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Have you ever noticed a packing slip when you order something online? It does seem like a simple, meaningless document but holds immense value when it comes to order-fulfillment operations.
A packing slip has a role to play from the beginning of the order-fulfillment process to the successful delivery of the product. So, let’s jump into what it is and why it holds so much importance in the supply chain.
A to Z of Packing Slip
A packing slip sounds like a simple term, but it holds immense importance in the logistics industry. It is a crucial document for multiple departments and both sellers and buyers. Additionally, a packing slip is a reference document for many supply-chain procedures.
It is often misunderstood with an invoice and shipping label. The confusion occurs due to similar information shared in the packing slip, invoice, and shipping label. Continue reading to learn everything about packing slips.
What Is Packing Slip?
A Packing slip or a packing list is a document that contains complete details of the order for both the consumer and seller. It includes in-depth information about the shipped product. As a result, it helps to understand the delivery details, cross-check products, the quantity of the items, and more.
A packing list is a crucial document for the warehousing and shipping department. Additionally, it helps buyer or receiver of the product to ensure proper delivery of the product.
Difference Between Packing Slip and Invoice
Packing Slip and Invoice are similar but not the same. They look alike and travel from sellers to buyers. However, they both serve different purposes.
An invoice is the financial document of the order, while a packing list is a confirmation that the physical goods are received.
They both are intended for different persons; a packing slip is sent to the person receiving the product, whereas an invoice is received by the person responsible for making the payment.
A packing slip is vital for companies with multiple orders to keep track of the shipment, while an invoice always reminds every one of the due payments.
An invoice is mainly for the accounting team or company owners. On the other hand, a packing list is for the warehouse and shipment team. With this, both teams are aware of the goods that are being sent and received.
They both play an essential role in the order-fulfillment process, and they both serve their purposes well if managed accurately. However, for this to happen, you should consider partnering with a tech-integrated 3PL like Fulfillment Hub USA.
What Should a Packing Slip Include?
It should contain all the essential and relevant information and needs to be precise as much as possible. Details mentioned on a packing list differ for companies based on their services and products. However, some information is fundamental for all:
Shipping Address and Contact Info
The basic yet important details are the shipping address and contact information of the seller and buyer. This information is crucial for the shipping and tracking of any package.
List of Items Ordered
This list comes in handy when the buyer wants to check if they have received what they have ordered. There are different methods for this, but a packing slip makes the work easier.
List of Items Undelivered
It is a rare occurrence that there is no communication between buyer and seller for order fulfillment. However, if it occurs, a packing slip can help. It includes list of items that weren’t shipped but ordered.
Quantity of Each Product
Sellers and buyers requires a quantity column. Seller keeps track of the number of items sent, and buyers can cross-check if they have received the exact amount they have ordered. This list also saves up space in the slip and avoids repetition.
SKU of Each Item
SKU of any product helps sellers keep track of their inventory and identify the product if any issue from the receiver arrives.
Slip Number or Purchase Order Number
This number is crucial to make sure the correct order is shipped and received. With PO number, sellers and the shipment and warehouse team keep check of the right order delivery.
Apart from the above-mentioned details, other details are not mandatory, but sellers use them, depending on their slip template. For example, if a seller is using different delivery methods, then mentioning the name of the method on the invoice will help them keep track of their shipment. In addition, packing slip can include product description, company name, and logo, any special instruction or note, name and address of the shipper, etc.
Importance of Packing Slip
Packing lists are crucial for every e-commerce business. It helps maintain transparency and clarity along with many other benefits:
It is the physical evidence of shipped goods; a proof that items mentioned in the order are the ones that are being sent. This way both, seller and buyer keep track of the items of the shipment.
The order-fulfillment process needs to be accurate for smooth fulfillment operations. Use of accurate packing slips with real-time updates helps to ensure a proper flow of the order-fulfillment process.
Timely delivery is everything. A packing list makes it easy for the warehousing and shipment team to check, re-check, and cross-check every order as it contains all the prominent information. This way the process becomes faster and order delivery is on time.
A packing slip provides end-to-end transparency in the supply chain. It helps both sellers and buyers verify products and keep check of lost or damaged goods. Additionally, keeping track of the refund/replacement process becomes easy.
Packing Slip In a Nutshell
Packing Slip is important for both, sellers and buyers. It also provides an additional opportunity for companies to strategize effective branding while enhancing customer experience. However, there are different criteria that your customer’s experience will base their judgment on, including affordable delivery.
Fulfillment Hub USA provides you and your customers affordable delivery with numerous shipping carrier integration. We trickle down all the discounts that we get from shipment companies to you and in turn, make your customers happy. This way, we help you increase your conversion rate and make your customers come back with more orders. Connect with our experts today to get a FREE quote.
Is a packing slip the same as an invoice?
A packing slip and invoice serve different purposes; a packing slip represents the physical goods being delivered or received, whereas an invoice is the financial document of the order.
Where do you put the packing slip?
A package includes its packing slip. This helps the customer cross-check if they have received the items that they have ordered.
What is the difference between a packing slip and a bill of lading?
A packing slip denotes the received status of physical goods whereas, a bill of lading is a legal document that states the transfer of ownership of items from sellers to buyers.
What is the difference between a packing slip and a delivery note?
They both mean the same thing. However, sometimes a delivery note requires a signature or confirmation from the receiver for proof of delivery.
Is a packing slip necessary?
Yes, there are various purposes of a packing list when we ship or receive products.
Can You Use Packing Slip as a Shipping Label?
Yes because it contains all the necessary shipment information. One thing that needs to be done is to process the product through the shipping carrier and get the shipping label.