One such facility is the headquarters of schleich North America based in Charlotte, N.C. In this fulfillment center, shipping containers from Europe and Asia are received at loading docks and allocated to one of two departments: B2B Repack or B2B pick and pack. A manual, operator-dependent unboxing process then begins in each respective department, where individual SKUs are repacked for local shipping to U.S. and Canadian markets.

The B2B Repack department routes larger quantities of higher-volume SKUs to major retailers, often repacking or reworking whole pallets of a single item at a time to more manageable distribution sizes. Adapting to the needs of different mass retailers, this might mean repacking a 30-count of a single SKU in a corrugated shipper with a single UPC code so the shipper doesn’t know what is inside the box. Automated case erecting and case closing bookends the manual line here since there is little to no variability on order size.

The B2B pick and pack department, on the other hand, is a high-mix, lower-volume environment. Operators (called pickers) there fulfill highly customized orders that are destined for independent toy stores or specialized e-commerce fulfillment. Every one of the company’s 3,000 SKUs are organized through a dedicated rack locations in a racking system found only in the B2B pick and pack department.

In the B2B pick and pack department, shippers—corrugated cases in a legacy small size or a new large size—are hand-erected by the picker and associated with a specific shipping label and packing slip before being placed by conveyance ahead of the racks. Pickers scan each shipping label with hand-held devices that direct them to the appropriate locations in the racks to retrieve each item that the order calls for.

Read more: Toy Fulfillment Center Streamlines Packaging Ops Via Material Handling