How to take back control of your packaging supply in 2021

Deemed the new ‘beige gold’, cardboard supply is still very much in high demand as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the dramatic increase in online shopping has led to this over the past 12 months.

According to The IMRG Capgemini Online Retail Index, the UK’s eCommerce sector achieved the highest online sales growth in 13 years. Total online retail sales growth was up 36% in 2020, so it’s not surprising the devastating effects this has had on businesses nationwide.

Struggling to cope with cardboard material supply, many online retailers have experienced a delay in their deliveries, which in turn has been impactful on their customer satisfaction. Even the big retailers, Asda, Lidl and the Co-op started to feel the pinch early on last year, as many consumers were asking why their egg packaging was replaced with plastic packaging. This was an early warning of what was to come for the world of packaging…

Before the pandemic, businesses were relatively responsible when it came to recycling. Packaging would be quickly returned into the recycling system, but now the industry tackles the problem of relying on individuals to recycle properly.

“What we’ve found is people tend to store product boxes in their garages or simply in their homes without realising the detrimental effects this is having on cardboard supply,” says Stephen Rector, Managing Director at Ribble Packaging.

Less recyclable cardboard is being returned into the system and paper manufacturers are struggling to create the supply to meet demand. Paper has become scarce, and some corrugated manufacturers are having to ration their supply and let customers down.

So how can you future-proof your packaging supply chain in a volatile market?

By implementing a Right Size packaging solution.

Fit-to-product boxes can help by considerably cutting the amount of cardboard you use. By only using the right size box, it means you only have to purchase one type of packaging material such as Fanfold, removing the need to order multiple styles and sizes.

This flexible on-demand right size packaging solution is guaranteed to save you up to 25% in packaging costs and is a much more sustainable solution, as it removes the need to purchase additional void fillers; a win, win.

To find out more about Ribble Right Size, please click here or get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss your options.

 

Packaging for Lighting – Right Size has you covered

Packaging for Lighting, from Pendants to Florescent Luminaires; Right Size has you covered.

If you’re a lighting manufacturer or supplier, you already know that lights come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention the fragility of some designs. When it comes to packaging, especially for eCommerce stockists, your products need to fit properly in your packaging of choice with good protection to get your product to your customer safely without any breakage or damages.

Recently, packaging companies have experienced a national cardboard shortage “due to a combination of the pandemic and Brexit” says Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI). With this in mind, companies have been stockpiling materials leading to many retailers suffering the consequences of not having packaging readily available when they need it.

With all the varieties of lighting out there, sourcing packaging is not an easy task. As a business, you need to have the right box there ready to go as soon as your product has been assembled to avoid any breakages. So, as a manufacturer or supplier, you have two options. You either have to have a warehouse with unlimited space for all the different box shapes and sizes, or you choose a much more efficient way of operating…let us introduce you to Right Size Packaging.

On-demand packaging; a perfect fit every time

With Right Size Packaging, you can create boxes that are the exact dimensions and style you need for all your products. You never have to worry about being without the materials you need to run your business because you have packaging on demand.

It’s flexible, easy and efficient

Take back control of your packaging supply by switching to Fanfold, a greener packaging solution. Rather than conventional boxes, you can easily source just one product and eliminate the need to buy multiple different styles and sizes of boxes.

Create an environmentally sustainable packaging process, eliminate plastic packaging

Every business should make a conscious effort to reduce their impact on the environment. But if you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution for your packaging processes, then fanfold, coupled with Right Size Packaging could be for you.

Not only that, a Fanfold solution can actually make you more money

How? Whilst reducing your packaging cost by around 30%, this packaging solution also frees up your packaging inventory, regaining vital space to use for more stock – increasing your sales opportunities.

 

Still not convinced? Hear from Dextra Group PLC just how much Right Size Packaging has helped their business operations. As the UK’s largest privately-owned lighting manufacturer they can tell you honestly, so you don’t just have to take our word for it…

 

If you would like to find out more about any of our packaging solutions, please get in touch.

The packaging process that is over 99% plastic free

Internet Fusion Group, a leading lifestyle e-commerce retailer with brands such as Surfdome and Country Attire, have created a sustainable packaging process that is over 99% plastic free. Investments in two Quadient CVP-500 automated packaging machines and switching to Corrugated Fanfold material from Ribble Packaging, have aided with their pursuit of an environmentally sustainable right size packaging process.

