Packing, loading, staging and shipping are the equivalent of the ‘last mile’ in flawless fulfilment. In today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, these functionalities are key to turning around warehouse and distribution centres to streamline delivery, enhance competitive advantage and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Whether you’re shipping to a manufacturer that needs raw materials for just-in-time production or a retail customer waiting for delivery of her holiday gifts, the importance of timely, accurate deliveries cannot be overstated.
Packing, staging, loading and shipping challenges
When real-time information related to these crucial last steps in the order fulfilment process is lacking, you face a number of potential complications. These include delays in order turnaround time and shipping due to a number of issues, such as inaccurate product and customer data, inefficient packing and loading dock operations, and poor carrier and container utilisation. All too often, the results are pain points that include higher shipping costs, reduced customer service and satisfaction, an increased number of returns and, ultimately, lost sales and revenues.
Packing, loading and shipping mobile data capture solutions
When real-time information in the warehouse packing function is integrated tightly into your staging and delivery functions, you can realise major benefits in your shipping and delivery operations. Mobility can streamline these final stages of order fulfilment, ensuring that the right order contains the right products, and is shipped to the right customer at the right time via the right method of shipment. It provides a final cross-check to ensure that the order is correct, properly addressed and scheduled for the proper shipment method, complete with on-the-spot printing of all necessary paperwork. In addition, in the event that any items that were back-ordered have now arrived in the warehouse, the packer can receive notification, enabling full completion of the shipment prior to leaving the facility. Finally, fixed printers or heavier duty automatic label machines can be used for ensuring onwards visibility through the supply chain. Coordination with the dispatch function ensures that the shipment is properly staged for loading on the right truck in the right order. Packing material costs can also be controlled. Your business system can automatically determine the right size carton for the shipment, removing guesswork and eliminating the use of excess amounts of filling materials. Worker productivity is increased as the same staff can ship more orders in a day. Shipping and delivery times are improved, as is vehicle utilisation as trucks are fully loaded with the right contents. Driver productivity is also improved thanks to accurate order staging and loading that reduces dwell time at each stop. And because more customers are likely to receive shipments within the promised time frame, customer satisfaction and retention are maximised.
Yard Management Systems are designed to optimize yard operations, especially for yards that require fast throughput. This is accomplished through faster gate transactions, efficient parking assignments, fewer yard moves and greater door turns. A scheduling system is used for planning expected arrivals and departures whilst an execution system responds to unplanned events based on business rules that are configured for your particular operations. The combination of effective planning and exception handling allows the Yard Management System to direct the right trailer to the right door at the right time.
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Packing and shipping points of pain
In last-mile operations, when cross-checking to confirm that the right items are in the shipment must be done manually, turnaround times are slower and can cause significant shipping delays and lead to carrier detention charges.
In the packing functionality, the lack of real-time pre-packing information can easily result in orders that are incomplete, inaccurate and packed in the wrong size cartons or containers.
Manual processes often result in an inability to dynamically modify shipping orders to accommodate last minute changes and emergency orders from customers.
Inefficiencies in processing while paperwork and data are manually entered into the system cause delays and errors in manifest creation and shipping that can easily ripple into customer dissatisfaction.
Leading Solution Components
Yard Management System (YMS)
A complete solution including yard management and visibility server software, RFID sensors and tags that leverages real-time location information to optimise yard management.
MK4000 Micro kiosk
With the largest and highest resolution screen, this Micro Kiosk supports the richest applications for employees without consuming valuable surface area at packing stations.
DS9808 Hybrid presentation imager
Hybrid design delivers dynamic, high performance hands-free and handheld data capture of 1D/ 2D/PDF417 barcodes, images and signatures.
Raises the bar for premier rugged mobile computing, incorporating breakthrough ergonomic design and features, perfect for use in a warehouse, at the dock, in the yard, and out on the route.
ZT400 Series industrial printers
The ZT400 Series is designed for durable, reliable printing in tough environments. Loaded with advanced features, RFID capabilities and Zebra’s Link-OS environment, the ZT400 is ideal for the receiving dock.
G-series desktop printer
Meet your labelling needs with these versatile and compact desktop label printers. Space saving, feature-rich and user friendly, these thermal label printers are a smart choice.
ZE500 Print engines
The next generation of Zebra print engines designed for easy integration, maintenance and operation in automated labelling applications.