4 ways packaging can revolutionise your manufacturing process

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Packaging, as we have mentioned before in this blog, is primarily thought of as a means of storing and/or transporting goods and products safely and effectively; used well and wisely while so doing, it can save money, reduce damages, advise of special handling or storage requirements, work as a marketing tool, reinforce a company brand, help win the loyalty of customers and a number of other useful things besides.

But even before it goes out the back door on its way to your customer, or onto a pallet and up onto a high bit of racking to be stored, packaging can help make your own manufacturing processes faster and more efficient.

1 Faster packing
Packing cardboard boxes ready for dispatch doesn’t seem immediately to be a lengthy process, especially when you’re packing the same product time after time, in cartons you know are the right size for the purpose. All you need to do is pick up your loaded tape dispenser, pausing briefly to reload it with a fresh roll when necessary, unfold your box from its flat-packed condition, fold the bottom flaps down and seal them with tape, turn the box over, pack it, fill the empty space with some void fill, then fold the top flaps down and seal them with tape. Job done.

Naturally, it takes less time to do than to list all the individual processes, but it still adds up to a considerable amount of time over any 8-hour shift.

Of course, if you’re using standard postal boxes it may well take even longer, depending on how adept you are at folding and tucking in all the different sections of board that cleverly – but often too slowly – go to make up the finished carton.

Using a box with a crash lock base can reduce the amount of time you spend making up your boxes, because the base clicks into place as you unfold it, eliminating the need for all that messing around with tape.

If you use our single or double wall crash lock boxes, you’ll also get a self-seal strip for the top, saving you even more time. And the result? Well, faster packing means more parcels packed per shift; that in turn should mean more customers receiving their orders sooner than they otherwise would have done; that usually means happy customers and happy customers are far more likely to become regular customers.

2 More flexible packing
Packing the same item each time is one thing; but what if you’re working with multiple products of various sizes? You could go down the Amazon route, choose the one box that’s far too big and use it for nearly everything, with vast quantities of brown paper thrown in to stop smaller things rattling around too much. But most of us don’t have the buying power of Amazon, so we’d almost certainly end up paying vastly inflated amounts to our couriers for the privilege.

Using multi-depth boxes allows you to use the same carton for a range of items without having to spend money mailing large amounts of air or void fill in the process. Built-in creases mean you can cut down the corners and quickly fold over the sides to match the size of the contents.

Quite apart from the convenience of not having to keep changing which carton you’re using, this approach is likely to reduce your costs as you can negotiate better unit prices on a single carton in large quantities than two or more cartons in smaller numbers.

3 Mechanised packing
Technology is giving us better and faster ways of doing most things in life, and naturally this trend extends even to packaging. Earlier this year, we introduced some automatic and semi-automatic packing machines that will tape and strap your cartons faster than anyone is likely to be able to do by hand.

There’s more to pay upfront, inevitably, but if you’re dispatching enough parcels to make it worthwhile, you may find that initial investment gets paid off quicker than you expect. We’ve even introduced a couple of special ideas that could remove any risk at all. You can rent these machines on a monthly basis, or even try them free for a week – if you decide not to go ahead, all you pay for is the cost of the carriage. If this sounds like something you’d like to know more about, call our Sales team on 01332 821200 for more information.

4 Pallet optimisation
If you’re sending out large numbers of parcels every day, you may well be getting charged by the pallet. If that’s the case, then it follows that you want to make best use of every pallet you dispatch by getting as many boxes on as you can, while keeping them within the confines of the pallet (if they hang over the edge, they’ll run a very real risk of getting damaged) and without stacking them too high.

We’ve selected a number of boxes from our in-stock range that do just that, with several options for each of the standard pallet sizes (1200 x 1000mm, 1200 x 800mm and 800 x 600mm). It’s a simple yet smart way of ensuring that you’re getting best value every time your orders go out the back door. Of course, if you can’t find your ideal pallet-optimised carton from our range, or you’re using different pallets, just give us a call on 01332 821200, or fill in our online Custom Cardboard Boxes form, and we’ll help you create your very own perfectly optimised cartons.
How has packaging changed the way you organise your manufacturing and dispatch processes – or do you have a problem we might be able to help with? Leave your comments and questions below!

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Rick Stanford

Rick has been a salesman in the packaging supplies business for more than thirty years. Now semi-retired, he divides his time between tending his allotment in north Devon, getting depressed at the continuing travails of his home-town football club Macclesfield Town, and sharing his considerable experience and knowledge with the readers of the Davpack blog. Davpack

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