Solving the Furniture Industry’s Damaged Goods Dilemma

Furniture manufacturers face a common challenge; goods becoming damaged during transit.

The logistics of shipping bulky and irregularly shaped items often result in them arriving at their destination in less-than-ideal condition. However, a growing number of manufacturers are discovering a solution to this problem through investment in Right Size packaging technology, with companies like Panotec leading the charge.

The Damaged Goods Dilemma

For furniture manufacturers, damaged goods represent more than just a financial setback. They impact customer trust, harm brand reputation, and disrupt your supply chain. The nature of furniture, large, heavy, and often fragile makes it particularly susceptible to damage during transit. Traditional one-size-fits-all packaging methods often fall short of protecting these items, leading to an alarming rate of returns.

Right Size Packaging

Right Size packaging has changed the way furniture manufacturers approach packaging. Instead of using standardised boxes that leave unused space and excessive void filler, Right Size packaging involves customising packaging to fit each product’s exact dimensions. This tailored approach minimises wasted space, reduces the risk of product movement during transit, and enhances overall protection.

Who Are Panotec?

Panotec is a leader in automated packaging solutions, offering various systems that enable furniture manufacturers to optimise their packaging processes. By leveraging Panotec’s automated systems, manufacturers can produce custom-sized boxes on demand, ensuring that each item is packaged securely and efficiently. This not only reduces the likelihood of damage during transit but also streamlines operations and cuts down on material waste.

Benefits Beyond Damage Prevention

Investing in Right Size packaging with Panotec offers a host of benefits beyond mitigating damaged products. Manufacturers can enjoy cost savings through reduced shipping expenses and material usage. The efficiency gains achieved through automation enable companies to allocate resources more effectively, improving overall productivity and profitability. Additionally, embracing sustainable packaging practices aligns with consumer’s growing preference for eco-friendly brands.

Work with Ribble Packaging

Ribble Packaging has already been able to enhance the speed, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness of furniture packaging processes for the likes of Wren Kitchens, One Call Furniture, Magnet and BA Components to name but a few by adopting Right Size packaging with Panotec.

As the furniture industry continues to evolve, packaging will play an increasingly important role in shaping the customer experience. By prioritising investment in Right Size packaging technology, manufacturers can stay ahead of the curve and position themselves for long-term success.

If you would like to discuss the possibilities of Panotec, get in contact.

Transforming Furniture Packaging with Panotec Automation

Furniture manufacturers are constantly seeking ways to boost efficiency and reduce costs, yet surprisingly, the packaging process often gets overlooked.

Countless furniture manufacturers are currently grappling with a range of packaging problems that not only impact their operational efficiency but also have significant financial implications. Perhaps the most pressing concern among these challenges is the need to prevent transit damage. When your furniture arrives at its destinations in less than perfect condition, the costs incurred can be hindering, not just in financial terms, but also in terms of the reputation of your company. As much as 11% of unit loads arriving at a distribution centre have some level of packaging damage.

Adding to this is the reliance on traditional packaging methods that have long been in use within the industry. These conventional approaches, while deeply ingrained, often prove to be surprisingly wasteful. They also may demand a significant level of skill from your employees, presenting yet another challenge. Whilst these are just a few of the common faults from across the industry, it shows how important it can be to ensure your packaging quality remains consistent while packaging a wide array of different furniture, whether it’s antique dining sets, flatpacks, or large beds.

The Need for Innovation

To overcome these challenges, manufacturers often turn their attention to automated packaging solutions.

The industry is vastly adopting automated solutions, and the initial concerns surrounding quality and adaptability have been removed. Leading machinery, such as Panotec automation, now offers innovative solutions that transform the way furniture is packaged.

One of the key advantages of automation is its ability to reduce the need for specialised skills in furniture packaging. The automated processes make it accessible to a wider range of operators, with minimal training. This not only simplifies the process but also addresses the issue of skilled labour shortages, which has been a growing concern in the manufacturing industry with statistics from ONS showing manufacturing vacancies are still higher than pre-pandemic.

