Know These Picking and Shipping Errors Before It's Too Late

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Modified Date:13/05/2024
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    Did you know that over 5% of total costs are lost to shipping errors annually in the US?

    Moreover, a 2019 study found that 85% of shoppers won't return to a brand after a negative last-mile delivery experience. Thus, improving shipping accuracy isn't just about pleasing customers, but, also about driving overall business growth.

    That said, American Express reveals that dissatisfied customers usually share their negative experiences with up to 15 people. Poor customer service experiences can quickly tarnish your company's reputation.

    Businesses operating on tight budgets should never ignore shipping and picking errors. Besides, a brand's reliability and trustworthiness largely depend on order accuracy.

    Modern delivery companies continue to face growing order fulfillment issues that affect customer satisfaction hindering business scalability and profitability. There are challenges but improving accuracy yields lucrative benefits, enhancing business growth and market presence.

    If you are a medium or large-scale business owner, you must address order picking and shipping accuracy issues is crucial to avoid customer dissatisfaction and business failure

    Just a reminder:

    Order picking accuracy stats

    Thanks to robust self-serving systems and processes that help minimize common picking and packing mistakes, maintaining customer trust and loyalty.

    Let’s find out what else you need to know:

    You might be causing these pick and ship errors

    Every prep, pack, and ship business aspires for flawless end-to-end operations, however, certain errors may still occur. Staying aware of these pitfalls can help detect and mitigate errors before major escalation.

    For example, delivering the wrong items usually stems during the picking stage. This could result in keeping similar products in the same spot which may cause selecting incorrect items. Besides, product misplacement or loss within the warehouse also contributes to this error.

    These errors may seem negligible, but ignoring them can incur huge time and financial costs.

    warehouse costs

    There are order inaccuracies and solutions you must know:

    Manual management of multiple order sources

    Depending on multiple order sources without using dedicated teams and compatible integrations or self-serving systems may lead to operational challenges.

    Fulfillment teams may not directly control these errors, but they significantly increase the overall error rate.

    In smaller enterprises, orders may originate from external sources such as sales reps or platforms that lack direct integration with software solutions like the Order Management System (OMS).

    Typical businesses handle these orders using maximum human interventions which largely involve manual re-entry of order details. This manual handling of time-sensitive data increases the likelihood of errors. Maximizing data automating can largely prevent these risks:

    Product receiving process and error prevention

    Inaccurate inventory management could be the root cause of all your shipping problems. These inventory discrepancies are caused during the receiving process for example mistakenly sending the wrong item to your customers.

    When incorrect items are received and stored in inventory,  sooner or later, they get picked for shipping. Additionally, you may accept damaged products and stay unaware until the delivery is completed and now your customer demands a refund.

    To eliminate these petty errors you must hire a dedicated and vigilant receiving team who meticulously verifies SKUs, identifies incorrect items, and reports damages as found.

    Many companies rely on the vendor's error history as a basis for inspection protocols. High-quality vendors may provide less detailed inspections, often limited to verifying item counts at each or case level. Products exclusive to or proprietary to the company may require 100% inspection to ensure compliance with specifications.

    Want to Know Why Should You Automate Your eCommerce Business?

    Reduce mispicks with QR codes

    Warehouses may dispatch incorrect products, misplace items, or encounter problems when customers receive items totally different from what they ordered. These warehouse mispicks can trigger a cascade of negative outcomes, including shipping delays, customer dissatisfaction, and increased expenses due to long yet wasted man-hours and displaced inventory.

    These occurrences spell trouble for businesses. Refilling pick bins commonly leads to inventory loss and large-scale shipping errors.

    Why Implement QR scanning technology?

    Implementing barcode and QR scanning technology for inventory management significantly improves warehouse operations. Warehousers can easily track and locate products, mitigating mispicks using the latest technology. Barcode scanning helps your manpower label correct product information, placing it in the right location. This is equally crucial when transferring products from one location to another.

    To mitigate picking errors, a robust warehouse management system (WMS)  offering smart barcode scanning capabilities proves invaluable. Leveraging barcoding, companies should reconsider grouping products of similar colors and sizes within slots — reducing mistakes in selecting and picking the wrong items.

    Manager storage layout for quick access and space efficiency

    The product slotting within pick locations can significantly cause shipping errors. Particularly with apparel or multi-dimensional products, companies mistakenly group similar sizes and colors in slots and select the wrong size or color during order picking.

