Pick and Pack vs. Kitting: What’s right for you?
Businesses and their customers depend on efficient supply chain management through optimized fulfillment & 3PL solutions. Two supply chain strategies that our customers at BR Printers rely on are “Pick and Pack” and “Kitting.” These approaches play pivotal roles in meeting customer demands efficiently while enhancing the overall shopping experience. A pick and pack service involves selecting specific items from storage to create a package that meets a customer’s order, resulting in reduced costs and faster deliveries. On the other hand, kitting takes a more strategic approach, bundling diverse items together to create a distinct package, often for marketing purposes. In this exploration, we’ll delve into the differences between these strategies, examine their advantages, and help you determine which is the best fit for your business. So, whether you’re aiming for streamlined efficiency or a personalized unboxing experience, read on to make an informed decision that aligns perfectly with your brand’s order fulfillment needs.
What is Pick and Pack?
A pick and pack service is a supply chain process where SKU’s are picked from storage and combined in a package. Fulfillment and 3PL providers collect a specified number of certain products from their respective locations to fulfill a customer’s order.
Think of a time you ordered multiple items from a website, let’s say you got a book, bookmark, and t-shirt from the same site. If that business has a pick and pack fulfillment provider, those items will show up on your doorstep in the same package. This process reduces costs by reducing packaging materials and waste, optimizing shipping costs, and speeding up delivery. It also improves the customer experience.
The order fulfillment process a business can expect from a pick-and-pack fulfillment center, like BR Printers, is simple. First, businesses store inventory in our warehouse. Then, your eCommerce channels integrate into our systems for inventory management and customer order processing. Once we receive a customer order, our warehouse picker locates and picks the ordered items from their respective locations. This step requires very detailed organization software and warehouse layouts. Then, customers’ products are combined, packed, and receive a shipping label at the packing station. Finally, carriers come to our warehouse, pick up packages from us, and deliver them to your customers.
What is Kitting?
While kitting is a similar concept, kitting is a type of order fulfillment service. It involves combining multiple different items into a single box to make a unique SKU. This package can be shipped right away or kept as a new SKU for shipment at a later time.
Kitted items aren’t picked to match a customer’s order, they’re strategically combined for marketing or convenience. Package customization and add-ons are popular reasons for companies to turn to kitting services. Many promotional product kits, such as new hire kits, are fulfilled this way.
Kit Customization Capabilities:
- Add customized thank-you notes with customer’s names
- Custom Product Labels
- Print and pack promotions and coupons
- Include small samples of similar products
- Incorporate an inspirational quote, illustration, or tidbit
- Product Pre-assembly
- Add tissue paper or crinkle paper filling
- Secure products with dividers or extra cushion
- Place products in branded, reusable containers
Which fulfillment solution is right for your business?
Choosing the appropriate fulfillment center and solution holds significant importance for businesses, as the pick and pack process, alongside the kitting process, serves distinct purposes. Industry experts play a pivotal role in guiding the decision-making process when businesses select a pick and pack method or kitting approach. Our Enterprise Fulfillment Executive, Charlie Wood, explains that “kitting is for the customer that has needs that go beyond pick and pack. Any brand that is looking to customize their customer experience by adding a unique unboxing experience. Perfect for subscription boxes or for companies who frequently change their bundles to inspire new sales.”
From order picking and packing to kitting and your other fulfillment warehouse needs, BR Printers is the place to streamline your operations. While other third-party logistics providers (3PLs) present standard eCommerce fulfillment solutions, BR places significance on your brand, reputation, and customer experience.
Based in San Jose, CA, with facilities in San Diego, CA, Denver, CO, Appleton, WI, Cincinnati, OH, and Independence, KY, BR is a provider of book, commercial, and large format printing and marketing services, packaging, promotional products, value chain, and logistics management to marketers and the publishing industry’s most recognizable names. BR’s national footprint, combined with a solution-centric focus, allows it to leverage data and technology while maintaining an appreciation and respect for traditional print craftsmanship.