Much can be done to optimise your transit packaging and reduce packaging costs. Working with manufacturers day in day out to ensure savings, and through a few quick and easy steps we have assisted companies with average savings such as 53% less waste and 27% less cost.
So, how can you reduce your packaging costs? Here’s the nine simple steps…
- Train (or retrain) your staff
This applies particularly to those who have a manual packaging process. When was the last time your staff received training on the correct way to tape a carton, or the most effective way to wrap a pallet? Reducing the amount of packaging applied still remains the quickest way to have an effect on your packaging costs. Untrained staff could be applying too much tape, or pallet wrap to each package without even realising. A quick training session with your packaging supplier could help reduce the amount of packaging you are using overnight.
- Maintain (or repair) your machinery
Do you have a regular maintenance schedule for your end of line packaging machinery, and when did you last check that your pallet wrapper is stretching to the correct stretch ratio? End of line packaging machinery can sometimes end up neglected and as a result this can cost you.
- Challenge your current designs and setup
When did you last review why you are using the packaging design and components that you are using? Do you need all of the components you are currently using? Is there a better way to package this product? Challenging your current packaging design can result in large potential savings, the packaging market is very dynamic and as a result new materials and systems are being launched regularly. By sticking with the status-quo you risk losing out on savings that could be made by changing to a more cost-effective packaging design.
- Eliminate unnecessary packaging items
What items can you eliminate from your packaging process? Often extra packaging is added to items to compensate for an underlying root problem. This is neither a lean nor cost effective solution. Analysing the process may identify unnecessary packaging items within your packaging.
- Use high yield materials
When we visit food manufacturers, 9 times out of 10 we will notice that they are purchasing the cheapest pallet wrap per kg to try and keep costs down.Whilst the cheaper products may seem more enticing on paper, when it gets to the production floor, you could end up using twice the weight of film to produce the required result and also have a lot of operator frustration and line downtime due to snapping. This is when cost wins over price every time. Trials in a range of major food manufacturing factories have proved that by scientifically selecting the highest yield film suitable for the application, will cost you more on a price-per-roll basis but will make a huge saving to your cost-in-use. The reason for this is, high yield pallet wrapping films contain additives which increase their strength and puncture resistance. As a result, when you use a high yield wrapping film you can apply far less weight of film and retain the same product protection and stability.
- Set up benchmarks and specifications
Once you have achieved the optimum cost in use and packaging solution, take some time to make written specifications for this. This means that you will maintain the savings you have achieved as well as ensuring that your product image is consistently maintained. Benchmarks for items such as weight of pallet wrap per pallet will allow you to quickly check that your savings plan is on track.
- Set up regular review and challenge dates
Packaging materials are improving constantly. Make sure you set up review dates to relook at your packaging and process. This way you will be able to ensure your costs are never too high for your packaging materials.
- Bale, recycle and sell waste
A lot of companies don’t realise that you can get good money for packaging waste. If your factory produces a lot of cardboard or plastic waste, look at baling the waste and recycling it. It is an investment that pays itself off very quickly, and it’s better for the environment than putting the waste into landfill.
- Focus on cost in use
Essentially it all comes back to one golden rule: look at the cost-in-use over price-per-unit. If you always have this in mind, you are guaranteed to make far greater savings for your company.
Our Lean Integrated Packaging Survey consists of an on-site review that will identify obsolete or outdated practices, and identify ways in which you could save time and money. Find out more here or get in touch with one of our packaging experts today.