Packing slips play a pivotal role in the order fulfillment process and help both buyers and sellers. In this blog, you will learn what makes packing slips so important and what should be included in them.
What is a packing slip?
When a customer places an order, the warehousing team fetches the concerned products, packs them in boxes, and sends them for shipment. After collecting the items, they pack the products in boxes, and also attach a packing slip.
The packing slip is a document that contains in-depth details about all the items placed in the package. DEAR Systems helps you create packing slips. You can print the packing slip from the pack module (illustration below). .
Difference between packing slip and shipping label
A packing slip serves the purpose of sharing the ordered item details as well as the associated quantity. It is placed inside the package.
The shipping label is used by the shipping carrier. It is placed outside the package, and it contains details such as the tracking code and customer’s address which helps in accurately delivering the package. It also includes the sender’s address which can come in handy in case of returns.
What’s inside the package is not a concern for the shipping carrier, and thus product details are not printed on the shipping label.
Difference between packing slip and an invoice
A packing slip and invoice share a similarity – both are sent by the seller to the buyer. However, the point of difference lies in the purpose.
Packing slips contain the details of the products being sent by the seller. The invoice contains the financial details of the ordered items (e.g., total amount and the price of every item in the order) to be paid by the customer.
In business-to-business (B2B) transactions, there are different departments for payments and receiving the goods. An invoice is typically handled by the accounting division or business owners. The reception of the goods is taken care of by the warehouse. Hence, they deal with the packing list, to scrutinize whether all the goods mentioned in the list are actually delivered or not.
What to include in the packing slip?
While the format of preparing the packing slip can differ through businesses, there are some standard components that should be included in the packing list:
- Product names: The packing slip should contain the names of all the items that were delivered in the package. The names can be complemented with short descriptions of the product. For instance, in the case of apparel, you can share the size and color.This allows the customers to reconcile the items to ensure that they actually received all the ordered items.
- Quantity shipped: Along with the names, it is important to disclose the quantity of each item being delivered. In case you can only fulfill some of the quantity requested, this can better inform the customer about it. You can also share the weight/dimensions of the products.
- Product SKUs: A stock-keeping unit (SKU) is an alphanumeric code used by sellers to classify and track their inventory. If there are any product returns, the SKU can help identify the item, and you can store it with other items having the same SKU.
- Contact information: The packing slip should contain the shipping information (like name, address, and contact number) of both the recipient and the seller. This makes it easier for the customers to contact sellers.
- Order number: This is a reference number created when an order is placed. The order number plays a pivotal role in case the customer contacts your support team for any assistance. By referring to the order number, your team can fetch all the order-related information and better serve your customers.
- Additional notes: Here, you can share additional comments (like information about the backordered products) or write a thank you note as well.
Importance of packing slip
1. Helps with accurate fulfillment of orders
You don’t want to send five mugs and two bottles to a customer that ordered five bottles and two mugs. Having a packing slip can help you avoid such mistakes. The packing slip contains the exact details of the product and quantity as per the order. Before sealing the package, your warehousing team can verify the contents to ensure everything is at the right place.
2. Provides assurance to the buyers
Continuing with the bottle and mug example, let’s say you are sending the mugs and bottles separately. When the customer opens and finds only bottles, it can create a sense of panic. But if you are attaching the packing slip, it can inform the customer that the current package only contains bottles, and the mugs will be sent via another package.
The key takeaway is: whenever you split large orders into multiple packages – packing slips can guide customers about what should be expected from the package.
Using the packing slip, the customers can verify the contents of the package. In the worst-case scenario, if there is any discrepancy, the packing slip can be a document of evidence to reflect which item wasn’t sent by the seller. The packing slip can also be referenced in case of returns.
Use DEAR Systems for better fulfillment
DEAR Systems can help you generate packing slips. In fact, it offers much more to help you improve your fulfillment. Schedule a call with our experts to learn more about using DEAR Systems for your business.