When it comes to making packaging decisions in any industry, mistakes come with the territory. Unfortunately, some mistakes can have a greater impact on a company’s bottom line that others. Industrial packaging is quite unique and differs from other types of packaging because it must offer a much higher level of protection for extended storage.
According to San Diego based Valley Box, packaging must give top priority to protecting the product during transit, conserving the product for long stretches of time during storage, and keeping an airtight seal on the product to prevent corrosion. Fortunately, companies can avoid the pitfalls of poorly selected packaging by steering clear of the following 7 deadly sins when selecting industrial packaging.
1. Following the ‘one size fits all’ philosophy
Some stock sizes work, others not so much. By using off the shelf solutions your product may be more susceptible to damages from vibration, moisture and abrasion. A packaging expert can help you decide if stock sizes are right for you. If stock sizes just won’t do, packaging should be designed based on specific information about your product.
2. Dismissing the package design process
Industrial goods are often bulky, heavy, hazardous, sensitive to external elements or all of the above. Not only can a unique design help you achieve a superior finished product, it can help reduce overall costs based on:
- Materials Used: The most common types of materials used for industrial packaging include steel, corrugated, wooden crates, wooden skids, or plastic (containers, heavy-duty shrink-wrap, etc.). The best packaging material for your product will depend on the type of product you manufacture.
- Special Safety Mechanisms: Hire a professional to help you determine how secure your packaging needs to be and the types of locking and closure mechanisms you will need.
- Internal Support: Although most exterior boxes are really similar in design, it is what is going on inside that really provides the protection. Placing your product into a box and shipping it without adequate internal protection may lead to extensive payload damage due to vibration, impact or environment conditions during transport.
Trust your packaging supplier to help your decide on the best design for your product's packaging.
3. Snubbing the entire shipment process
If you think the process ends after your goods are packed and ready to go, think again. For example, if you are shipping overseas, have you considered international standards? The packaging must be able to meet international packaging standards as well as quality control requirements of the countries of manufacture and destination. So here’s what you need to do: play the entire shipment through from beginning to end. Consider how the package will be handled by your company, freight companies and end users.
Watch Valley Box's webinar on improving packaging performance by looking at the packages entire lifecycle. The webinar breaks down the entire shipment process from; Package Design, Product Assembly, Packaging, Transport & Handling, Storage, Destination unpack, and Evaluating Performance.
4. Believing you’re fresh out of ways to save
Did you know that reducing the weight of your package typically reduces the shipping costs? Shape matters too as well as security mechanisms. As part of their strategic marketing efforts, some industrial packaging providers routinely offer specials and discounts too. Ask your supplier to re-evaluate your current packaging design or if they have any current specials or discount offerings.
Valley Box offers a No-Cost Packaging Review where trained packaging experts conduct a complete assessment of your product, then highly experienced packaging engineers develop cost-effective solutions. These types of packaging reviews can lead to a custom packaging solutions that help companies to:
5. Lacking information
When obtaining a quote, it is so important to have detailed answers to several key questions the packaging supplier will ask. When you’re unsure, the supplier may quote a higher price (to be on the safe side). When you don’t have your details in order, its also difficult for the supplier to offer suggestions that can potentially save time and money.
Read Valley Box's helpful blog post that lists 5 key steps to prep your product for packaging. It lists 5 steps you should take before picking up the phone and calling your packaging provider. It can be an valuable tool for you to prepare your product for shipping.
6. Leaving stones unturned
Before you set out to select packaging for your products, have you done any research to find out what’s new in the packaging industry? Breakthroughs are as common in the packaging industry as they are in the computer industry. These breakthroughs may mean access to newer and more innovative packaging materials or better processes that can help companies save money and reduce costs. For example, through newer technology, less packaging could actually provide greater package strength and product protection. This equals savings. Talk to your supplier to see if they have anything new to offer.
7. Selecting industrial packaging based on price alone
Before you can begin the process of selecting packaging, you have to find the right packaging provider. Sure, price is often a factor, but it should never be the only factor. This is a good way to make a bad decision about the type of packaging to purchase for your product. Important factors include quality, on-time delivery, innovation, product offerings, delivery costs, etc. If ignored, your packaging could end up costing you more down the line. For example, poor quality alone can compromise the safety of your product. If damaged, it will cost more to replace or repair it than it would to protect it in the first place.
Before jumping into business with a new packaging provider, there are a few critical questions that should be asked in order to rule out potential challenges later in the working relationship. Follow Valley Box's blog 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Packaging Company
Although there is no foolproof approach or packaging solution that can meet every packaging need, companies can greatly reduce costs and increase safety by being shrewd when selecting packaging and following these 7 deadly sins when selecting packaging providers.