In the supply chain world, you’re always looking for ways to better serve your customers and optimize your processes to make them more cost-effective. How you package products to send them to their next (and sometimes final) destinations play a central role in operations. It’s worth it to revisit your packaging processes to ensure quality and efficiency.
It is estimated that businesses saw a 30% increase in consumer interest after making packaging improvements. An optimized packaging process boosts consumer confidence and works to reduce waste. We’ll unpack the benefits of packaging optimization.
What is Packaging Optimization?
“Packaging optimization” is when supply chain strategists develop and implement an improvement plan geared toward making their packaging more accommodating to the supply chain process. This plan usually includes actions that save time and money in producing and transporting packages.
Top Reasons to Optimize Packaging Logistics
Because of the pandemic, eCommerce had phenomenal growth in 2020. As more consumers turn to online shopping, the market will continue to grow. Competition is heating up.
Whether your business is B2B or B2C, customers trust you to deliver products to them safely and soundly. Package optimization makes your package process more reliable across the board.
Improve the Customer Experience
How a parcel arrives to a customer shapes their expectations of your business. If it comes in a well-sealed package with contents packed with care, the customer is likely to believe that you are a reliable supplier.
No one wants to wait weeks for a shipment only for the items to be broken or damaged when they arrive. When you put the extra care into packing orders, this small act is huge for building trust with new customers. It’s easier to retain customers than to gain new ones.
Presentation is everything. 55% of online customers said they are likely to order again when products come in customized packaging. While this isn’t appropriate for every kind of product, customized containment is an example of how packaging enhances the customer experience.
Build Your Reputation
Packing optimization carries the potential to build brands. You ship products in boxes that display the brand on all four sides of the box. Subscription services announce their arrival with a branded box to the customer’s delight. Anyone who sees the box sees the brand. Imagine a box being repurposed and passed onto someone else.
Another way packaging builds your reputation is through consumer reviews. When a customer provides order feedback, they are often asked about the condition of the product when it arrived. Positive reviews left on a website where other consumers can read them build a reputation for being reliable.
You might consider asking for feedback by slipping an insert into the package or emailing your customers after the package has been delivered.
Waste elimination is about having sufficient supplies on hand and making the best use of those resources. For example, if you pack a smaller item in a large box while packing the space with enough fill for three more packages this is a waste of material. This means one less box to package a large item in and spent fill that could have been used for other boxes.
Having ample shipping supplies on hand mitigates the misuse of resources. Training your staff to follow the packaging design plan exactly works to maintain efficiency.
Many industries have taken measures to reduce the carbon footprint. Reducing packaging waste is one way to be more environmentally conscious, but other facilities take it a step further by opting for packaging that is thinner and made from recycled materials.
Optimal packaging methods also reduce wasted product. If an item breaks during shipment, your customer is more than likely to return it for a refund. When this happens frequently, the aggregate of lost product cuts into profits.
Solutions for Optimized Packaging to Save Your Bottom Line
What does a packaging optimization plan include? Here’s an overview of improved efficiency opportunities.
Decide what packaging materials are best for your operations – You have plenty of packaging solutions available on the market. What strength and flute or cardboard is best? Which package fillers are the most cost-effective? What tapes and stretch wraps have the best value?
Package dimensions – Can a more suitable box be made for products of unusual shape? Are there boxes that do the same job but are cheaper to ship? Are some boxes never used because they are ill-fitting for the items? Are your packages compatible with your automation process? Upgrade or downgrade packing containers accordingly.
Consolidation – For bulk orders, is there a way to reduce units for transport? Are you using too many boxes for items that are all going to the same place? What can be rearranged to fit more on a pallet?
Damage mitigation – Are there ways to better protect and preserve vulnerable items? Food and drug products sometimes need special handling to maximize quality. Are some items frequently reported as damaged? What can be done to better package these items for freight?
Do You Need Packaging Optimization Software?
Saving on costs and resources means that every unit is packaged appropriately. No manager has time to hover over every package and mull over hundreds of decisions.
Packaging optimization software automates the shipment planning process. In short, it does a lot of the thinking for you. Built-in optimization tools include package sizing, pallet loading, freight costs, and the best packing configuration for special-case items.
Packaging Optimization is How to Improve Costs and Your Supply Chain
ShipHawk estimates that shipping mistakes result in 24 million extra truckloads. What seems like small missteps add up and eat into profits. Identifying improvement opportunities and acting upon them have the potential to not only cut costs but can also increase revenue over time (such as customer loyalty gains).
Packaging optimization is all about finding the right fit for your processes. Aida is also all about finding the right fit for the task. That’s why our on-demand staffing platform is ready to supply the most capable warehouse staffing for your facility. Need experienced workers to implement a packaging overhaul? Contact Aida at (469)789-3450 to discuss contract labor solutions!