What are Kitting, Co-Packing, & Pick and Pack Fulfillment?

Kitting is one of the most commonly used services in eCommerce fulfillment. Kitting refers to packaging products together that a customer may have otherwise purchased individually. Items that usually sell separately can be bundled with the kitting process.

Retailers, manufacturers, and online subscription services use kitting, also known as co-packing or value-added services, to increase operational effectiveness and revenue. This fulfillment process allows you to combine products, create new SKUs, move inventory, and add new products.

Pick and pack services are how kits get bundled. After an eCommerce order is placed, the kitting fulfillment team at the warehouse receives a picking list. Products are picked from their designated warehouse locations and are packaged together for shipping. Kits can be prebuilt or kitted on the fly at the time of order.

The packing process itself includes:

  • Assembling the box
  • Packing the box with all the picked items as well as packing material
  • Adding any custom inserts
  • Ensuring all appropriate shipping documentation is in the box

Kable Product Services can help elevate your business’s product offerings with our value-added kitting fulfillment service.

When to Outsource Subscription Box Fulfillment

The kitting and co-packing process

Kitting is an essential part of any eCommerce order fulfillment process. Subscription boxes immediately come to mind as an example of products that require this type of fulfillment service.

This solution is helpful in various industries, such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and toys.

A 3PL fulfillment partner experienced in kitting fulfillment services will have an established system that maximizes the effectiveness of your supply chain management.

Let’s take a look at the essential elements of kitting fulfillment.

Inventory storage

A 3PL will manage and store your products until it is time for kitting assembly.

When an eCommerce order for a kit is received at the warehouse, your 3PL provider will determine whether the order is for a pre-bundled kit or if the assembly is required.

If the order is not already bundled, fulfillment employees pick and pack the kit.

In contrast, kits can be bundled ahead of a customer’s order if you offer a specific combination of products.

Order picking and packing

A picking list is systematically generated when a co-packaged order comes in. Your 3PL partner’s team uses this list to pull individual items from your inventory.

They take your products to a staging area where the items are scanned and combined.

Then the products are packed into one box, or as few boxes as possible, with the appropriate packing materials to prevent breakage.

Subscription Box

Benefits of kitting and co-packing

Kitting provides flexibility to your customers. This process allows you to sell more through promotions and uniquely satisfy customer needs.

You can create sets, cross-sell categories, and offer special promotions through your eCommerce platform.

Our kitting and co-packing process streamlines activities to enhance your brand experience and deliver transparency, from when we receive an order until it’s shipped out and delivered to your customer.

At Kable Product Services, we integrate with your system to maximize on-time, fully trackable orders, and updated inventory. Our worry-free integration works alongside your eCommerce cart, CRM, and ERP systems.

Our client portal provides access to order data and business metrics in real-time.

More product offerings for your customers

You can expand your product offerings with kitting fulfillment without increasing production or sourcing new inventory.

Kitting allows you to use existing SKUs or items in your 3PL partner’s warehouse to create new SKUs.

This offering gives you the flexibility to boost sales with collections, gift sets, surprise boxes, and more. When you provide multiple options, the customer experience is better, and so is your profit margin.

Increase in the average order amount

Kitting and co-packing allow you to offer customers a broad range of products and upsell without actually upselling.

With the kitting approach, your customers can obtain a nicely curated package with minimal effort. From the customer’s perspective, bundling items into a kit looks better than a long list of charges for individual purchases.

Those who choose the kitting fulfillment approach for their business can offer discounts on these bundled items, making customers feel like they are getting more for their money.

Reduced cost through bundling products

Kitting is a valuable tool for reducing overhead costs.

A streamlined warehouse flow for kitting fulfillment means fast assembly and speed to market. Also, including items that are slow moving helps eliminate dead stock and reduces your inventory costs.

Saving on shipping costs

Your fulfillment partner can help you save on shipping costs by kitting and co-packing several of your products into one shipment.

It’s much more cost-effective to ship a single package over individual items.

Your fulfillment partner can even optimize kits and their packaging for freight shipments, moving more items at the same cost.

Picking and packing methods

Pick and pack is a trusted eCommerce solution that improves inventory control and efficiency in distribution.

Fulfillment centers or warehouses carefully pick products from inventory and re-package them for distribution. Your fulfillment service must be able to quickly and efficiently create a packing slip, pick out individual products from their warehouse, and package your items correctly.

Here are a few standard 3PL methods of picking and packing.

Piece picking

Piece picking happens when orders are prepped one item at a time.

The fulfillment partner’s warehouse management system picks each product for an entire order when it comes in. All items move to a packaging station.

Once at the packaging station, your fulfillment provider will complete the final steps before handing the order off to a trusted shipping partner.

Batch picking

Batch picking is similar to piece picking.

All orders are done at once instead of one at a time.

Each batch of orders will be for items in the same warehouse area or location. The fulfillment center’s warehouse management system divides the orders and assigns packaging responsibilities.

Zone picking

Zone picking can be an excellent option for more extensive fulfillment needs.

Fulfillment warehouses are divided into zones and have workers dedicated to each zone. These workers are committed to knowing their area and only pulling items from their assigned zones.

This approach offers speed based on product velocity or movement.

As an order comes in, each zone worker picks the products located in their designated area before passing the order along to the next zone.

After an order moves through all the zones, collecting each item on the pick slip, the order transitions to the packing station.

Wave picking

Wave picking combines elements of batch and zone picking.

In this process, employees stay within a zone but pick more than one order at a time. Fulfillment workers in each assigned zone pick products for a large batch of orders. Then they pass the batch to the next zone for picking.

Careful coordination is required when working with large quantities. This process must be efficient and mapped out.

The pick and packing process is an integral part of effective kitting. Ask your fulfillment partner about the processes they use for various order configurations.

Pricing

Kable Product Services has a strong reputation for delivering quality, fair-priced kitting and pick and pack solutions for eCommerce-based businesses.

We work with clients to create solutions tailored to your specific business needs.

We’re happy to answer any questions regarding our services and workflow.

Choosing Kable Product Services as your 3PL kitting and co-packing partner

Kable Product Services helps you grow your business by managing your kitting, picking, and co-packing needs.

Our fulfillment plans address the pain points associated with inventory management and order fulfillment. We understand that choosing a 3PL partner can be challenging, especially if you’re new to this type of fulfillment.

That’s why we offer transparent upfront pricing, flexibility, and solutions tailored toward your business.

In addition, your customers will benefit from our centralized Midwest location. We can ship your orders to most zip codes in the United States within two days—improving customer satisfaction and sales.

If you are considering outsourcing kitting, call us at (513) 860-6764 to speak with one of our industry experts or fill out our contact form. We look forward to helping you.