Transition to Automation

Manufacturers can start by assessing their current packaging processes and identifying pain points. This initial step provides a clear understanding of where automation can make the most significant impact. Once the areas in need of improvement are identified, manufacturers should research and choose the right automation solution for their specific needs.

Customisation and Flexibility

One of the key advantages of automation in furniture packaging is the ability to customise solutions to meet the unique requirements of each manufacturer. This flexibility means that manufacturers that use automated packaging systems no longer need to rely on one-size-fits-all packaging.

Quality Assurance

Quality assurance is at the heart of any manufacturing process, and automated packaging solutions are designed to excel in quality control while reducing the potential for human error. With Panotec automation, furniture manufacturers can enhance their efficiency and reduce costs while maintaining the quality and reputation of their brand with consistent packaging.

This technology is a new era of furniture packaging, and manufacturers who embrace it will be well positioned for future growth and upcoming trends. If you want to speak about your packaging needs in greater detail, call us at Ribble Packaging on 0161 284 9000. With over 80 years of packaging expertise, we help streamline your packaging processes to reduce waste and restore profits.

BG Sports

BG Sports are a licensed sports memorabilia company who have licences with most Formula 1 teams, UFC and Anthony Joshua, with many more on the way. Memorabilia is produced in house along with the manufacture of F1 show cars and driving simulators.

With the business growing, space started to become an issue and given the large variety of shapes and sizes of products, packaging SKU reductions became a necessity. BG Sports researched the right solution for their operational needs and found it with Ribble Right Size.

“Before we bought the machine we would spend around £400,000 on boxes and now we have cut that down to £200,000, that’s just in our first 12 months.”

“The most important thing it has helped us with is making packaging on demand, we can make a one off box for a random size parcel compared to before where we would need to get a quote, order the MOQ and wait for delivery to package specific size products.”

“We chose Ribble after doing some research and they were the best priced on the market. They are a one stop shop with the supply of Fanfold and we get great customer service.”

Evergreen Shutters

Herefordshire based Evergreen Shutters are a manufacturer of bespoke shutters for domestic applications. All shutters are manufactured in the UK and painted in house.

As all products are made to measure, packaging each item securely became difficult and a change was needed to eliminate transit damage and customer satisfaction. After many attempts to find the perfect packaging solution for their products they chose Ribble Right Size, a flexible on demand packaging solution that allows each product to be packaged in the perfect size box.

Evergreen Shutters Associate MD, Richard Jenner said:

“The problem that we were experiencing is that shutters are a premium product but as they are made to measure we were struggling to find a packaging solution the matched the premium nature of the product. We came across Ribble who helped us with a creased Fanfold solution to start with before the option of a Right Size solution. They helped us to design the best solution from the right board grades to the inclusion of added buffer zones for increased protection, so really it was the best solution for us.”

“The service and products from Ribble have been exceptional. The beauty of switching to the made to measure solution has meant that we have been able to simplify our number of packaging SKU’s down to just 2 lines of Fanfold, so much similar that what we were doing previously. Really simple and straightforward, its everything we could want from a packaging supplier.”


PIVOT manufacture a bed that turns into an all-in-one home gym in a matter of seconds. The bed provides the perfect solution for people who cannot easily access a Gym due to their location or who want to workout at home but lack the space for a separate home gym. PIVOT’s unique product has proven a hit both in the UK and abroad with North America and Europe seeing increased sales year on year.

Given the size of their product, PIVOT struggled to find a suitable packaging solution for the multiple boxes they required to fulfil each order. With a relatively small number of orders and wide variety of box sizes required for each order, die-cut boxes would not have been a viable solution due to supplier minimum order quantities and available warehouse space.

With Ribble Right Size, PIVOT have been able to create a packaging process that adapts to all of their requirements, allowing each part of their order to be sent out in the perfect size box, on demand. Right Size has allowed PIVOT to optimise their packaging for every part, so that every bed can be sent out tightly and securely, preventing any damage during shipping.