To highlight the full extent of their achievements, Internet Fusion have released a report investigating the environmental effects of paper-based packaging versus plastic packaging products. The report explores the full manufacturing process of both paper and plastic packaging, through to the recyclability and long-term environmental effects once a package has reached its destination. Head of Sustainability at Internet Fusion Adam Hall said” Our customers are tired of plastic pollution, and we are tired of the justifications being put forward for continued plastic production in the middle of a marine plastic crisis. When you dig a little deeper these arguments simply don’t stack up, so we felt it was time to share the decision-making process that has led us to our packaging being over 99% plastic free. Our customers choose us because of our environmental efforts and in turn we choose Ribble for the same reasons – it’s partnerships such as these that can shift a whole industry towards a more sustainable future”.

Right Size packaging specialists Ribble Packaging supply Internet Fusion with over 75% of their packaging material in the form of Corrugated Fanfold board, a versatile fully recycled and recyclable cardboard product that feeds many of the leading automated packaging systems in the UK.

Stephen Rector, Managing Director of Ribble Packaging, commented on Internet Fusion’s success: “It is fantastic to see that Ribble products are helping our customers in creating more environmentally sustainable packaging processes. We also see the need to improve our in-house operations to make them more sustainable.”

Earlier this year, Ribble embarked on a project to make their operations carbon neutral. “We understand the need to focus on the effects our manufacturing process has on the environment, this has led to us embarking on a carbon neutral project that will see us embrace new sustainable technologies and practices. Our products allow customers to create a more sustainable packaging process, but we can enhance these benefits by offering a carbon neutral manufacturing process as well.”

Top 10 benefits of switching to Right Size Packaging in 2021

Want to find a way to keep your customers happy this year, well it’s time to look at how you can be more sustainable…

Firstly, why do small things come in such big packages in the first place? Protection! As noted by many eCommerce companies, retailers over the years have chosen to package items with unfavourable amount of padding and air to prevent items from getting damaged in transit. But this is no longer an issue thanks to smarter packaging options that meet the needs of the growing number of environmentally conscious customers.

With Right Sized Packaging, you can benefit from:

  1. Improved Packaging Protection

Rest assured each product/item is snug and secure, reducing any chance of breakages during delivery and increasing customer satisfaction.

  1. A perfect size box for all your orders

Over the years, more and more people are conscious about their decisions that affect the environment and climate change, i.e. waste. Keep your customers happy by reminding them you are conscious too.

  1. Reduction in packaging costs

Packaging can be costly but utilising the right sized packaging for your products, means you only use the amount you need. Keeping the cost of materials down as you won’t need to order as much!

  1. Reduction in vehicle utilisation

With smaller packaging boxes, you’ll be able to fit so much more on your delivery vans when transporting your product to the end-user. Reducing journeys and cutting cost, not to mention lowering your carbon emissions!

  1. Elimination of plastic packaging

Plastic packaging can take hundreds of years, if not thousands to biodegrade! Switching to a cardboard packaging material saves landfill sites from being overloaded with waste packaging.

  1. Less labour intensive

With a quicker packaging process, Ribble Right Size saves time and cuts down the process, keeping pressure off your warehouse staff.

  1. Reduced admin

With fewer materials used, you won’t need to order as much. Plus you only have to order 1 product (Fanfold) from 1 supplier, rather than multiple sizes and styles of boxes.

  1. Eliminating all void fill packaging

Making you more efficient and improving profit margin as you’ll be using less packaging.

  1. More Warehouse Space

More room for those great products of yours and less floor space wasted on excessive packaging!

  1. Flexibility to make the right box on demand

No more worry about whether you have the right size box or the right style, Ribble Right Size is fully flexible, so you’re covered for everything.

 

Interested to hear more about Right Size Packaging? Get in touch and we’d be more than happy to talk you through the process of switching and getting you on board to be more sustainable in 2021.

How you can save 25% on your packaging; Guaranteed.

With Christmas just around the corner, the increase of online shopping is likely to go through the roof round about now. As each parcel is delivered, you can expect that customers will get an immediate opinion on the brand and how they value sustainability.

10-15 years ago, people would have probably not given a second thought to an overly wrapped parcel or excessively large packaging box, but now researchers at The Chartered Institute of Marketing have found 88% of shoppers think their items come with excessive wrapping, with children’s toys, mobile phones and cosmetics most likely to come in over-elaborate packaging. It was also found that “8 in 10 would like to see more done by large companies to promote sustainable packaging”.

When companies consider the switch to Right Size packaging, they’re likely already sold on the fact that they know they’ll save on the packaging costs, as there’s so much less packaging to buy in the first place. Along with the obvious advantages that come with having similar values to their consumers; brand loyalty, trust and desire to support positive environmental policies. Often, they don’t even realise all the additional savings they can benefit from…

Think about it, with less packaging you’ll need fewer vehicles on the road as you won’t be taking up as much space in the back of your delivery vans. As well as being kinder to the environment by reducing carbon emissions, you’ll be saving money as well, fewer vehicles, fewer drivers, therefore lower labour costs for your business.

