When a company focuses on speed during the fulfillment process, it sometimes bypasses warehouse quality control. This leads to returns, damaged products, and lost inventory. Having quality checks done at all stages of the fulfillment process will help prevent these issues. It also saves time and money by eliminating unnecessary corrective actions.
Quality Checks During the Packout Process
When products are ready to be shipped, they should undergo several quality checks. This process can help ensure that the packaging is safe for shipment and that the product hasn’t been damaged during shipping. It’s important to communicate clear expectations beforehand, so your supplier can know what to expect and ensure they meet your specifications during production. The best way to do this is with a QC checklist that specifies the criteria for inspection and how the inspector should report defects. This will allow your QC staff to more reliably find and report problems, helping you ensure the quality of your product and avoid delays or unnecessary costs in the process. During the packing process, a warehouse team should perform regular quality checks to ensure that the finished product’s Epic packaging is intact and free of damage. These checks can include examining the contents of packages, comparing the label to a golden sample, or checking that the product meets regulatory requirements for color and labeling. This can be done through testing methods such as free-fall drop testing, where the product is dropped on its corners and edges to simulate real-world conditions. In addition to verifying the packaging integrity of products before they are sent out, a warehouse team should also check the labels and inserts. This is an easy and inexpensive way to increase the accuracy of shipments and ensure that the correct product is sent out to the customer. Another common practice in the warehousing industry is checking for dents, paint chips, scratches, or other imperfections concerning transportation and delivery. This can be done by visually inspecting each part at pack out, then digitally recording defects and rejecting codes if necessary.
Checks During the Fulfillment Process
Quality control in pack out and fulfillment plays a significant role in customer satisfaction, ensuring that orders are shipped on time and in the same condition as they were received. In addition, it can help to identify and resolve any issues that arise during the process. Organizations should have an SOP outlining how to handle inventory and pick and pack products consistently to achieve this. This SOP also includes procedures for identifying and addressing any potential returns. The SOP should also detail a process for ensuring that all incoming packages and boxes are correctly packed, secured, and ready to be picked up by a warehouse or fulfillment service provider. This should include reviewing packaging materials, using barcode scanners to scan and check contents, and other steps that could improve the packing process. Once a package or box is packed correctly, it should be inspected by warehouse personnel to verify that it is intact and free from damage. If the product is damaged, it should be repacked and shipped again. This process can be expensive and frustrating for consumers, so businesses must follow a strategy to minimize return rates and keep costs low. A quality check in this process should include a visual inspection of the package and an audio test to ensure the box is sealed correctly. This is especially important when handling delicate jewelry or other valuables.
Checks During the Shipping Process
During shipping, several steps must be taken to ensure that products are delivered to customers in good condition. These include inspections at the factory, during the packing, and customs clearance. These quality checks help prevent errors in the shipping and delivery processes and are a necessary part of any successful e-commerce business.
The first step in inspecting the shipment is carefully examining the packaging material. This includes external packaging, shrink wrap, labels, and warning tape. Look for tears, holes, stains, and water damage to ensure your goods are not damaged during transit. Another step in the inspection process is to examine the product itself. This can include comparing the product to its original production specifications.
The quality control inspector will check dimensions, weight, color, marking, and labeling. Reviewing the package’s internal protective materials and barcodes is also essential. These are easy to miss during packing, so they must be checked. Aside from being an excellent way to protect your products, proper packaging saves you money in the long run by avoiding product returns and customer complaints. A QC checklist with detailed packaging requirements helps your suppliers understand your expectations and allows them to confirm those expectations during an inspection.
Moreover, a checklist can improve the speed and efficiency of your pack-out and fulfillment processes. This helps keep your orders moving at the right pace, eliminating delays in shipping and ensuring that your customers receive their items on time. Another benefit of a quality control check is that it can help you to identify any issues in your manufacturing or processing system and make necessary changes accordingly. It will also allow you to gather data that will improve your company’s processes in the future.