    There are cases when products are not returned to their assigned slots.

    Excessive human involvement in extensive and time-consuming tasks and never taking help from software are the root causes of these frustrating pick and ship errors.

    Solutions to better manage and access the warehouse include:

    Know your inventory

    Examine and analyze your inventory traits like size, weight, fragility, and demand trends. Group items based on similarities and storage needs to identify the best-suited storage solutions for different inventories.

    Leverage vertical space

    Deploy tall shelving units or pallet racking systems to optimize vertical storage and available space. Explore options like mezzanine floors to add extra storage levels without growing the warehouse's footprint.

    Enhance labeling and signage

    Label storage locations and employ signage to guide your warehouse teams efficiently. Use tried-and-tested labeling systems, barcodes, and RFID tags for precise inventory search and tracking. This practice enhances picking pace and streamlines inventory management.

    Incorporate lean principles

    Employ lean methods to reduce wastage and add efficiency to the store layout. This entails decreasing unnecessary movement, logically organizing items, and optimizing inventory arrangement based on workflow and usage.

    Implement slotting techniques

    Use slotting techniques to find and define optimal storage locations for various inventory items. Consider product popularity, dimensions, and picking frequency. Put fast-moving items in readily accessible zones near shipping or picking areas, while storing slower-moving items away.

    Simplify aisles and pathways

    Ensure your warehouse’s aisles and pathways are adequately wide to accommodate inventory, equipment, and personnel movement. Well-planned and well-maintained pathways mitigate blockage, ensuring seamless warehouse workflow.

    seamless warehouse workflow

    Update your verification processes 

    There are multiple ways to improve your verification process to avoid any discrepancies.

    Integrate double-check system

    Integrating barcode scanning and manual visual inspections into the quality control protocols for double-check systems. This combination enables thorough verification, reducing the probability of shipping errors and ensuring accurate product dispatch.

    Train your staff 

    Train your employees to address quality control and double-check procedures. Regular training sessions, quizzes, and real-life examples that show the consequences of shipping errors on customer happiness may prove significant in the better understanding and execution of quality controls.

    Perform weight checks

    Combining weight checks into the double-checking process flags discrepancies between anticipated and actual item weights, preventing errors like missing or incorrect products before they leave the facility.

    Integrating weight checks into the order-picking process significantly enhances accuracy in verification and quality control procedures.

    This proactive measure not only controls costly returns but also safeguards against customer dissatisfaction, ultimately conserving both time and resources for the company.

    Team Qbatch understands your challenges

    From initial setup to final delivery, we've assisted over 150 global retail and warehouse businesses in automating their multichannel picking and shipping operations via advanced software solutions — sidestepping cost and logistical hurdles. Your store could be next!

    How? Through technology.

    According to a MHI report, 61% of warehouses intend to invest in technology solutions to enhance inventory visibility and control.
    Report by MHI - Material Handling and Logistics Industry Association

    So we help you with the best technology-driven solutions to

    Workflow automation

    Say goodbye to manual processes with our smart integrations and algorithms, streamlining fulfillment and overcoming physical and logistical barriers.

    Warehouse Management Software (WMS)

    Ditch manual tasks with our automated warehouse management system, ensuring SKU-level traceability, web and mobile tracking, automatic purchasing, and stock-level maintenance.

    Logistic management

    Minimize delivery issues and track shipments effectively with our automated shipping solutions, featuring detailed shipment insights and tools to manage return ratios.

    Data analysis and reporting

    Access insights on product performance, sales trends, financial metrics, and inventory status by integrating e-commerce sales analysis and reporting automation tools.

    Custom e-commerce software development

    Craft tailored SaaS products including algorithm-driven repricers, analyzers, extensions, and plug-ins specific to your business's unique requirements and goals.

    Inventory management software

    Filter inventory, conduct audits to minimize returns, and closely monitor bulk orders and stock movements by building modern inventory management software solutions.

    Modern self-serving systems and processes allow you to improve order accuracy and fulfill customers' expectations.


    no-avartarFarwa Maqsood
    Farwa decodes tech stories with her words. With over 7 years of expertise in writing, she now oversees thought leadership content across the Qbatch website. Recognized for her experience in content marketing strategy, distribution, and writing, Farwa has optimized content banks with above 5,000 articles — engaging organic traffic to achieve business goals.

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