This article was originally published on April 26, 2021 and updated on 3/21.
Dock to stock (DTS) is a term used to describe the time needed to move products from receiving to storage, whether items are going directly to inventory on shelves, racks, bins, or pallets. Receiving for small companies can be a straightforward process, although for large businesses receiving large volumes of product, Dock to Stock can be extremely time-consuming and wasteful if processes are not optimized for maximum efficiency.
Kitting is one way that Dock to Stock time can be significantly improved, and it provides a number of benefits that can improve productivity and profitability.
What Is Dock to Stock?
Dock-to-stock begins when ordered materials arrive at the loading dock and is the beginning of the receiving process. Receiving involves a lot more than just grabbing boxes and putting them on a shelf. Proper receiving procedures can be time-consuming and include:
- Checking the products received to ensure they were not damaged in transit
- Checking the items and quantity received against the internal purchase order to make sure you got what you ordered
- Creating a computerized label to stick on the box to scan these items into a computerized inventory system
- For companies without computerized systems, handwritten logs must be kept of all be further assembled or used in specific production runs can spend all day receiving and moving items from dock to stock. Optimizing this method with the most streamlined and efficient processes provides many benefits for workers and for improving company metrics.
How Kitting Improves Dock to Stock
Imagine a company receiving 10 boxes of different items, packed in bulk, that must then be further assembled in-house as part of their internal fulfillment or production requirements. Now imagine receiving 10 boxes of already individually packed kits, one kit containing the correct amount of each item already packaged and ready to stock directly to inventory, put on a display shelf, or moved right to a production and assembly station with everything required included and ready to go.
Some of the benefits that kitting provides to dock stock include:
- Improves DTS time: Receiving kitted products eliminates several steps for manufacturers and fulfillment centers and drastically improves dock-to-stock time.
- Streamlines the receiving process: Kitted products combine all the SKUs of the individual items into one SKU, saving a lot of time without scanning numerous individual items into inventory. This drastically improves the storage and distribution of products kitted in advance.
- Faster assembly – kitted products destined for assembly improve internal procedures with employees having everything they need delivered in one kit, eliminating the need to search for numerous products. Kitting makes it simpler to locate what is needed for an order, boosting the efficiency and productivity of the processes. Kitting products allows for a much faster fulfillment process, which ultimately reduces shipping delays that could happen if the items were packaged individually.
- Fewer movements – streamlined and quick processes support fewer movements for employees, as they do not have to walk back and forth together required items. Tracking movements is a big part of streamlining processes, and even seconds add up. Companies that perform Value Stream Mapping (VSM) exercises begin to realize many advantages when breaking all processes down into seconds and eliminating all waste, including unnecessary movements, downtime, backtracking, bottlenecks, or duplicate work.
- Improved quality with fewer mistakes – kitting reduces chances of error by eliminating further assembly processes. Receiving kits from an ISO-registered contract kitting provider provides even greater assurance of receiving quality and accurate kits.
All of these benefits of kitting can be translated into cost savings and an overall more efficient Dock-to-Stock cycle time. Kitting allows for a “grab and go” process that is much quicker than individually searching for parts.
Cost-Efficient Kitting and Assembly Services
Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, is a leading provider of contract kitting services, offering more than 80 years of experience in delivering cost-efficient production solutions to companies of all sizes. We follow strict quality policies as part of our ISO9001:2015 registration, delivering quality kits and assembled components on time. Our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system provides complete lot code traceability for full accountability of all customer-supplied material.
PPS differs from other contract kitting companies as a fully sustaining, not-for-profit organization. We offer vast resources, including a large state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to set up dedicated kitting and assembly lines with a highly trained and dedicated staff. Contact us to learn more about our kitting and assembly services and how kitting can improve your Dock to Stock time and provide these many benefits.