According to The Road Transport Industry report in 2019, “78% of goods are moved by road”, and transportation costs can be a huge part of a company’s overall logistics spending. If it’s possible to reduce this through Right Size packaging, its arguably one of the most beneficial solutions a company can implement due to the ever-rising fuel costs and the impact this can then have on the price of goods to the end-user.

Recently, it’s been estimated that returns can cost retailers up to £20 billion every year, but with Right Size packaging, sales aren’t limited by MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities), and Return Management is improved as the product is less likely to arrive damaged therefore fewer refunds or exchanges. To ensure your business saves money and even profits from logistical changes, bespoke Right Size packaging is essential.

With no additional cost for void fillers and less waste disposal, Right Size packaging is a no brainer for companies that want to adapt and futureproof their business. Get in touch to find out more and we can arrange a quick 15-minute virtual demo. Visit https://ribble-pack.co.uk/right-size for more information.

Packaging for Fulfilment: Building a futureproof outbound and inbound process

Over the past decade, more and more people are conscious about how they live and what they consume. Not only are they fanatical about the products in terms of where they come from and how they’re made, but it’s also the product packaging that matters and whilst many are using recyclable materials – excess packaging remains a problem amongst many Fulfilment companies.

The constant battle between finding the perfect size box for each order and having a large product inventory of all shapes and sizes continues to be a struggle for packaging warehouses across nearly every industry. With many brands facing the challenge of losing their customers due to excess waste and overuse of void fillers, it’s a problem that needs to be tackled sooner rather than later…

According to Ipsos MORI, “63% of global consumers say they would be willing to change where they shop if it meant they would use less packaging”. This is a huge percentage and has led to quite the battlefield amongst businesses feeling the pressure to waste less. Consumers no longer just accept excess packaging as a norm, they want to see companies encouraging their values and pushing for sustainable and eco-friendly options.

In the digital world we live in, it’s too easy for a brand reputation to be damaged. Within just 5 seconds, consumers can reach out to Twitter where according to Brand Watch, 80% of users have previously mentioned a brand in a tweet and during the last two years, there has been a significant increase in customer service conversations. To futureproof your business, now is the time to put a strategy in place to avoid these issues and determine how you can resolve it or even prevent it.

At Ribble packaging, we offer right-size packaging for all our customers. By having the ability to make custom-size boxes for each order on demand, Fulfilment centres never have to use wasted void fillers in their packaging again. By eliminating void fillers and using the right size packaging, fulfilment companies can gain back around 25% of free space on transportation vehicles, meaning more products can be packed on each delivery resulting on possible transportation savings. Their customers can also repack returns in the perfect size packaging so that it can easily be returned – saving time, money and resources. Warehouses won’t require such a large packaging inventory to fit all shapes and sizes as the solutions we offer will do everything for you; freeing up space that can be filled with more stock; thus, enabling a more cost-effective system.

Don’t just take out word for it…

Fulfilment companies including XPO and Clipper are already reaping the benefits of using Ribble right-size packaging…

“It’s just over 5 years ago that we took the decision to purchase our Panotec machine here at Studio in Failsworth and a second one followed not long after being fitted at one of our other sites! What a difference this has made to how we do some things here at Studio, the machine paid for itself in just 6 months. The machine is efficient, very robust and produces good quality packaging. I would recommend to any business looking to save money but keeping quality to purchase one of these.”

Mel Bradley, Reverse Logistics Manager, Studio Retail Ltd

At Ribble, we value the environment and strive to have a 100% sustainable packaging process that removes any use of void fillers and saves you money! To find out how you can futureproof your packaging Fulfilment Services, get in touch and we can arrange a free 15-minute virtual demo. Visit https://ribble-pack.co.uk/campaigns/go-green-in-15 for more information.

Sustainability Made Simple With Packaging Automation

With a growing need for companies to accelerate their sustainability and social responsibility, it’s come as no surprise that 2020 has seen more and more businesses continuing to phase out the use of plastic packaging and introduce packaging automation. Just recently, Lego have stated that they are aiming for all packaging to be sustainable by 2025. Neils B Christiansen, CEO at Lego Group says,

 “It’s critical to take urgent action now to care for the planet and future generations.”

Caring for the future is a mission that every business globally needs to adopt, not only because it’s important to value the planet, but you must ensure you don’t lose sight of your consumers values and the fundamental changes they come up against as a result of climate change.

Whilst the global coronavirus pandemic has taken hold, many retailers and other industries have recognised the need for automation across many departments, as would be expected due to the shortfall of workers and the urgent need for hygienic, sanitary processes to be in place.

But how can packaging automation help create a more sustainable process?

