Many small business owners have wondered: Should my company be kitting inventory? The answer: possibly! Maintaining inventory in “kits” helps businesses bundle separate pieces of inventory that are frequently used or sold together.
So if your business often uses items simultaneously and is tired of tracking every bit and piece individually, kitting might be right for you. Read on to learn the complete definition of kitting, including kitting’s meaning in logistics. Then we’ll touch on how to kit your inventory and how inventory management software can make tracking your kits a breeze.
What is kitting?
Kitting is an inventory management strategy in which individual pieces, parts, or items are bundled into a kit. This “kit” is tracked, used, and even sold as a single piece of inventory, even though it has several (or many) parts.
All types of businesses kit their inventory, from warehouses and fulfillment centers to automotive shops, medical facilities, and preschools. Auto shops, for example, might kit all the tools required for a tire change. And preschools might kit a storage bin filled with toys, books, and art supplies that are all related to The Itsy Bitsy Spider.
So, what is kitting in a warehouse? In a warehouse or similar setting, employees might bundle several items with their own SKUs into a new, kitted item with its own SKU. Examples: a toolbox full of tools, a pouch filled with travel-sized cosmetics, or a first aid kit filled with bandages and medication.
Related: A Guide to SKU Management
Benefits of kitting
Kitting has many different benefits, depending on how your business intends to utilize kitted inventory. Here are a few notable perks of kitting:
1. Lower labor costs
If your company kits inventory to make work-related tasks more manageable, you’ll likely find your employees get things done faster. That’s because there’s less time spent tracking down missing parts and pieces, and all the items employees need to complete a task are all in one place.
2. Boosted efficiency within warehouses
If your warehouse kits inventory that’s frequently sold together, you’ll also save time during the tedious pick-and-pack process.
3. Easier inventory management
Finally, if your business bundles inventory internally, you’ll likely find that managing all that inventory takes way less time. The same goes for grueling end-of-year inventory counts. After all, when you kit inventory, there’s suddenly a whole lot less stock to account for.
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How to kit your inventory
Kitting your inventory is a relatively simple process, whether you’ll use kits internally or mark them for sale. So here’s how to get started.
1. Inventory what you’ve got
First thing’s first. If your inventory isn’t organized, you’ll need to start there. Choose an inventory management system that’s easy to use but robust enough to grow with your business. Take note of any details that matter to you, including SKUs, item descriptions, and item locations. (If your items don’t have SKUs or another unique identifier, like a Sortly ID, you should create those now.)
Some inventory apps, including Sortly, allow you to upload photos of each item and sync items to barcodes and QR codes. Both of these features can save you tons of time—and reduce human error, too.
2. Determine what items to kit
Now that all your inventory is organized, it’s time to think about what items should be bundled together. A few questions to ask yourself and your team are:
- What items often travel together to job sites?
- What items are so small that we often lose them, and how could we combine them in a way that makes sense?
- What items are we already storing together, like in a toolbox or a bin?
- What items are we frequently selling together?
- What inventory could be sold together as a set in a new way?
Once you’ve figured out how to bundle your inventory, it’s time to move on to the next step.
3. Officially “kit” those items
Once you’ve designed your kits, you’ll need to set yourself up for success by entering them into your inventory management system. If you’re using an inventory app like Sortly, you can simply create a new entry for your bundled items, then use the notes section to record the Sortly IDs or SKUs of the items you’ve kitted.
Sortly will automatically create a Sortly ID for your new kitted inventory, but you can also create a new SKU for it yourself. Remember, every item in your kitted inventory already has an SKU, but the whole bundle will need a unique identifier of its own now.
You can also create a barcode or QR code for your new kit using Sortly, then print the code on a label for easy checking in and out. Whenever the item changes hands, needs to be audited, or is sold, simply scan the code using your smartphone and make any necessary changes.
You may also want to print the contents of each kit directly onto the storage container. If you’re using Sortly, you’ll be able to access item details whenever you scan the barcode or QR code, too.
Sortly is top-rated inventory management software perfect for companies interested in kitting their inventory. With key kitting-friendly features like a barcode and QR code generator and printer, the option to upload high-resolution pictures, and the ability to track inventory across multiple locations, there’s no better way to get your business organized.
If you’re ready to kit your inventory, check out Sortly’s easy-to-use inventory app that can help you get organized. Start with a two-week trial, absolutely free.