Whether your business specializes in fulfilling business-to-consumer (B2C) orders of individual product units, or business-to-business (B2B) orders of large quantities of wholesale products, it’s essential to utilize the best possible practices for product configuration. Doing so makes it much easier to grow your business across multiple markets, drive down logistical spending, and provide eager consumers with a complete brand experience that will help them develop a sense of loyalty to your business. But what is product configuration, and what are the best practices used to establish it?
Thankfully, our team of trusted contract packaging, warehousing, and transportation experts at Dynamic 3PL are here to help explain the various ins and outs of the issue that your business should understand. Please explore the article below to learn more, and consider browsing through our selection of other educational resources to access more critical information.
What Exactly is Product Configuration?
Product configuration, in short, is the function of intentionally selecting and arranging parts in specific combinations so that products can be easily produced and delivered to fulfill the order requests of customers. It also describes the process of customizing particular products to meet the needs of a consumer. Product configuration often utilizes something known as configure, price, quote (CPQ) software, which allows companies to quickly and accurately develop quotes for the orders they receive. However, trained individuals can also perform it manually, including sales engineers and others.
Why are Best Practices for Proper Product Configuration and Setup Important?
Businesses utilizing best-known practices for product configuration and setup can more easily take advantage of automated processes and bulk optimization. It also allows them to better monitor the levels at which the same units of goods are packaged, from the base product level to the inner pack level, to the master case level, and finally to the pallet level, in the case of significant B2B order fulfillment. These factors allow businesses to more fully ensure that they’re getting the correct goods to the right customers and in the correct quantities.
By adhering to these best practices, businesses can better avoid shipping mishaps that leave consumers dissatisfied with their services. They also allow companies to keep a more secure eye on their overall product inventory, which helps ensure they don’t encounter issues with out-of-stock items that can dampen order fulfillment productivity and their bottom line.
Businesses need access to supply chain management experts who can provide adequate packaging, transportation, and storage solutions to succeed in the fast-paced, ever-evolving world of commerce and E-commerce. Thankfully, our team of experts here at Dynamic 3PL are ready and eager to help, so consider reaching out to us today!
Product Configuration: Basics for Businesses to Note
At every level of product packaging, a business’s goods and products must contain a unique product ID- also commonly known as a stock keeping unit or SKU- so they can be effectively tracked during the warehousing and transportation process. This SKU allows businesses- or their third-party transport company partners- to keep track of their inventory and more easily ship the correct quantity of goods to complete consumer orders.
There are four basic types of SKUs that businesses and warehouses typically utilize. While we briefly mentioned them in the section above, we believe that exploring them in more detail here would be beneficial.
1. Base product SKUs
A base product refers to the individual unit of a particular good or product. For example, a base product could refer to a single baseball that a sporting goods company sells.
2. Inner pack SKUs
Inner packs, in short, are cases containing a certain number of base product units. All products contained within an inner pack should be of the same base product. If other products are also included, the inner pack is better described as a kit, and kits should always have a unique type of SKU. To continue with the example above, an inner pack would be a large box containing a certain number of baseballs.
3. Master case SKUs
Master cases are larger cases that contain a certain number of inner packs.
4. Pallet SKUs
Pallet SKUs contain several stacked master cases packaged together on a sturdy wooden frame to allow more effective transportation into and out of warehouses.
Product Configuration Best Practice
Several best practices are often involved with product configuration, primarily when businesses sell entire pallets and master cases of wholesale goods as part of B2B exchanges. Out of all of them, however, a few of the most critical best practices involve;
- Always matching SKUs to physical product labels to ensure the correct goods are contained in each unit.
- Developing unique but consistent SKUs;
- They should typically be less than 16 characters, contain no spaces, and only include upper or lowercase letters and numbers.
- Reusing SKUs after product orders are fulfilled.
- Leveraging the difference between standard inner packs and kits;
- This process can involve keeping kits as they are and selling them as kits or breaking them down into individual units to be sold as base products or in inner packs.
Final Thoughts and Considerations for Businesses
Whether your business specializes in shipping individual base products, inner packs, master cases, or entire pallets full of products, our transportation experts here at Dynamic 3PL are ready and eager to help. We’ll get your goods to their intended destination in a timely, cost-effective manner that will help bolster your bottom line while leaving all of your clients fully satisfied. Please consider contacting us today to learn about everything we can do for you and your business. Also, don’t forget to explore our selection of other top-quality services! From cross-docking to intermodal transportation and more, we offer a range of ways to help improve the efficiency and performance of your business operations.
Whether you require superior packaging, warehousing, or transportation services to meet the growing needs of your consumers, our trusted employees at Dynamic 3PL are ready to help. Consider contacting us today or exploring our website to learn about the vast range of top-quality services we’re proud to provide.