The ProSKU cloud WMS continues to develop in line with marketplace expectations and to address the increasingly diverse needs found in the e-commerce sector. A recent addition to the already rounded functionality available in ProSKU is the addition of a new module for kitting.
Kitting is known by various terms including bill of materials, product assembly or parts explosion and refers to a physical process used in many goods handling environments. Common in manufacturing, engineering and automotive sectors, it is also used widely within the bathroom and furniture trades, and by a large number of consumer goods vendors.
A kit is basically several product items which together make up a larger or main product (sometimes called ‘master product’). This product might be an entire unit, for example an engineering assembly, a suite or collection of items sold together (e.g. bathroom or home furniture) or something typically ordered as a single item, e.g. a table lamp, but which may be stored in discrete parts.
The physical process involves grouping the sub-products for either assembly or despatch as part of a works or sales order. Assembled kits may often be re-stored pending a sales order for the completed item, but individual parts may also be assembled into sales units as part of a despatch operation. In a reverse of the process, a complete assembled kit could also be ‘de-kitted’ if its component parts are needed, potentially because they can also form part of different kits.
In most situations kit ‘parts’ are taken from storage for either pick or assembly, and this needs to be automated by a computer system. This is sometimes done by a manufacturing system but also increasingly, on the wholesale or retail side, by a WMS system. Recognising that the process is used by both large and smaller companies, including growing numbers of e-commerce vendors, ProSKU has introduced this as an optional system module.
The ProSKU functionality allows a kitted ‘master product’ to be created on the system along with its component sub-products and, where applicable, sub-sub products. The system allows either works or sales orders to be processed with pick or assembly instructions generated as required. For picking operations carried out using the ProSKU Android App a number of special functions are provided to facilitate collation of kits where multiple common kit parts are involved.
Delivery documentation can also be formatted according to buyer needs i.e. to identify the delivered parts as a single item (as for example a table lamp, above) or alternatively where a detailed breakdown of the kit parts included is required as say, in the case of a bathroom suite.