This blog was originally published in April 2021. It has been updated for 2022.
Nearly every industry is feeling the strain from the current supply chain disruption. Material lead times are being pushed out to unmanageable levels, human resources are scarce, and prices on everything continue to rise.
I'm sure you've noticed that your packaging materials are not exempt from these conditions. Read on to help understand what you can do to stay ahead of these packaging challenges.
The good news is, now is a great time to make your entire packaging process more efficient. Review your packaging and ask yourself a few questions:
Are all of my packaging products coming from one vendor, or do I deal with multiple suppliers? Consolidating your suppliers can help streamline your purchasing process.
How much money do I have tied up in packaging inventory? Unused packaging has a cost, and it takes up floor space that could be used for other purposes.
Is our packaging really protecting products in transit the way it should? Damages during shipping and handling can cost a lot - both in dollars and in customer sentiment.
How much labor is needed to package my products? The packaging employees you may have had at one time might be hard to come by in the current labor market.
Is our packaging coming from a catalog or large website where we order each piece ourselves? Not only does ordering this way take a lot of your time, it can be more expensive in the long run.
The answers to these questions will help you identify opportunities to tighten up your packaging budget and make it work smarter for you.
M-Line can provide more than just boxes and bags. We're a local partner who's here to help you get the right processes in place and create a packaging program that's custom-designed for you.
We can help you:
Reduce lead times by warehousing your packaging materials for you and delivering as needed on a JIT basis.
Manage your packaging inventory for you with our vendor-managed inventory program.
Conduct a packaging audit at your facility so we can recommend cost savings ideas and alternatives to your current packaging methods.
Assemble your packaging in advance in kit form to reduce the labor involved on your end.
Test your packaging to ensure it meets your needs.
With rising costs and lengthy lead times, you can stretch your budget further when you get expert help from M-Line. We can't change what's happening in the industry, but we can help you navigate these changes and come out ahead.
Customer GR was building their own crates in-house for their equipment, having two full-time employees cutting wood and building crates. M-Line identified an opportunity to modify the method for packaging and provide the customer with Just In Time delivery of kitted packaging. GR would receive the new packaging as needed daily. GR could then immediately place their items inside the kitted packaging and ship the product.
Per M-Line’s suggestions, the two employees were relocated to manufacturing, reducing the packaging budget by $80,000. JIT delivery provided additional savings by not taking up room on the customer’s floor and improving cash flow, as the packaging was not purchased or received until needed.
See where your packaging needs can be made more efficient with a packaging audit from M-Line. Our experienced team of packaging experts will work with you to understand your business and goals, and help identify areas for improvement.