What is pick and pack?
Pick and pack is a part of the order fulfillment process, in which warehouses pick individual units from larger master cartons or pallets, pack them, and ship them to a recipient. This pick and pack process is essential to the efficiency, accuracy, and speed of your shipments.
When would I use it?
Most warehouses use pick and pack processes any time they want to validate the items being shipped in an order, especially when shipping ecommerce orders or B2C shipments.
What is the process?
There are several configurations that need to take place in and out of 3PL Warehouse Manager before you can successfully implement this pick and pack workflow. Please make sure the following have been completed before proceeding:
- Carts are set up in the warehouse with barcoded bins
- All relevant orders are fully allocated and in a Complete status
- All relevant billing charges are properly configured
- All relevant items are fully configured
- All relevant package types are configured
- SmartScan is enabled
- SmartPack is enabled and configured
- SmartParcel is enabled and configured
- Rate shopping is enabled and configured
- Zebra Browser Print is installed and fully configured
Below is a flowchart of the overall process of a pick and pack workflow, which is further detailed in this article. To enlarge, right-click the image and select "View image" or "Open image in new tab"—the verbiage depends on your web browser.
Use the following links to skip to the relevant guidelines below.
- Step 1: Find orders
- Step 2: Create pick job
- Step 3: Pick orders
- Step 4: Generate packing slips
- Step 5: Pack orders and print shipping labels
- Step 6: Ship and close orders
Step 1: Find orders
Once you are ready to start processing your orders, locate them in the Orders grid of 3PL Warehouse Manager under Orders > Find Orders. If needed, use the search filters in the left pane to refine the results displayed in the grid.
Step 2: Create pick job
The pick job functionality allows you to seamlessly create one pick job for two or more orders using a pick-to-bin method. This picking process utilizes a pick cart with bins allocated for each order being picked and is best practice if you have many small or medium-sized items for multiple orders.
Follow the steps below to get started.
- Select all the relevant orders you wish to include in the pick job, using < Ctrl > or < Shift > on your keyboard to multi-select.
- Hover over Manage, then click Create pick job to open the Create Pick Job dialog box.
- Optional: From the drop-down menu, select a 'Priority'. 1 denotes the highest priority, while not specifying a priority prioritizes the job based on the time the pick job was created.
- Optional: Select a specific 'Owner' to complete the pick job, then enter any necessary 'Instructions' the picker may need for the job.
- Click Save Changes and Exit. You can then proceed to pick the job using SmartScan.
Step 3: Pick orders
The following diagram displays the overall layout of the pick-to-bin process.
Once you create a pick-to-bin pick job in 3PL Warehouse Manager, utilize SmartScan to complete the batch pick. Please note that you must have carts and uniquely barcoded bins set up in your warehouse before proceeding.
- Log in to SmartScan.
- Select the Pick module, then tap Pick to Bin.
- The orders available to pick appears based on priority. To begin the order shown, tap Start Pick.
- To skip to the next prioritized order, tap Skip Pick. Once all orders are skipped, there is an option to 'Reset Pick' to the beginning of the list of pick jobs.
- If a specific location is associated with the pick job, SmartScan directs you to proceed to that location.
- The Pick SKU/UPC dialog box opens. Scan the 'Location' and 'SKU/UPC' for the first item, as well as any required track-by's, such as Lot Number or Serial Number.
- Enter the 'Quantity', then scan the 'Bin' barcode.
After you scan a unique bin number for the first time, SmartScan validates that bin number for any additional items going into the same bin.
- Tap Done. The line item shows a green check to indicate the inventory has been picked.
- Repeat Steps 4–6 until all items are picked.
If you need to unpick an item, select the appropriate line item, then tap Unpick SKU. Repeat the pick as needed.
- Once you have completed the pick job, tap Finish Pick. A confirmation message appears.
If you were unable to pick all items associated with the pick job, the application prompts you to specify a reason. Once selected, tap Complete to receive a confirmation message.
The orders are now ready to be packed.
Step 4: Generate packing slips
3PL Warehouse Manager contains a standard packing slip to accompany the shipment. Packing slips provide the recipient of an order with a full list of the items dispatched from the warehouse.
- To generate a packing slip, locate the relevant orders on the Find Orders page.
- Select the relevant orders from the grid, then click Documents > Packing Slips.
- Ensure the appropriate version, template, and export format is selected, then click Generate.
- Repeat for each order as needed.
Step 5: Pack orders and print shipping labels
3PL Warehouse Manager’s SmartPack™ feature is designed to automate and verify packing accuracy, optimize shipping prep-time, and streamline your packing process. Integrated with SmartParcel™, SmartPack allows you to generate carrier shipping labels directly from the SmartPack page. Once a label is printed, your tracking number automatically populates in the Find Orders grid.
If your shipping method depends on identifying the best carrier/service by carrier costs or delivery times, you may want to utilize our rate shopping feature, covered in Step 6 below. Please note that there may be instances where your customers require a specific carrier and service to be used. In those situations, rate shopping would not be utilized.
- Head to a packing station and navigate to Orders > SmartPack in 3PL Warehouse Manager.|
- Scan the relevant bin barcode. This opens the SmartPack page, in which the top grid displays all 'Items to be Packed' on the orders associated with the scanned barcode.
- Scan the package barcode (located on the package or on the Barcode Cheat Sheet) to identify the package type for the first package on the order. The package populates in the bottom 'Package Contents' grid.
- Begin scanning each item into the first package. To pack items into an additional package, scan a new package definition barcode and continue to scan each item.
- Continue scanning until the order is fully packed.
- Optional: To view available shipping options, click Get Rates.
- A list of rates appear in the drop-down menu for shipping your order through the rate shopping carriers enabled for your account.
- Select your preferred shipping rate from the drop-down menu, then click Save Rate.
- Scan Small Parcel Ship on your Barcode Sheet Sheet to print your shipping labels and complete the packing process.
Step 6: Ship and close orders
Once you've packed your orders and printed the shipping labels, it's time to ship them to their destination and mark them as closed on the Find Orders page.
To do so, select the relevant orders from the grid, then click Manage > Ship and close to open the Ship and Close dialog box.
Modify the 'Routing Information' and 'Additional Charges' as needed, then click Ship and Close.