• Jim Southern

Packing Lists – On the First or Last Package?



Order packing lists and despatch notes - Every warehouse that picks, packs and ships orders with multiple boxes or packages needs to produce a packing list or despatch note, the question is which package should the packing list be attached to, first or last? Lets take a look at what the traditional packing list is - it is a complete list of all the items shipped for a customer order and can generally span many packages as part of the overall shipment. The issue? - one packing list, multiple boxes or packages.

The Question - Should I put it on the First or Last Package?

First Package

There may be an advantage in putting on the first package in that the list will always be included with the shipment, the disadvantage is if the order changes (there may be shortages that can't be picked) after it has been printed. Now the packing list is incorrect and will need amending and re-printing. Valuable time wasted and prone to mistakes being made.

Last Carton

Much simpler to put it on the last package, right? Theres more chance of getting it right doing it this way but again if the packing list is pre-printed there could still be a chance that not all the items are picked and present. For both methods there is always the issue that there may be for example 6 packages and one piece of paper, you'll probably write on the packages 1of6, 2of6, etc. Again, this is time consuming and prone to error.

The Dexterity Solution

Yes, you definitely need a physical packing list or despatch note to go with each order, we understand that so that the customer can check off on receipt. But start thinking about package contents labels. The package contents labels can be generated at point of pick or pack with Dexterity. Each package label contains the order details (customer, order no.) as well as its contents (items and quantities), with a unique package ID. These are produced on mobile or packing bench label printers depending on whether you are doing "pick to box" or "pack to box" operations. Dexterity WMS can handle both scenarios (or a combination of the two). The final packing list is generated and automatically printed at the end of the order process and contains the complete item details along with the package ID it is packed in. This way there is no room for mistakes, the customer gets an accurate delivery notification of the total order, how many packages the shipment contains and what is contained in each package. This is also valuable information for handling those customer queries, "I didn't receive Item X" - you can advise them exactly which package to look in to find it and be confident that it was actually picked and packed. There is also an opportunity to print 2D barcodes on each package ID label which provides a complete list of contents which could be useful for those customers who have the technology to "scan in" on receipt.

We have a wealth of experience in implementing our specialist Dexterity WMS Systems to help clients realise the benefits of a smart Warehouse Management System. Please get in touch for a no obligation and no pressure discussion on how Dexterity WMS could help your business.

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