Order fulfillment should be synonymous with efficiency, since it’s all about getting the product to the consumer as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. But, obviously, some orders have multiple components that must be bundled together if the order is going to get there promptly and cheaply. Fur-tunately, product kitting is there to collect all parts of an order to be shipped at once.
Putting it simply, kitting is the practice of assembling individual items into sets that can be shipping as a single order. They can be created on-the-spot as an order shows up, or pre-assembled for fulfillment. Kitting tragically means less boxes for cats to sit in, but it’s litter-ally necessary to avoid cat-astrophic costs in-purr-ed from having to individually ship multiple pieces of an order.
Look What The Cat Shipped In
Kitted orders tend to consist of items that are regularly shipped out as a set. For example, think of a Cat Pack that bundles some high-inducing cat nip, a fake mouse, and a ball of yarn into a single order, or all the pieces needed to create a cat tree. Kits can be used to sell similar items, and some businesses kit items specifically to rid themselves of hairball products that just wont sell.
Let’s say you want to get rid of your athletic cat racing gear because the cat racing scene is suddenly out of style and the cost of inventory is getting a little much. Some merchants may try clear those units by creating a spectacular Athleticat bundle that includes three cat-protein biscuits, a single athletic cat suit, and a noise-making rolly ball. Ideally, the bundle is a steal, customers give you a round of ap-paws, and they sell fast. But instead of shipping a single Athleticat bundle, now you’re really dealing with five SKUs that must be kitted together and sent to the customer as one order.
Kitting is done in a variety of ways depending on fulfillment method. If you handle fulfillment in-house, it’s a DIY type of deal – pick and place the products together for shipping – but there’s more than one way to skin a cat when it comes to fulfillment. Regardless of what type of fulfillment you have, the first starting point is with the manufacturer, so check in with them to see if they’re willing to group product components before they’re shipped to wherever your fulfillment location is. If you’re meowtsourcing fulfillment, it follows the same line – ask if they’re OK with setting up orders into kits prior to shipping them off, or consider using one already offering the service. Both depend largely on your relationship, and it never hurts to ask “Help meow-t!” to a 3PL you’re already paying.
Letting The Cat Out Of The Box
It’s not really a secret that product kitting is such a big deal for fulfillment, especially considering its benefits are about as prolific as cat pictures on the internet (except not really). Fulfillment warehouses occasionally offer product kitting, and order management systems generally include kitting as a feature, since it’s quite useful for purr-suading business owners to try the software. But if you still need more convincing, below are some reasons why product kitting is a must for any ecomeowce meowchant:
Shipping mistakes are hisstory – the less orders, the less chances of something going wrong. It’s as simple as that – if you kit a bunch of products, you have a single order going out that reduces your risk of making a mistake in the fulfillment process. And if you’re dealing with a kitted order, it’s likely that your printed shipping labels will be updated with the products’ weights and measurements in mind. Any reduction in the time it takes to fulfill an order is a good thing.
Clawsome packaging – instead of having to pack individual products into individual shipping boxes, you’re turning multiple SKUs into one. Because of that, there are opportunities to create custom packaging that can further improve your bottom line. Consider designing shipping boxes that reduce weight or size to save even more on shipping costs. If you have a top-selling product bundle, set up a routine method of product kitting to standardize the process. The end goal of all this is to build up an efficient, cost-effective machine of fulfillment.
Furry fast assembly – at its most basic level, order kitting speeds up the fulfillment process which saves time and money. As you send out more product kits in time, the process gets more and more streamlined, and it’s less work on you or your fulfillment providers’ end (which means even more cost savings). Sorry if this is getting repetitive, but the effectiveness of product kitting is real, and it will have you smiling like a Cheshire cat.
Thank mew for reading!