A company’s crate packing 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 crate packing department;
- Labor skill set
- Storage space costs
- Actual packing time
#1 Labor Skill Set
Let’s start with Labor. If you don't have a dedicated trained labor force packing your products, it’s time to consider optional methods.
Hire a Specialist
Consider hiring a specialist to perform the final crate packing. This way, your employees can go back to doing what they do best, creating your products, and a wooden crating expert will take care of the rest!
Do more Training
Consider in depth training that will streamline crate packing 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. Watch one of Valley Box's videos below!
#2 Storage Space Costs
Think about the amount of space that crate packing products can take up. How many square feet of the warehouse floor space is being eaten up by unshipped crates just waiting around for the product? Rather than setting aside large areas for storing wooden crating goods, consider optional methods such as a Just In Time (JIT) scenario or Vendor Maintained Inventory (VMI).
Just in Time
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 wooden crating company the desired quantities and the delivery date. The packaging company will then build the quantity of packages to meet actual customer demand.
Vendor Maintained Inventory
Utilizing a 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 wooden crating vendor will manage the inventory by replenishing stock as needed to keep operations running smoothly.
An inventory monitoring program will:
- Prevent unexpected crate shortages which limits production lines delays and late deliveries to customers.
- Reduce cost overruns by focusing skilled labor in areas of their expertise.
- Decreases the storage space required for crate packing supplies which allows for more available production areas.
- Eliminate the presence of outbound wooden crating waste.
- Eliminate the time spent on Inventory Monitoring.
#3 Actual Packing Time
Next up, Packing Time. Evaluate your crate packing department’s current methods of packing. How long does it take? How many parts fit in each crate? Asking these types of questions could result in a design change that might actually increase the productivity of your crate packing time, thereby lowering your cost overall.
Wooden crating 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
Case study: Packing time review
Valley Box performed a packing time review for a machining company with two plant locations in Southern California.
Wooden crating 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 packing materials being performed were 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 wooden crating experts designed a package to optimize the Machining Company's crate packing 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.