For one reason or another, manufacturers tolerate sloppy packaging practices – from themselves and their suppliers. However, they’re paying for it in product damage, unused truck space and excess materials. If you want to lower your overall costs and optimize your supply chain, consider these 5 efficient packaging tips for manufacturers.
1. Accept that Packaging Design is Crucial to the Success of Your Supply Chain
Large organizations fail to recognize how packaging is deeply embedded in supply chain operations. Many also underestimate its ROI and focus on short-term, upfront costs instead long-term gains. For example, a global automobile manufacturer saved $2.3 million annually by making slight adjustments to their packaging’s performance – which is nothing to turn your nose up to. Corporate bureaucracy also prevents companies from improving their packaging. Because so many departments “touch” the supply chain, too many hands are in the pot, so to speak. The best approach is leadership agreement from C-Level executives, so communication can filter downward and actually gain momentum.
2. Develop a Packaging System
If you’re not improving your packaging with the goal of lowering your costs and optimizing your supply chain, then why do it? Packaging design should be approached holistically – especially for manufacturing companies. By looking at the big picture, packaging engineers can mathematically determine a product’s optimal packaging dimensions, dunnage and load size. In the end, it’s all about cube utilization.
3. Be Open to Change
Inflexibility is the death of cost savings. If you refuse to change your unit counts, case size, or your packing processes, you can’t expect optimization. Being flexible also means avoiding making last minute decisions – and packaging is usually the last thing companies consider. If time is limited and decisions are rushed, you’ll find yourself locked into processes that don’t work.
4. Let the Data Speak
Packaging efficiency can be trial and error. But to reduce errors, start by performing a packaging audit to gather data about which areas of your supply chain need improvement. This can be especially helpful if have a limited budget because you’ll be able to tackle the most pressing issues first. Once you have a design, test it. Also, keep an eye on ebb and flow of material costs before deciding on a design. It’s ideal if you have a packaging supplier that can be on the lookout.
5. Leave Packaging Optimization to the Pros
Packaging design in the industrial and manufacturing sector is an art – but not the kind you find on consumer packaging. It is technical, tedious and requires an understanding of the entire supply chain. Working with packaging expert ensures quicker turnaround, avoiding costly mistakes and better pricing on materials.
So, if you’d like more efficient packaging, PCD is here to help. We are experts at packaging design and can offer solutions that improve your entire supply chain. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.