What are product kits?
Product Kitting is a term used in order fulfillment to refer to the assembly of individual items into ready-to-ship sets, or kits. Kits are generally assigned a unique SKU in order to differentiate the assembled kit from its individual components and to allow the kit to be inventoried and tracked as a single unit.
So, you may have three separate SKUs that each have their own listing, but you may also have another listing that offers all three of those objects as one “kit” SKU.
How SkuVault Core uses kits
To build a kit in SkuVault Core, you need to give the kit a SKU.
Take a video game bundle for example. Let’s say the kit SKU is “Sony_PS380GB_FinalFantasyXIII_Holiday.” You then need to lay out what the kit consists of:
- “2 Sony_PS3DualShock_White”
- “1 Sony_PS3Headset_Wired”
Once the kit exists, SkuVault Core calculates the available quantity of the kit according to the available quantities of each SKU within the kit. Note that this quantity will always be reflected in your SkuVault Core integrated systems such as ChannelAdvisor, Amazon, eBay, Shopify etc. Any time a quantity changes for any of those SKUs within the kit, the kit SKU quantity will be re-calculated and updated. Even our pick lists are optimized for kits.
Alternates within kits
Alternates occur when you have multiple listings (and SKUs) for one item. Within a kit line item, alternates act as multiple items that could be used to fulfill that part of the kit, should the default item be unavailable for any reason. This is handy when the channel or marketplace you’re selling on already has multiple listings for the same item. Let’s look at the video game bundle example again. Say you’re all out of the “Sony_PS3Headset_Wired SKU,” but you have everything else necessary to make the sale. Alternates allow you to dictate alternative SKUs for your kit components and to set up rules for those alternates. You could set up “Sony_PS3Headset_Wireless” as a viable alternative, keeping you from losing that sale. There are three ways you can utilize the product kitting feature in SkuVault Core:
- Alternates within kits
What are assembled products?
Assembled Products are a type of Product Kit that are created by physically removing the kit components for a particular kit from their physical location(s) in your warehouse, physically bundling them together (ie: shrink wrapping or boxing), and creating a new Assembled Product in SkuVault Core; one with the same SKU as the kit SKU it derived from.
You’re essentially creating a bundled product kit whose components cannot be physically separated from each other, and therefore whose components cannot be stored in different locations.
How SkuVault Core uses assembled products
Let’s look at an example, like camera equipment, and see how easy it is to turn a Kit into an Assembled Product.
You create a kit that contains the camera, the camera lens, memory card, and tripod – you also sell all of these items individually, but the holidays are approaching, and you want to create an easy-to-purchase bundle to increase sales.
When an order is placed for that Kit – let’s give it the kit SKU of “holiday-canonsx4000starterkit” – warehouse workers must travel through your warehouse picking those individual items to assemble that Kit to ship it out.
If the bundle is a total hit with your customers, your employees are grabbing these components over and over all day, running back-and-forth through your warehouse, scanning and picking all these individual components. The Assembled Product feature allows you to pre-package that Kit in your warehouse ahead of time.
So instead of warehouse workers running all over the place to gather individual items to assemble a Kit, they can pick the Assembled Product from one location, which significantly reduces picking times. What was once a two-minute job is now a 20-second job.
The benefits of using product kits and assembled products
Doing all of this manually is a huge job, and the larger your company becomes, the less practical it is to do something like this by hand.
Assembled Products have two significant advantages over using Kits alone:
- They save man-hours by reducing picking time for your best-selling kits
- They allow you to control the inventory levels of the individual Kit components on your marketplace
- Produces a good inventory turnover ratio because items sell faster
Inventory kitting can solve a lot of problems, and it can definitely increase visibility and sales. But whether you do it through us, or someone else, please take our word for it, and automate everything.