide pick priority. They can also show the physical location of goods. It makes sure express or priority fulfillments are picked first and fast.

Store Managers: Fulfillment Logistics Duty

Store Managers now suddenly find out they need to have a grasp of the details around fulfillment and logistics. This can be quite intimidating. But it’s not as scary as one might think. And the current evolution of retail and the acceptance, or rather demand for, omni-channel solutions means store teams must adapt! The good news is that certain organizations provide great tools to allow merchants to cater to their customers' needs. All the while still supporting staff and providing easy to use tools for them. Today, customers demand more flexibility. Retailers have to transition their teams to meet these demands.

Isn’t That Just More Work?

Yes, Ship from Store can potentially mean more work and responsibility for Store Associates. However, it also brings more allocated revenue. On several store visits, I’ve heard how it has improved team morale and even inventory accuracy. Sales attributed to a store goes up. Increases in inventory turn velocity lead to fewer markdowns. It reduces the need for clearance sales (and lost margins). It also plays to the in-store pickup strategy. In these cases merchants have more chances to upsell or trigger impulse buys due to the additional foot traffic in the store. As these customers have made a purchase and trust your brand, stores usually find that 40%-60% of pick-up in-store customers purchase additional items. Is the extra work that Pick, Pack and Ship from Store generates worth it? Most Store Managers (and every one that I have spoken with) would agree it is!

Mobile or Paper-based?

It’s always nice to have options. Some stores may lack technical infrastructure. Others are more comfortable with printed pick lists. Yet, others may prefer to use digital devices and mobile applications, eliminating paper. For traditionalists, printed pick lists with the goods as the checklists can be provided. While others use a Mobile application, like Stores, to get an optimized pick, pack and ship list in real time. In fact, digital solutions can round off the pick process with a checklist of picked items at the end of the pick walk which improves accuracy.

Organization and Speed 

A big part of customer satisfaction is about getting their order shipped to them accurately and quickly. A purpose designed, clearly designated fulfillment area is a big part of this. Have the standard shipping boxes at hand, packing material ready, and a clear process associates understand. Also, make sure to have the catalogues, promotions, coupons and flyers on hand to include. Make it easy for your teams, well laid out and ready to go. With the right pick, pack and ship application your store will start making an impact as a new shipping center. Yes, it will be a learning process at first, with more work added to the roster. However, the ship-from-store transforms your store into a much more valuable asset to the retail chain. Not only does it become a shipping center in its own right, but it also increases your revenue-boosting potential, as well as increases staff morale. That’s good for associates, store managers and retail chain, alike! Author: Chris Peter is Senior Product Owner at OrderDynamics. Chris has 20+ years experience in Software Development and Product/Project Management, specializing in the development, management, implementation and support of enterprise level omni-channel and self-service solutions.
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