Full-service fulfillment providers make fulfillment easy for you and your customers. Today we continue our series reviewing options found at full-service fulfillment providers by looking at Kitting and Inventory Management.
Kitting is a process where individually separate but related items are grouped, packaged, and supplied together as one unit.
Let’s say you sell children’s birthday party supplies on-line. You sell colorful paper plates, cups, and balloons, each packaged separately in quantities of 12. You also sell paper tablecloths to match the cups and plates. Custom kitting allows your customer to buy one set which contains 12 plates, cups, and balloons, and 2 tablecloths, all packaged together for one price.
The benefits of kitting are many. Your customers have an easier ordering experience as they order only one set instead of four different items. You save money. Rather than paying for the picking of several items, you pay to have one item picked. You will pay for the kitting but it is usually less than the cost to pick several items. Then, depending on your pricing model, you may be able to pass on part of the savings to your customer, making them happy.
Inventory Management allows you increase your inventory accuracy and customer service levels while, at the same time, reduce your carrying costs, labor costs, and inventory write-offs.
A good Inventory Management system allows you and your fulfillment provider to:
- gain real-time visibility into your inventory to guide swift and accurate decision-making.
- create flexible controls, inventory tracking, and low-inventory flagging systems to reflect the unique way you do business—today and in the future.
- strategically track all your demand requirements to maximize your customer service levels.
- design flexible storage plans, track the physical location and transfer of items, and maintain lot and serial controls for simplified material logistics.
- increase labor productivity and inventory accuracy by selecting your preferred automated data collection solution.
- simplify third-party label formatting and printing by creating label-specific files of your bar code data.
- Print bar codes on standard reports for easy reference.
- Enter and maintain costing information quickly and easily, and use that information to calculate appropriate valuations easily.
Custom kitting and inventory management are two additional services provided by full-service fulfillment professionals. Next week we will look at Warehousing, plus Logistics & Shipping.