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Pick-Pack-Ship Process

Understanding the Pick-Pack-Ship Process

For very small businesses:

If you do not have a separate warehouse operation, simply use the Sales Order document as a mechanism for picking and packing orders. The original Sales Order can be used as a Delivery Note/Packing Slip.

For larger businesses:

With one or more warehouse operations these requirements needs to be met:

  • The Pick, Pack and Ship activities need to be explicit. You need to know which orders are currently being picked/packed/shipped.
  • Orders may be Picked-Packed-Shipped in multiple stages, especially when stock is on back order. See Creating Back Orders.
  • You may have orders that require different pick-pack-ship activities in different warehouses.

A Shipment document is suited to represent the specific Pick-Pack-Ship of either a whole or partial Sales Order.

As an example: If half of a Sales Order could be allocated immediately, while the rest was on back order, a Shipment can be created for the allocated stock, and Pick-Pack-Ship straight away. When the back ordered stock becomes available, another Shipment document will Pick-Pack-Ship the remainder of the order.


  • Shipment documents can be created for the whole order, or a subset of line items. This gives flexibility with regards to how orders are fulfilled.
  • Shipments can only be created for line items that have either been fully or partially allocated, i.e. stock that is actually available.
  • Shipment documents can be created from either the Sales Order itself, or in bulk from the Sales Order List.

Basic Pick-Pack-Ship Work-flow

The basic steps in Pick, Pack and Ship are shown below.

Your system can be tailored or customized according to your particular order processing work-flow.


Step 1. Create Sales Orders

Sales Orders can be created in a number of different ways, for example:

Step 2. Allocate Stock
  • For a customer telephone call: The stock would have been automatically allocated when the order was first saved.
  • For a Sales Order created via a shopping cart: The status will be PENDING and the stock has to be allocated.
  • For a Sales Order that came in via the Customer Portal: The status of this will depend on the way your system has been setup.

Allocating stock can be done in a number of ways. See Allocating Stock to Sales Orders.

Step 3. Create Shipment Documents
  • After stock allocation the order is ready to Pick, Pack and Ship.
  • The order can be put on hold so that this stage can be halted if required.
  • If the order contains line items for multiple warehouses, a separate shipment document will be created for each warehouse containing only the relevant line items from each warehouse.
  • The exact steps to create a Shipment Document are explained further below.
Step 4. Pick, Pack and Ship each Shipment

Each Shipment document controls the Pick, Pack and Ship status of each line item.

When a Shipment document is created, the associated line items in the order are set to ‘In Shipping.’

At line item level, you can see which orders are currently being Picked, Packed and Shipped.

The Shipment document itself has a status that reflects the current stage of the Pick-Pack-Ship process. These states are as follows:


The Shipments List allows you to see at a glance what states the various Shipments are in.

The warehouse operation uses the Shipments list to control all Pick-Pack-Ship activities.

From the Shipments list you can print off Pick Lists either by Order or by Item.

You can also print off Delivery Notes/Packing Slips.

Once the Shipment is set to Shipped, the Shipping Status is automatically updated on the associated Order.

Shipping Status can be one of:

  • Not Shipped
  • Partially Shipped
  • Shipped
Step 5. Create Invoices from Shipped Orders

After Shipments have been Shipped, Invoices can be created for each of the Shipped orders. This can be done individually from each Order or in bulk from the Sales Order List. See Working with Sales Invoices.

How to Enable Pick-Pack-Ship

Before you can use the Pick-Pack-Ship functionality you must enable it in your system.

  • Go to SetupConfigurationShipments.
  • Make sure the Enable Pick-Pack-Ship functionality checkbox is checked.


Enable Pick-Pack-Ship functionality

How to use Pick-Pack and Ship

The example below will illustrate the 5 steps mentioned above.

Step 1. Create Sales Orders

Shown below are 5 Sales Orders in the Sales Order list, with no stock allocated to them.

They were created via a Shopping Cart.


Initial un-allocated Sales Orders

Step 2. Allocate Stock

Allocating stock to the orders can be done on a per order basis. See Allocating Stock to Sales Orders.

It is more efficient to allocate stock via the sales order list, especially if you are dealing with a large number of orders.

From the sales order list, select ‘List Orders requiring allocation‘. This indicates the orders that require allocation and which orders can be allocated with the current stock levels. See the image below.


Show orders that require allocation

A circular icon next to each order indicates if the order can be fully or partially met or not allocated at all with the current stock levels.

  • Green – Fully allocated.
  • Orange – Partially allocated.
  • Red – No stock available.

