It is good practice to talk with a packaging consultant periodically to ensure your product packaging is optimized. During the packaging consultation, our experts will run tests and spot things that you might not even notice. If you haven’t performed an audit recently, your packaging spending on your legacy packaging, plus indirect costs resulting from it might be creeping up on you.
Suboptimal packaging can result in unnecessary product damage, sub-optimal supply chain performance, and even damaged customer relationships. The bottom line is this: rather than simply reordering from your supplier or putting out an RFQ, taking advantage of a packaging consultation can be beneficial.
Here are five scenarios where a packaging consultation might result in better value for your company:
Over time, products and primary packaging evolve. Durable goods, for example, are increasingly digitized and may now require ESD (electrostatic discharge) packaging to protect electronics from electrostatic discharge besides the risk of typical damage. Likewise, product geometries may have evolved, dictating the need for adjustments to dunnage or introducing the opportunity to improve part density. For consumer goods, changes to the product or primary package light-weighting might dictate an adjustment to secondary or tertiary packaging change to optimize product protection.
Many companies are investing in automated storage and assembly solutions to meet the ongoing demand to do more with less, or you have acquired other companies with different automation. Automation can help companies increase storage efficiency, throughput speed, and order accuracy, not to mention worker productivity. New storage systems, conveyors, and shuttles can result in nagging issues with pallets not designed with the tight tolerances and stiffness required for some systems.
When customers introduce automation, as discussed above, your pallets might need to be reviewed to meet their needs. And what about new customer formats? For example, a paint retailer that previously required small pallets to fit through a man door may now make more sense to ship on a full-sized pallet as it transitions to more modern facilities with oversized doors. Alternatively, offering a smaller display pallet may be an attractive opportunity for some customers. Or winning international accounts might dictate a switch to HT pallets or custom build a new wooden pallet.
If your specification has not been reviewed for some time, there may be new approaches that you are missing out on. For wood packaging, better designs offer improved knockdown features to improve the packaging return ratio and better product protection. Would your packaging benefit from features such as an inspection window, wheels, ramp, improved hardware, or an ergonomic drop door?
For palletized loads, ongoing improvements to pallet and unit load design software and access to testing can help reduce your overall packaging cost. Unit load design is a systems-based approach that helps determine precisely the right amount of packaging. For instance, slightly upgrading to a stiffer pallet that puts less stress on packages could reduce the amount of packaging, resulting in a lower overall packaging expenditure. In one case, the pallet stiffness was increased at a cost per pallet of $0.98. This allowed for a decreased cost of each pail on it by $0.31. The net savings per unit load was $10.11!
Let’s face it. Things evolve, and you may no longer be getting the packaging put out to bid. If what you are receiving is a lighter product than you are quoting, you might be putting yourself and other potential suppliers at a disadvantage. By offering a packaging consultation, an expert supplier can see what you are currently receiving and also get a better handle on customer service details such as delivery requirements such as flatbed or van, pallet strapping requirements, and more.
Even if you are feeling great about your operations it is recommended to meet have a packaging consultation with an expert provider. You never know what new opportunities might be available.
For information on our packaging consultation services and our new nationwide corporate service program, Pallet Concierge come visit us in booth #519 at Downstream USA 2023 on June 7-8 in Galveston, Texas. Or, call us today to discuss this program with one of our specialists.
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