E-commerce logistics: How to streamline parcel packaging
One of the most important and relatively easy to measure parameters of a successful business logistics is the time needed to process one order. There are examples of online stores where it takes even 10-15 minutes to complete an order. The physical intralogistics flow of goods from the shelf to the hands of the carrier creates bottlenecks where the packaging process can be included.
How to guarantee the highest possible efficiency of packing? How should the optimal packaging table be equipped or ergonomically set up? A number of factors play a role here, and we will discuss them in turn.
A properly defined space for the packaging workstation in the warehouse is absolutely essential. Its location must correspond to the optimal intralogistics flow of goods in the order processing. This means being easily and quickly accessible for pickers as well as directly preceding the shipping area. When planning, it is necessary to think about sufficient natural or supplementary artificial lighting and to track the average temperature of the location which determines the comfort of working conditions for the staff.
Surroundings of the packaging area
For the most efficient operation, its immediate surroundings also need to be adapted appropriately. Designate sufficient space for the movement of packing personnel (packer), ensure free access for the replenishment of the highest-turnover packaging material or clearly delineate and mark the area for low-turnover material. Once the order has been packed, it needs to be assigned a location that serves as an intermediate station to the dispatch point. At this location it is advisable to have transport equipment, either a picking carts or internal boxes to facilitate the movement of goods. The space between the two points must be free of obstructions and wide enough for two-way movement of warehousemen.
Now we come to the heart of the workplace which is the packaging table. It is necessary to be equipped with tables with a sufficient surface according to the products to be packed or the size of the orders. When choosing, it is good to think about the possibility of adjusting the height and inclination of the table. It should also include brackets for PCs and other hardware, shelves with quickly accessible materials and incorporated bins for the waste that is generated during packaging. There should be placed a rubber floor mat in front of the table to minimize health risks to operating personnel.
Packing table equipment
The standard table equipment required to ensure an efficient packaging process includes a computer and its accessories, a label printer, a printer for invoices or other documents, a barcode scanner, an industrial scale, a camera, packaging, filling and fastening material, a knife, writing instruments, waste bins and, if necessary, holders for internal directives and other documents.
If all of the above is ensured, then you only need a well-trained staff. The packaging process should be ideally handled by one person. Then a manager is able to measure performance relatively accurately, set a standard based on the measurements and then set a performance reward model related to the speed and quality of the work done. A possible second output of the measurement may be a change in the number of work packages. By continuously monitoring and comparing the performance of multiple workers it is possible to optimise the way of working which leads to further training and streamlining the work of the packers.
Product packaging is often a critical point in the fulfillment process. This is most often felt during the seasonal peaks of orders when the speed and accuracy of the packing staff gradually decreases. Flawless packaging and fast delivery are the deciding factor in your customer’s repeat purchase up to 87% of the time. By following these points you will ensure that your packing department operates efficiently and minimises the number of complaints. If you find that you are unable to ship the required quantity of orders, you have several options. You can invest in new equipment, optimize your warehouse layout, move to a larger facility or contact us. We will be happy to explain you everything or give you a practical demonstration in our fulfillment center.