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Increased Cost of Doing Business: 5 Ways for Manufacturers to Save!

Dell did it and so can you. The technology giant’s goal to decrease shipping crate costs led to nearly $8.1 million in savings and thousands of jobs saved.


No, the company did not stop crating products, it changed the way it crated products. For many companies, however, other areas may need tweaking as well.

From tax increases and rising fuel costs to vehicle repairs and material cost increases, the cost to run a business is at an all-time high, while revenues may be at an all-time low. But less working capital doesn’t have to be a death sentence. You can make it work.

Besides adopting sustainable practices to decrease packaging costs, you can save money by:

  • Obtaining Competitive Quotes
  • Consolidating Errands
  • Investing in Alternative Fuel Vehicles
  • Checking Inventory, and Ditching What You Don’t Need
  • Outsource costly in-house manufacturing

#1 Obtain Competitive Quotes

crate-manufacturers-measuring-for-QCLoyal to one vendor? That may have been ok in the glory days, but not so much today. If your vendors know that you’re on the hunt for competitive quotes, they will sharpen their pencils and give you their best price.

Don’t forget that old saying—the third time’s a charm.

Aim for no fewer than three competitive quotes for each purchased product. That third quote may end up being the one. Valley Box offers free quoting and will even review your current packaging needs to find any potential cost-saving opportunities either with a re-design or through a different supplier.


#2 Consolidate Errands

Avoid making multiple trips throughout the day in company vehicles. Consolidate errands or delegate the responsibility to one staff member on a certain day of the week. Combine all of your errands in one trip! Although this tip may require more planning and thoughtfulness, in the long run, it'll be easier. 

Here's a Green Tip: "After you make a list of what needs to be done and what you need to purchase, next you have to think about the location.

  • Where do you have to go?
  • Are these places in close proximity?
  • What errands and purchases can you group together so you're driving the least?
After you answer these questions and plan your outing, you're ready to go!"


#3 Invest in Alternative Fuel Vehicles

jimb-and-carElectric cars, hybrids, and clean-diesel models may cost more upfront, but the long-term savings will add big bucks to your bottom line, which will help support other company initiatives. Valley Box uses Smart Cars that offer a whopping 45 miles per gallon!

The US Department of Energy states, "Prices are likely to equalize with conventional vehicles, as production volumes increase and battery technologies continue to mature. Also, initial costs can be offset by fuel cost savings, a federal tax credit, and state and utility incentives."


#4 Ditch What You Don’t Need

wooden crates in yardGeneral rule: If you haven’t sold it or used it in a year, it might be a waste of money and space.

Think about it, by carrying less inventory, you can free up valuable storage space and working capital.

Valley Box offers shipping crate just-in-time services and vendor-maintained inventory to help meet your lower inventory needs. Instead of the customer monitoring its sales and inventory for the purpose of triggering replenishment orders, the vendor assumes responsibility for these activities.

Learn more about the benefits of VMI.


#5 Stop building in-house

Nail gun to inside of long boxWhile most manufacturers opt for buying crates from a supplier, some still choose to build the shipping crates they need in-house. If your company is a member of this dwindling group, before you begin building, there are a few points to consider that might make you rethink your decision.

Your core business should be your priority. When you decide to build shipping crates in-house, you are ultimately taking time away from your core business activity, which could slow production and profits!

Ask yourself, "Could these employees be better utilized in other more important areas of my business?" Consider, what are your true costs!

Topics: News, Services, Tips

Valley Box Company

Written by Valley Box Company

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