If stock is unavailable, the associated orders can be placed on back-order and Purchase Orders can be created. See Creating Back Orders.

From here you can now tick the orders to be included in the Shipment. The system had pre-selected all the orders in anticipation of the next step. Untick the Sales orders for which there is no stock. They will reappear on your list the next time you click ‘List Orders requiring allocation’.

Step 3. Create Shipment Documents

At the top of the page two buttons ‘Allocate‘ and ‘Allocate and Create Shipments‘ are shown.

When processing many orders, choosing ‘Allocate and Create Shipments’ is the quickest option.

The Shipment List will then show, as indicated below.


Allocating and Creating Shipments in a single click

This allocation can also be done on an order by order basis, if preferred.

Step 4. Pick, Pack and Ship each Shipment

At this point in our example, 3 Shipment documents are ready to Pick-Pack-Ship.

This can all be done from the Shipments List.

This list will be visible for warehouse operators operating in the separate warehouses and depending on their viewing privileges. See Configuring a specific Role.

To prevent confusion and duplication of activity, status of the Shipments are monitored at each step with ‘being Picked’, ‘being Packed’ and ‘being Shipped’.

For smaller operations these intermediate states may not be necessary and can be omitted if preferred.

As discussed, each shipment goes through the following states:

Shipment document Pick-Pack-Ship statuses
READY TO PICK The Shipment is ready to pick
BEING PICKED The Shipment is being picked
READY TO PACK The Shipment has been picked and is ready to pack
BEING PACKED The Shipment is being packed
READY TO SHIP The Shipment has been packed and is ready to ship
SHIPPED The Shipment had been shipped

The Pick-Pack-Ship process has been optimized so ensure transition is done with a single click.

The following steps (1 to 6) show how the list of Shipments in our example are taken through each state:

Shipment Stages – Step 1 – Start Picking

  • The starting point is the state READY TO PICK.
  • To start picking click the Start Picking button (shown below), which will send you to Step 2.

start picking

Shipment Stages – Step 2 – Being Picked

  • Any order indicated as READY TO PICK can now be picked.
  • Select the button at the top of the screen – ‘Start Picking’.
  • The pick lists from this page can be printed, if preferred.
  • A list at the bottom of the screen will list the items to be picked for that Shipment Document.
  • When the Shipments have been picked, click on the button ‘Confirm Picked‘.
  • This will change the Shipment state to READY TO PACK.


Shipment Stages – Step 3 – Confirm Picked, Ready to Pack

  • Orders are now ready to pack.
  • Click on ‘Start Packing‘ to change the Shipment state to BEING PACKED.

start-pickingShipment Stages – Step 4 – Being Packed

  • The orders are now being packed.
  • You can also print off the Packing Slips (also called Delivery Notes) by clicking on the ‘Print Packing Slips‘ button.
  • When the Shipments have been packed, click on the button ‘Confirm Packed‘ to set the shipment state to READY TO SHIP.


Shipment Stages – Step 5 – Confirmed Packed, Ready to Ship

  • Each of the orders are now ready to ship.
  • Once the Shipments have actually been physically shipped (or placed in “goods out”), click on the ‘Confirm Shipped‘.
  • The status of each Shipment will change to SHIPPED.


Shipment Stages – Step 6 – Confirmed Shipped

  • Once the ‘Confirm Shipped‘ button has been clicked, the shipment status in the Shipment Document will change to SHIPPED.
  • The status of the line items per Sales Orders will also change to ‘Shipped’ or ‘Partially Shipped’.


Shipment documents and corresponding order status

Step 5: Create Invoices from Shipped Orders
  • Invoices for the Sales Orders that has been shipped can now be created.
  • This can be done in bulk from the Sales Order list by selecting the orders we would like to invoice from the Sales Order list.
  • Click on ‘Create Invoices‘ from the Invoicing drop-down menu as shown below.


Creation of Sales Invoices from shipped Sales Orders


If the order volume is low, the same actions as per the example above can be attained with individual Sales Order and Shipment documents.

Order Processing Work-Flow Automation

  • For Workflow automation, several Plugins are available to automate certain steps mentioned above and make the order processing work-flow almost completely automated.
  • Your system can deal with hundreds of orders a day with minimal manual intervention.
  • Contact Customer Services for more information.

Also Read About

Working with Shipments
Allocating Stock to Sales Orders
Pick Lists
Packing Slips/Delivery Notes
Checking Stock Availability
Working with Shipments
Creating Back Orders