Order processing systems need efficient packing stations

A badly designed packing station slows down order processing, decreases packers productivity, and increases errors. With poor systems in place, companies can quickly find themselves with a bad reputation for slow delivery times and order errors, then counting the cost when customers stop ordering as a result.

The solution is to redesign packing stations and the packing process.

Automating the packing process

To make packing stations more efficient, automate as much as possible. In a packing system, pickers deliver order items to the packing station, where they are given a packing slip and shipping label. The package is then taken to the location where they are loaded onto the carrier’s vehicle. All these processes can be monitored by order management applications.

If the packer inputs address into a label machine, there could be input errors. An automated label system will match the order to customer details and automatically print an accurate label.

After the order has been packed and labelled, the packer simply confirms by scanning or other means that the order is ready for dispatch. If not using a scanner, a tablet on a stand is preferable to a mouse and keyboard. It is easier to touch a button to confirm the order is packed than using two hands to move a mouse and entering data on a keyboard.

Handing the order items to the packer

Single-item orders are fairly straightforward, but if an order has several items, there needs to be a system so that all items are kept together. Ideally, all order items arrive at the same time. If not, items waiting for more products need storing in bins and the packer should be informed when the order is ready to be packed.

What does a packing station need?

Analysing the order packing process and planning ways to improve it influences what equipment and materials need to be in a packing station.

Materials at the packing station include bags, boxes, tape, inserts, promotional documents, manuals, coupons. Packers should keep walking to a minimum, so all these materials should be on shelving units within easy reach, with the most commonly used materials nearest. No materials should be put on the floor, and shelving units with lips prevent items from accidentally falling off.

There needs to be a quick way to seal parcels, such as a tape gun. For high-volume warehouses, automatic case sealers may be preferable. Labels and invoices need to be automatically generated with a printer close to the packer.

The packing bench or table should be at a comfortable height for packers. If workers are below or above average height, a non-standard height table is needed.

Above all, shelving and tables need to be arranged in such a way that the packer does not need to stretch, twist or crouch to access everything they need.

For more advice on designing packing stations using our top-quality tables, shelves and other warehouse equipment, contact us at here at Steely Products using the form below.

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Posted by Mark
21st May 2020
Packing

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