Description of Value-Adding Services

Value Added Services can be considered something that needs to be changed or added to an Item or Order before shipping out to a customer. Some examples of value-added services are embroidery add-ons, patch add-ons, print on demand designs, or gift-wrap packaging. These can be standard or custom options, depending on the service and the business.

E-commerce channels have different options for handling these services. Most frequently, an add-on is created as a line item on the Order, with its own ID and entity. These are easy to view and treat in the warehouse, using the order line to distinguish these Orders from the rest. Add-ons can also exist as an attribute or note on the order line, sometimes as an up-charge. We typically recommend using the integration platform to create an order line from the attribute, detailing the add-on and helping make it obvious to the warehouse team, similar to the previous example.

For services that require different pieces and some assembly, like printed designs, Bundles are a great way to handle inventory and pick the Items in the warehouse. Bundles can exist in the e-commerce platform, splitting out into lines when the Order is created, or Bundles can be created in the warehouse system to split out an ordered product into multiple items to be picked and assembled. The most effective way to make the warehouse team aware of the Orders with these Items that need additional attention is to store the pieces of the Bundle Items in a specific Zone or part of the warehouse. Orders that are directed to Pick from that Zone can be Batched together and expected to need some additional processing.

These are a few different approaches we’ve seen:

  • In house value-add station
  • Transfer to an off-site location for additions to be made
  • Ship to another location, additions made, ship to customer

These different options can be accounted for within the process flow outlined in a section below.

Work Order Document

A work order document is a page that can be designed and printed to assist with the value-adding service. Documents are typically printed one per Order either after or during the Picking phase. These pages contain the Order Number, Batch Number, and Compartment Number. Customizations can be made for the other information depending on the Order or Item types. On these documents, barcodes for the Order and all Items and Order Lines are typically included, as easy identifiers for what they are.

  • Embroidery or Patch add-on: list the Item and the embroidery text or requirements; or patch type.
  • Printed designs or bundles: list the final Item and the separate Item pieces required for assembling
  • Gift Wrap: highlighted as an Order Line or Attribute

These pages are for the value-add station, where the employees there may not be the same as those that Picked the Order. This way, the needs for the individual Orders and the services required are clearly communicated to those team members, without having to leave an iPad or requiring a lookup performed on each picked Order. They should be able to understand the need on each Order without any additional instruction, streamlining the process.

Process Options

  1. Orders come into WOS, needing additional handling before shipping
  2. Find an identifier to separate these Orders when creating Batches, see above description for examples of identifiers, and utilize the integration for options:
    • WOS can preassign a Cart Type for Picking
    • WOS can add an Indicator in a Custom Field at the Order level to Filter during Batching
    • Orders allocate to a designated Zone where these Items are located, the Zone being the Indicator
  3. Orders of this type can be Batched together
  4. Pick Orders
  5. Print out a form of Work Order document that indicates the Items needing additional services and any details needed for those services
    • These can be automatically printed after the first scan during Picking or after Batch Complete
  6. Orders/Cart taken to the station where value-add action is performed.
  7. Packing orders - timing on this step might depend on how and where the value-add action is performed. A few options are outlined below:
    1. If the value service occurred before Picking:
      • If Items are identified beforehand and prepped for an Order before it is Picked, these Orders can be Packed and shipped right after Picking as normal.
    2. If value service station is on-site:
      • If Prders are packaged and shipped from the station where the value add action is performed, it is recommended to Pack the Prders in WOS as they are modified. A shipping label and packing slip can be automatically printed when the Order is Packed in WOS and prepped for shipping at the station.

      • If the Cart with these Orders is staged back to Packing Area once the Items are modified, then Orders should wait to be Packed in WOS until back in the shipping area. The Work Order Document can be used by Packers to validate the value-add action was performed and Pack the Items into a shipping box in WOS. The shipping label can be automatically printed when the Order is Packed.

      • If Orders are not able to have shipping labels assigned before Packing, these Orders can be adjusted to create a shipping label at shipping box close, allowing the Packer to select a box size and verify the weight before getting the label. This can be done at the service station or shipping area.
    3. If the value service station is not on-site:
      • Shipping Orders from the off-site location: Orders should be Packed in WOS at the warehouse, validating that the needed Items were Picked for the Order to be fully serviced and fulfilled, and printing the needed documents – shipping label and Work Order Document. Orders can be Packed into individual shipping boxes. Once Packed into the box/package, the shipping label should be placed inside and the Work Order Document on the outside or inside of the package for easy identifying. Orders are transferred to off-site location. When the value service is performed, the workers at the remote site can put the Items back into the box with the shipping label on the outside, ready to be shipped.

      • Shipping Orders to the off-site location: when Orders are packed in WOS at the warehouse, a shipping label will not easily be provided through the integration. A shipping label would need to be generated manually from the warehouse to the remote location.

      • Transferring Orders to off-site location, brought back to ship: Orders could be Packed/Verified before leaving the warehouse. When Packed, a Work Order Document or packing slip should print with all Order Lines and details. This document could travel to and from the remote facility while the value service is being added. This can be used to verify Items for Orders on returning to the warehouse to be shipped, manually validating Items before creating a shipping label.