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Barcoding, Shipping, & Storage Supplies, A Warehouse Essentials Checklist For Online Boutiques

Posted by Drew Melendy on Feb 18, 2020 4:51:01 PM
Drew Melendy

Investing in the right warehouse supplies will improve your boutique’s productivity, accuracy, and efficiency for better margins and customer experiences.

Whether you have established storage facility for your boutique or you’re working out of your home, anyone can use these items to streamline warehouse activities from beginning to end.

Software

Choosing the correct software to run your warehouse is crucial. It will play a vital role in how you manage inventory, fulfillment, and warehouse employees.

Inventory Management & Order Fulfillment Software

CommentSold is the best multi-channel order management and inventory management software on the market.

An inventory management system keeps retailers from overselling and overbuying stock, while order fulfillment software helps retailers fulfill and ship orders quickly and accurately.

Our Recommendation:
CommentSold has the best of both and more! It’s your all-in-one ecommerce tool that performs a number of critical tasks for multi-channel retailers. Here’s how it can assist with tasks that are specific to managing inventory and fulfillment.

CommentSold will
 auto-generate SKUs
 auto-generate barcodes
 create shipping labels
 produce optimized pick lists
 make fulfillment an error-free process
 update stock numbers & locations in real-time
 track inventory’s lifecycle from intake to your customer’s door
 manage team member accounts for packing and shipping roles
 produce employee performance metrics that help with accountability
 help manage high-volume of order processing for speedy shipping
 generate real-time reports for aged inventory, retail value, costs, and more

Best of all, you can try before you buy with the 14-day free trial!

Hardware

You'll need a few pieces of hardware to get the most out of your inventory and order management software.

Computers

Each fulfillment station will require a computer to access your order management software.

You will need a computer to view and use all aspects of your inventory management system. In addition, each fulfillment station will require a computer so your staff can work under their member account within the software.

Our recommendation:
We love Macs. However, any laptop will do except for Chromebooks. We recommend any computer that has processing power above an i5.

Thermal Label Printers

Dymo 4XL thermal printer is best for printing shipping labels for your ecommerce store.

Thermal printers produce clear, high-quality barcode labels and shipping labels at incredible speeds. With thermal printers, there is no need to purchase costly ink cartridges.

Our recommendations:
If you’re a higher volume business, we recommend the most efficient printer on the market, the Zebra ZT410. It can print up to 14 labels per second and it will cut labels at the end of each variant. It is unmatched in its time-saving abilities. 

If you’re on a budget or shipping under 50 packages a day, we recommend using the Dymo 4XL. This thermal printer can print up to 53 labels per minute.

Scanners

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Eliminate fulfillment mistakes and inventory shrinkage using barcodes and scanners with your inventory management software. CommentSold’s Strict-Fulfillment feature, in particular, requires the use of a scanner to keep staff members from fulfilling incorrect orders.

Our recommendation: 
Zebra/Motorola Symbol DS9208 Handheld 2D Barcode Scanner with USB Cable

Related: 3 Reasons Why Top Online Retailers Use Barcodes


Storage Supplies

Find storage solutions that fit your warehouse layout to optimize picking paths and keep your inventory organized. Choose from bins, shelves, and racks.

Storage Bins

Image5_BarcodingShippingandStorageAWarehouseEssentialsChecklistforOnlineBoutiquesBins are ideal for order picking since they provide easy access to items while moving up and down aisles. They also don't require you to unwrap cellophane bags and hang products on racks, saving you both time and space.

Our recommendations:
Uline’s Giant Plastic Bins are deep and stackable so you can make better use of your vertical space. You can buy these at wholesale prices on Uline’s website. For wider containers, we recommend Husky Stackable Storage Bins

If you need a more budget-friendly option,  Uline’s Large Cardboard Bins can be placed on top of shelves or racks for easy picking too.

Shelving Units

Image6_BarcodingShippingandStorageAWarehouseEssentialsChecklistforOnlineBoutiques

Maximize your space with multi-tiered storage racks with adjustable shelves. Tiered storage racks like these are the perfect solution for shoes and other boxed items.

Our recommendation:
Tri-tiered Particle Board Storage Racks

Garment Racks

Image7_BarcodingShippingandStorageAWarehouseEssentialsChecklistforOnlineBoutiques

Rolling garment racks are a versatile buy for your warehouse. They help workers move quickly while picking hanged items. They're also great for portable hanging storage.

Our recommendations:
The Double Rail Pipe Clothing Rack is a sturdy choice for holding a lot of hanged items at once. If you’re short on space or on your budget, use the Economy Single-Rail Z-Truck rack. The z-base allows you to nest each rack, which is a space-saver when they’re not in use.

Only use these for shipments that have arrived at your warehouse on hangers. If your items arrived in cellophane packs, place these in bins instead of unpackaging and hanging them. It will save you a lot of time and hassle.

Transport Supplies

Transport supplies will make it easier for your workers to move through your warehouse while reducing motion waste.

Utility Carts

Image8_BarcodingShippingandStorageAWarehouseEssentialsChecklistforOnlineBoutiques

Rolling utility carts speed up the process of batch picking by giving workers a way to collect many items at once. Use carts that are easy to maneuver through warehouse aisles.

Our recommendation:
Uline Utility Cart

Plastic Totes

Image9_BarcodingShippingandStorageAWarehouseEssentialsChecklistforOnlineBoutiques

Plastic totes are also used for high volume batch picking. These totes fit perfectly within rolling utility carts to maximize the number of items that pickers can carry at once.

Our recommendation:
Ask your local postal service for these, or grab these Space Age Totes from Uline.

Canvas Basket Truck

Image10_BarcodingShippingandStorageAWarehouseEssentialsChecklistforOnlineBoutiquesAfter packing your item and it’s ready to ship, you’ll need a place to store it before carting it off to the post office or having your carrier come pick it up. 

Our recommendation:
Ask your local postal carrier if they can provide you these large rolling bins for free if you are at high volume shipping. Alternatively, you can purchase this Uline Canvas Basket Truck.

Related Reading: 8 Deadly Wastes of Retail Operations


Shipping Supplies

Every fulfillment station should be stocked with these essential shipping supplies.

Pick List/Shipping Label Envelopes

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Clear, adhesive envelopes provide a way to attach shipping labels that are printed onto pick list papers. Just fold the pick list to place the shipping label on the outside. Then place it in the envelope to keep shipping information secure, dry, and readable.

Our recommendation:
Uline’s Clear Front/Back Packing List Envelopes

Polymailers

Image12_BarcodingShippingandStorageAWarehouseEssentialsChecklistforOnlineBoutiques

Polymailers are the most convenient and cost-effective shipping option for apparel retailers. They are cheaper, more lightweight, and take up less space than boxes.

Our recommendation:
If you’re looking for basic, solid color polymailers, we recommend Uline's. If you’re looking for more attractive polymailers, we recommend buying from upacknship.com.

Final Thoughts

Though warehousing operations may vary from business to business, the main goal of each is to create an environment where you and your staff can quickly and easily complete coordinated tasks.

With these basic supplies, your inventory, team members, and order management will be more streamlined. You'll be one step closer to fully optimizing your warehouse to complete more orders at lowered costs.

Topics: Shipping & Fulfillment, Inventory Management, Warehouse Ops

Gain full control of inventory & orders using CommentSold.