Pack and Ship – Order Validation
With the right software and scan-weigh dimensional measurement technology (SWD) in place you now have the tools to pick directly to the carton. Multi-modal voice picking will further enhance the pick to carton process. Voice allows hands-free barcode scan of the carton selection, SKU, item count and pack process. A voice command can be used at completion of the last item picked to inspect and verify that the carton matches the order size requirement. After picking, cartons travel to the packing area where document printing/ insertion takes place, void fill is added and the carton is taped. The cartons exit the packing area on a conveyor line and travel to shipping.
In the shipping area the expected carton size and weight is verified using an in-line SWD system. This technology adds additional dividends by real-time checking of the outbound carton/case shipments, essentially re-checking and catching any discrepancy such as an open flap. Dimensional weight inspection can catch SKU weight and size changes to correct SKU packaging size, allowing an inspector to update the SKU cube and weight data. By measuring the actual dimensions and weight, the “best way” shipping method can be selected for the order, and accurate shipping charges can be determined pre-shipment to avoid expensive charge backs or lost revenue.
Using weight and dimensional data integrated with the order fulfillment system enables a real-time order inspection tool and dimensional weight measurement for more accurate LTL and parcel shipping. Numina Group is one of a handful of technology integrators that offers both cartonization software for pick to carton and the SWD carton cube/weight measurement that combine real-time control and conveyor sorting decisions. Used together, cartonization and SWD technology integrated to WMS-WCS Systems improve accuracy, reduce labor and shipping costs in existing or new DC operations. The latest iteration of RDS™ Webcam Vision Capture integrates high definition image capture with Scan-Weigh-Audit System to capture weight, as well as an image of outbound shipping carton’s picked complete SKU contents prior to addition of void, and the sealing of the carton at completion of the pack process. The webcam is automatically triggered by scanning the carton or tote barcode and captures and transmits a high-resolution internal carton content image that is time-stamped and saved in the RDS™ Warehouse Control System, WCS database. Vision helps customer service validate a customer’s order shipment and eliminates customer order delivery disputes.
Pick Validation and Preventing Shipping Errors
Companies that ship a high percentage of full case SKUs will also benefit through SWD if the software managing the system includes a “learn mode” to on-line capture and learn full case SKU cube and weight. This eliminates the labor-intensive tasks of manually collecting dimensional weight data for full cases. The software provides dimensional weight learning of full case dimensional weight, and additionally inspects cases prior to shipping, robotic pallet build, and/or manual or pallet build operation.
Once the case SKU characteristics are learned, the software performs pick validation and will catch miss-picks and irregularities, such as an open flap or damaged carton, improving quality and diverting damaged cartons to QC for corrective actions.
This data can also be used to manage print and apply labeling of carrier or retail compliance shipping labels and to improve other DC operations, such as staging and storage space planning and cubing trailers for LTL or full truck shipments. Real-time dimensional weigh data ensures customer satisfaction through accurate and verifiable order shipments. The storage and cube utilization of a warehouse, the sizing of future facilities, and the selection of the best mode of transportation are all are optimized with in-line dimensional weight measurement.