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How to Improve Your Packaging Department

by Valley Box Company on Mon, Mar 3, 2014

A company’s packaging is a reflection of the business as a whole so its important to make a good first impression with thoughtful packaging. Start by taking a look at the three main factors that affect the packaging department; labor skill set, storage space costs and actual Packing time. 

packaging departmentLabor Skill Set

Let’s start with Labor. If you don't have a dedicated trained labor force packaging your products, it’s time to consider optional methods. 

Consider hiring a specialist to perform the final packaging. This way, your employees can go back to doing what they do best, creating product, and a packaging expert will take care of the rest!

Consider in depth training that will streamline packaging steps. For instance, Valley Box Company often creates how-to-videos that outline step-by-step how a package should be packed and unpacked. This eliminates confusion and keeps the crew consistent in packing efforts. 

Storage Space Costs

Think about the amount of space that packaging products can take up. How many square feet of the warehouse floor space is being eaten up by unshipped packaging just waiting around for the product? Rather than setting aside large areas for storing packaging goods, consider optional methods such as a Just In Time (JIT) scenario or Vendor Maintained Inventory (VMI).

Just in time is a inventory control practice that is used in many industries to assure that production is not interrupted by shortages. In a JIT program the customer monitors their inventory and communicates to the packaging company the desired quantities and the want date. The packaging company will then build the quantity of packages to meet actual customer demand.

Utilizing an Vendor Maintained Inventory program is a cost effective way to guarantee that shortages do not occur. Instead of employees monitoring the inventory levels, like the JIT program explained above, the packaging vendor will manage the packaging inventory by replenishing stock as needed to keep operations running smoothly. An inventory monitoring program will:

  • Prevent unexpected packaging shortages which limits down production lines which in turn eliminates delivery delays to customers.
  • Reduce cost overruns by focusing skilled labor in areas of their expertise
  • Decreases the storage space required for packaging supplies which allows for more available production areas.
  • Eliminate the presence of outbound packaging waste from partially used packaging supplies.
  • Eliminate the time spent on Inventory Monitoring 

Actual Packing Time

Next up, Packing Time. Evaluate your packaging department’s current methods of packing. How long does it take? How many parts fit in each package? Asking these sorts of questions could result in a design change that might actually increase the productivity of your packing time, thereby lowering the cost of your overall package. 

Packing-time-infographic-thumb.jpgValley Box performed a packing time review for a machining company with two plant locations in Southern California. Packaging Experts evaluated the packing process of packing up each ring into a barrier bag, securing it in the crate, then nailing the lid on. The process took 8 minutes. 

Valley Box talked to employees in order to gain a full understanding of the production chain and the product's vulnerabilities and uncovered that the parts were being over-packaged. The long term preservation packaging being performed was unnecessary due to the short transport and storage time between the two production locations. The machining company’s product was durable and just required adequate spacing between each part so the machined surfaces didn't touch.

Valley Box Packaging Experts designed a package to optimize the Machining Company's packaging department. Crates were painted to create longer lasting reusable containers, internal spacers were added to separate the milled surfaces vertically in order to fit more products into one container. Now a single ring can be packed in 60 seconds and each container can transport 8 rings. 

Packaging and the packing process can be evaluated with the intention of improving many areas of concern:

  • Boost operational efficiencies
  • Minimize waste
  • Better meet the needs of your end-users
  • Save on material costs, labor and storage costs
  • Eliminate damage claims
  • Improve customer returns process

 

Download the infographic mentioned above
Packing-Time-Infographic
   
packaging department
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This post was written by Valley Box Company

Valley Box demonstrates what is possible beyond just the typical wooden box. This specialty packaging manufacturer works with a wide variety of materials from wood to plastic, corrugate, metals and more. Discover how to take specialty packaging to the next level.

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