Inventory accuracy is the foundation from which any efficient and cost effective warehouse is run. ProPack prides itself on keeping an accurate inventory and has numerous systems in place to ensure that clients can always count on their inventory totals within our warehouses.
One of these processes is our Physical Count system which triggers counts each morning based on differing criteria; a daily reconciliation with the client’s system, a prearranged cycle count schedule, a low inventory notification count, or a requested spot count.
When a count is triggered a user goes out and performs a blind physically count on the items in the warehouse based on SKU, Lot Number, Expiration Date and Location. If the count differs from what is in ProPack’s WMS system (P3PL) then a second person is automatically required to double-count the items. Only when the first and second counts match and the client is notified can ProPack’s inventory values be updated.
Performing counts on a daily basis helps to keep ProPack’s inventory accuracy rate well over 99% and ensure that very few items come up with discrepancies on a daily basis.
ProPack Physical Count system helps to add value and reduces costs for our clients by ensure that their inventory numbers are constantly audited and always accurate.
At ProPack there are several different methods for submitting orders into our online order management system. Clients can enter them manually online, with our QuickBooks interface, using Web Services, or by emailing them to our OrderBot in an Excel spreadsheet.
ProPack is now excited to announce that we have added another method to make submitting orders even more fast and easy. Clients can now use Batch Entry to import their orders into P3PL from an Excel spreadsheet online in real time from a file saved on their computer. Along with the new Batch Entry Tool we have also added a few new order options, like Payment Type.
When selecting Payment Type clients can leave the field blank for prepaid, enter Collect, or 3rd Party.
Clients can now enter a Unit Price as well. Entering a unit price will override the existing unit price that we have recorded in P3PL for the specific item and for the specific order. The unit price is the value that is used when creating a commercial invoice when shipping internationally.
One other addition to the new orders import template is the Signature Required field. Entering Yes in this field will automatically add Signature Required Service when we are processing your order for shipping.
Also on the new Batch Entry page are links to the new order import Excel template and a list of all country, state, province, and territory codes.
Watch a short YouTube video below demonstrating how the new online Batch Entry Tool works. Access the Batch Entry Tool by logging onto P3PL, click on the Orders button, and click on the Batch Entry button.
We hope that you find the new Batch Entry order importing method a valuable addition to P3PL that improves the speed and ease in your order submission process.
Built within P3PL is the Task Management Tool used internally by ProPack to streamline internal processes, saving our clients valuable time and money. The Task Management Tool allows us to create task records that that can be assigned to specific departments and individuals for any internal task. These records can be related to a specific client, a specific order, SKU or job.
An example would be creating a task to monitor the progress of a carrier call tag on our clients behalf. The call tag is created and is initially assigned to the Returns Department. Once the call tag is received and logged, the task is updated and immediately in real time reassigned to the Customer Service Department (from where our clients are notified).
Another example would be creating a task for a client inventory request. Through the Task Management Tool we can schedule the physical inventory count, report the results and make necessary updates quickly and efficiently. Creating the task within the Task Management Tool will automatically notify the owner or department so that the task can be scheduled at the most efficient time of the day.
Each new task record allows us to add a category, assign a priority level, input a due date, add notes along the way and manage the time spent working on a specific task with a stop watch and direct billing feature. All of these features allow us to perform tasks more rapidly and proficiently, saving our clients and ProPack valued time and money.
History logging in any system is handy. However, when dealing with 3rd Party Logistics and Order Fulfillment the history of an order through a system from receipt to billing is invaluable. Many challenges can face an order in its travels and careful documentation of the steps along the path can avoid frustrations for both the client and the fulfillment house.
At ProPack our WMS system, P3PL (ProPack 3rd Party Logistics), tracks the history of each order that moves through our system. Some of the basic steps recorded are:
Order received date/time, method and by whom
Date/time inventory successfully allocated and any troubles in this area
Date/time scanned and/or picked
Date/time processed (shipped on FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL, or LTL)
Date/time closed (order finished and final charges applied)
When everything goes smoothly with an order it’s history is almost never reviewed. However, when challenges arise order history becomes a vital source for troubleshooting.
Say an order is unable to move through the allocation process at ProPack because one or more of its items do not currently exist in inventory. ProPack’s order release specialist notifies the client via email each time this happens. But assume the client does not get the email for any of a variety of reasons.
Several days later the client is wondering why the order has not shipped out. They can check the online history for their order in P3PL and see that ProPack has tried to allocate the order each day for past several days. This is possible because the order history reflects each time the allocation process fails and an email is sent to the client. At this point the client can work with ProPack to adjust the order in addition to looking into why they were not receiving their email.
History is beneficial for both clients and fulfillment houses when anything out of the ordinary happens along a systemized process. At ProPack, in addition to our order fulfillment process, we work to incorporate history into all our core system functions. These histories are made available online for our clients to take advantage. We do this to add transparency to our processes and build value for our clients.
ProPack is excited to be launching the new and enhanced version of our Northbound Forwarding program today. We’ve offered this program for over three years now, but today it gets a facelift with new computers, new processes and a new more throughput friendly location within our warehouse. The main reason for these changes are the new dozen or so Northbound Forwarding clients that we are equally as excited to welcome into the ProPack family.
Our Northbound Forwarding program facilitates the receipt, cross dock and couriering of packages and pallets being shipped from the US to our clients in Canada. Our clients first give our address to their customers in the US. These customers then send their shipments directly to ProPack. We receive the shipments and input them into our WMS (Warehouse Management System). Our clients then instruct us on which shipments are cleared and ready to be couriered across the border. We then scan the selected shipments out of our system, palletize them and courier the combined shipment to our client’s requested location in Canada.
The entire process is visible online and all packages/pallets are scanned in and out of our WMS system.
This saves our clients and their customer on international shipping fees and provides a simple straightforward solution for our client’s northbound shipments. Also, the majority of packages that are received into our facility are processed and couriered up to Canada the very same day. Not only is our program cost-effective and accurate, it’s also fast.
We’re excited to be expanding this area of our 3PL (3rd Party Logistics) operation and look forward to providing future clients with the same level and quality of service as we continue to grow.
Orders are the lifeblood of any Fulfillment Warehouse. At ProPack we are not in the business of storing product, but in the business of shipping orders. Thus we’ve worked hard over the years to build custom technology to facilitate the path of an order through our system. We’ve done this not only to make our internal processes more efficient but to build value for our clients through faster service and greater supply chain visibility.
First, orders need to be input into our WMS system – www.p3pl.com (ProPack 3rd Party Logistics) . This can be done through web-to-web transactions, direct online entry, by emailing an Excel sheet, or by using our QuickBooks interface.
Once orders are in P3PL an order release specialist uses our automated system to allocate inventory to the order. If problems arise in this process such as inventory shortages the client is notified immediately.
Next the order is taken to one of our experienced order pickers who (again using P3PL) scan the order off the shelf by location, and lot number if necessary. Scanning product reduces errors by close to 1 in 10,000.
After scanning, the contents of the order are taken to the packaging stations where they are arranged into their shipping packages.
Finally the closed and sealed packages are processes on our customized multi-carrier manifest system for FedEx, UPS, USPS or DHL. After they are processed packages are then picked up by their respective carriers and leave our building.
However, the process does not stop there. Each evening nightly transaction reports are sent out containing all shipping and inventory transactions for the day. As well, all information is available on www.p3pl.com to any of our clients.
The path of our client’s orders through our system is a well thought out science that let’s our clients get product to their customers as quickly and accurately as possible. This builds value for ProPack, adds value to our client’s and delivers value to our client’s customers.