What Is Kitting?
In business, Kitting is referred to as a container that holds a set of related parts or materials to be assembled. It is the process whereas separate but related items are grouped together, packaged and supplied as one unit. For example take a skincare regimen, a customer may order a cleanser, toner, exfoliator and moisturizer at the same time. The supplier will combine these orders and assemble them into a customized kit to ship as one unit. The term kitting in order fulfillment is jargon for pre-assembly of individual items into one ready to ship kit instead of picking and packing them separately.
The Pros And Cons Of Using Kitting Services
The savings potential of kitting services and assembly are enormous. The process drastically reduces the amount of packaging needed and shipping costs. It decreases the amount of time and labor required in the delivery process, not to mention, it reduces waste and is certainly a greener alternative for companies. A client can reduce their fulfillment fee costs by using prepacked kits often receiving an upgrade in postal services. They can eliminate the need for individual weighing and labeling making it easier for workers to pre-print labels in batches when shipments are placed on a set weekly schedule at twice a week for example. The cost savings can range up into the thousands or more for a client.
On the contrary, using kitting services can pose a challenge for the fulfillment house and is probably why it may not be used as often. When inventory is pulled from stock in batches, it is harder to fill individual orders because inventory is wiped out quickly. A fulfillment expert will know how to manage this process by using a sophisticated inventory system that tracks turnover in all SKU’s so they can stay on top of on hand stock minimums.
Key Terms Used In Kitting
Bill of Materials (BOM)
BOM’s are used throughout the entire manufacturing cycle. They are a list of everything that is required to produce a finished product and quantities needed. It includes all raw materials and parts, components and assemblies.
Stock Keeping Unit (SKU)
A SKU number is assigned to uniquely identify each product and part. In the kitting and assembly process, each worker assembles and packages multiple SKU’s to form a new product that carries it’s own SKU. The SKU is a string of letters and numbers and is also known as a part or product number.
Pick To Light System
A technology that reduces cost by improved accuracy and productivity. This system integrates lights that light up each pick site with LED displays that state the amount items to be picked. These systems often complement horizontal carousels and carton flow rack applications.
Rotating shelving that can serve a central inventory storage carousel. It runs around a conveyor loop moving vertically. It is designed to increase the speed of processing order picking and kitting assembly. This is often used to save space and boost productivity.
Vertical Lift Module (VLM)
An enclosed and automated retrieval and storage system used in kitting assembly and other warehouse operations. It can automatically deliver trays with stored items with the push of a button or scan of a barcode. It combines picking and packing into shipping containers into one work operation.
If your company consistently sells complementary items kitting services can be ideal for managing your fulfillment. This service can literally be the difference between managing company growth and failure for some businesses so it’s definitely a viable option to consider if a company is looking for a cost breakthrough.
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