PIVOT CEO, Colin Montgomery said:

“Being a UK company with a strong desire to work with other UK companies, when we found Ribble and the Panotec system it just felt right. We met them, immediately liked the people and felt like they had a true desire to help us. And we needed that help way back then, let’s be clear! The fact that they’re based in the North of England, like we are, is also a help as we know we’re covered by their delivery and support reach.

Ribble are very friendly, professional and helpful. They’ve always been quick to respond to our questions and requests. Their engineering team have been incredibly supportive and we’ve felt well taken care of by the sales/accounts team. They’re our only supplier to have proactively reduced pricing since we started.”

5 Reasons Why You Need Right Size Furniture Packaging

Any business that stores and transport goods knows getting the right size packaging is essential if they want to operate efficiently and effectively. After all, it keeps productivity levels high and running costs low.  This is especially true for furniture manufacturers and suppliers, who have the added complexity of storing and transporting a product that can be large, heavy and bulky.

Traditionally, manufacturers and suppliers have packed their furniture in plastic wrapping or boxes that are too big for what they have inside, filling the space around it with additional packing material such as bubble wrap.  Today, technology is allowing them to change the way they work, creating packaging through systems such as Ribble Right Size, that fits the packaging around the furniture itself.

On the surface, this change may seem small. However, if you’re a furniture manufacturer or supplier, there are significant benefits to be had by getting the right size furniture packaging.


  • Warehouse


No matter how lean a business runs, there’ll always be a product that needs storing.  The more efficiently you store your furniture, the less space you’ll need and the less money you’ll spend on warehousing.  When you use furniture packaging that isn’t the right size, it takes up more space than it needs to in your warehouse, costing you money.

Saving warehouse space will become increasingly important in coming years as the UK experiences a shortfall in available storage space, making the cost of warehousing per square foot increase. When you use furniture packaging designed to fit precisely to the size of your products, you save space, not only because the packaging itself is smaller but because you can store upwards as well as across a warehouse floor.


  • Health and Safety


While it’s impossible to avoid all work-based accidents, you can significantly reduce the risk by using furniture packaging that fits the furniture itself.  Doing so makes it easier to move using forklift trucks, for example, reducing the amount of heavy lifting your staff have to do and the chances of them hurting themselves in the process (almost 25% of all workplace injuries are due to handling, lifting or carrying).

It also makes stacking products easier, increasing their stability and reducing the likelihood of their falling off shelves or workers tripping over them because they couldn’t be stacked and have been left at ground level.


  • Transportation Costs


According to research published in 2018, over 30% of businesses worldwide say that they’re using packaging that’s at least 40% too big for the products inside, leading to an extra £35 billion in transportation costs a year.

The 40% extra, or empty, space is caused because businesses rely on standardised packaging which is designed to a certain size, rather than the size of the product it is shipping.

By changing this around, so your furniture packaging is designed to fit your product, you can significantly reduce – if not eliminate – the empty space. This, in turn, lowers transportation costs because you can get more product into each delivery vehicle, meaning fewer trips are needed to deliver your product.


  • Furniture Damage


In 2017, 40% of consumers reported that the goods they’d received were damaged in some way according to a report by retail association IMRG.

While figures aren’t available for the number of businesses that receive damaged goods from a supplier, it’s fair to assume that, as most damage happens during the shipping process, the figures are relatively similar.  Damaged goods can’t be sold, or need to be sold at a discount, meaning they are likely to be returned to you, leaving you to cover the costs or sell them on at a reduced price.

Using furniture packaging that is the right size reduces the likelihood of goods getting damaged because they are less likely to shift in transport as they are more securely packed within the delivery vehicle and there is less empty space for them to move around in.


  • Operational Efficiencies


For any business, saving time and money are key to a successful business.  Using the right size furniture packaging helps you do both by reducing:

  1. Warehousing costs
  2. Transportation costs
  3. Sick days due to work-related accidents.

By investing in technology such as Right Size, it enables you to create the exact amount of packing you need, when you need it, meaning nothing is spent on unnecessary supplies, and nothing goes to waste, which is good for the environment and your business.

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