Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Packaging and labeling of shipments in a lean way

You have a customer order in your hand and you would like to ship the order to the customer.
The important step in this process is Packaging.  We briefly go through the process now.

Things needed to pack

  1. The ordered items  ( books, mobile .. what customer ordered)
  2. Hard cover box, or raw board material to make the box which can accommodate the ordered items
  3. Air bags or thermocol for safety of items
  4. Invoice of the items
    • Usually it is legal requirement.  
    • It is good to put e-copy of this invoice in website's order page. It will decrease the number of customer requests at  CRM to provide e-copy as they have lost the hard copy. 
  5. Shipping label  which contains the  customer address
  6. The label should contain courier tracking id and your shipment id. 
    • Because while generating the shipping label you will have definite idea of the courier company's tracking id.  In courier company's system they track the shipment with tracking id only. When you ask about the status of your shipment it is with reference to tracking id  and you have to relate tracking id with your company's shipment id.

  Things needed to optimize

  1. Be as mush as frugal as possible in saving the hard paper which is being used in making the box. One good way is take a raw roll hard paper and make variable size boxes. Eventually you will figure out optimal ways of doing this.
  2. Save packing time. Yes, you need labors in doing this work. If you you are saving 10% of  packing time, then it means you are saving 10% of  salaries of labors.
  3. Good packing cause less damage of items. It will increase customer satisfaction. Most impotently it will decrease number of customer returns. Being frugal in box paper and saving packing time doesn't mean you can compromise the safely of items. Bad packaging effects the brand image and cost a lot in the reverse-logistics.
  4. Easy of  unpacking. Customer removes the package with anxiety to see what is  inside. If he struggles for long time to open the pack,  your brand miss the awesome appeal.

Taking analytics - the actionable metrics

  1. Once you ship the order to customer, you ask him to give feedback on overall process. You can mention a separate section or add a  drop down box with packing as option. Finally you can improve on giving awesome package experience.
  2. Number of bad packaging issues at CRM portal.
  3. Note down number of shipments were damaged due to bad packing in a month ( or ratio out of all shipments). Or percentage of customer returns items which are due to bad packaging. Try to get root cause of the damage and improve the process.
Finally, reward your employees who optimize the work flow, or suggest frugal ways, invent methods to save time and safety of items. Here reward means link it to their performance report - annual appraisal. This is the way to build your company's culture by incorporating your company's core requirements as DNA.

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