Kitting & Assembly
Kitting & Assembly is the process where a number of SKU’s (simple products) are grouped together to form one new SKU (complex product), such as Gift-packs or hampers. Kitting is a broad term used in ecommerce order fulfillment space referring to the assembly of individual items into ready-to-ship sets.
A kit is a bundle comprised of multiple parts or components listed on your website and physically stored at a fulfilment warehouse. A group of simple products bound together and ready-to-ship as sets.
One example of an Ecommerce kitted set that Online Retailers sell is a cosmetics hamper where multiple simple products are grouped in a display box. When individual products are delivered to a fulfilment centre separately from the same or multiple supplier the assembly process results in a new SKU.
To understand product kitting and bundling process you must first understand the basic method in which a fulfilment warehouse management software (WMS) can track individual inventory components. When goods are received into a fulfilment warehouse it undergoes the receiving process.
Here is how the kitting process flows.
Product barcodes are an important feature so that the inbound operative can scan individual items into the WMS for tracking. When scanning the items the WMS reads a unique SKU. Think of a SKU as the DNA of your inventory. Just like how scientists read your DNA, retailers read SKUs via their WMS to determine the physical makeup of the inventory being booked into storage in the fulfilment centre.
Using a WMS means that workers can identify which items to pick for order fulfillment by the unique SKU on the pick list. The WMS shoes how many SKUs are in stock to sell, as well as where the inventory is located in the fulfilment warehouse. SKUs are the building blocks of your product kits.
As described above, a product kit is a group of individual stock items, or SKUs, bundled together to create a ready-to-ship set.
An advanced WMS helps you track and manage individual inventory items while allowing you to seamlessly track multiple inventory items that are bundled together into kits. When sold separately, every item contains its own individual SKU. Once those items are kitted together in the WMS, an individual SKU is now assigned to that bundle maintaining an accurate inventory record.
Kits can contain upwards of five different items, so rather than selling a kit and having to update your inventory for every single item sold, the WMS will read that single SKU assigned to that kit by recognising all of those individual items in addition to the number of kits listed as available to sell, thus updating your online store, marketplaces and channels.
We now know that a product kit is several items grouped together within your WMS. These products are physically packaged together and ready to sell online and shipped from your fulfilment warehouse.
Product kitting helps online retailers maximise profits and sales while saving time and money.
Another advantage is not having warehouse workers navigate throughout the warehouse to pick individual items within the kit, rather they navigate to the one location to pick a ready-to-ship set. A kitting station preparing these in advance is more efficient.
The same pick rate applies to a €100 kit with 10 items as a €10 product, the kitting cost should realise cost savings, lower than the cost to pick 10 items.
It is worth implementing a product kitting service now with a fulfilment partner so that your business is ready for future kit sales.
For more information contact our kitting and assembly team on: +353 1 541 5460.