In terms of packaging, automating the process not only vastly improves the efficiency of your business by reducing the strain of your workforce and improving the quality of your packaging, right size packaging solutions will also decrease any waste. Not only this, your efficiency levels will be optimised as automated packaging means less reliance on workforce, as machines do not need a ‘break’.

Reducing packaging waste also means that if you do use plastic packaging for your items, this usage is kept to an absolute minimum. At Ribble, we preserve environmental resources by using 100% recycled and recyclable Fanfold for our automated packaging solutions.

Adopting a right size packaging solution to your business, does exactly what it says – you have the right size box to fit the product meaning no excess waste, leading to improved sustainability. It will size, construct, weigh and label each custom order to create the perfect package and eliminate the need for any fill material – saving you money on labour and reducing box volume for delivery.

Businesses who have incorporated our right-size packaging solution have saved 30% in packaging costs!

By having smaller packages for your products, you will also utilise available courier vehicle space better, which will in turn reduce the number of vehicles on the road, reducing your CO2 emissions and collectively making you a more sustainable business.

In celebration of Recycling Week 2020, we’re inviting you to a virtual demonstration of how right size solutions can make your packaging more sustainable. In just 15 minutes, you’ll learn how your business can go green. To register please visit https://ribble-pack.co.uk/campaigns/go-green-in-15.

How Businesses have used Packaging Automation to aid their Covid Response

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many retailers to rethink their entire business model and consider adopting an automated process for packaging. The Coronavirus pandemic will be a defining moment in history for years to come for many reasons, but if you’re an online retailer you’re likely to have witnessed a considerable peak in sales during the lockdown. With more and more consumers left with no outlet for escape, it is no wonder those who had never shopped online before chose to switch to e-commerce. This was of course great news for online retailers who unlike other businesses could thrive in sales, but the reality of many e-fulfilment centres, they struggled to cope with demand.

Those already with a Packaging Automation system in place were in a beneficial position as they could safely limit the number of staff in the warehouse and abide by social distancing during this unprecedented time. On the other hand, those supply chains that have been dragging their feet in automation had to tackle the struggle of not being able to meet the demand in sales and thus face the bad reputation that comes with this. E-commerce supply chains require fast order processing, efficient picking and packing and reliable delivery of thousands of units per day, so when you fail at this, you ultimately fall victim to poor reviews and a damaged brand.

Automation has helped many Online Retailers through COVID as they have been able to reduce the congestion of staff in the packing areas, whilst still increasing the volume of deliveries at the same time. Not only does automated packaging provide a sustainable option and encourages waste reduction, automated packaging provides reassurance for consumers. During a world-wide health crisis, consumers have understandably grown more concerned about where they source their products and having knowledge that their product and its packaging has been handled by as few people as possible is a new selling point for retailers. In a time that sees an increased awareness in hygiene, the value of single-use packaging may be on the rise again…

By focusing on efficiency and delivering to your consumers, we have already seen a steady increase in packaging automation as e-commerce retailers take greater control over the supply chain. Right sized packaging enables a single operative to make any box, at the correct size for any goods, packing single or multiple items.  This means faster packaging, using less materials and smaller packages, so you can get more products per pallet – reducing truckloads, cost and carbon. When you combine this with our corrugated Fanfold material, you can typically generate a 25% reduction in corrugated costs and up to a 100% reduction in void fillers. As logistics centres increase social distancing measures, automation can help increase throughput with reduced staffing levels.

 

To find out more about our automated packaging options, please get in touch.

 

How to future proof your business using automation

In today’s increasingly competitive marketplace, automation can often be seen on the agenda of most forward-thinking businesses. However, many may be thinking that the use of automation will instantly give them rewards and save on costs, sometimes this can be the case, but the use of automation needs to be viewed as a long-term strategy. For starters, sometimes the initial investment is not a small outlay and the costs involved in moving from manual processes into automated procedures can be high.

The key to evolving into automation is found in the medium-to-long-term, simply put this means the longer automation is used, the more powerful its ability to reduce costs becomes.

So how does automation improve production efficiency and decrease production costs?

Automated machines have no need to take breaks. They work at a faster rate, lowering manufacturing overheads, and increase output at the same time. In short, it means you can manufacture more products within the same space and time.

Automated technology continues to improve year-on-year, a recent stat from NCCI – “Only about 10% of manufacturing tasks globally were performed by robots in 2015. But that percentage is expected to rise to 25% by 2025 as robots become less expensive and easier to program, making them more accessible, particularly to small businesses.”

Automation also has the ability to work collaboratively with the human workforce. Sensor systems have become far more adept and built with safety in mind, with features such as collaborative machines that can detect too much resistance to their movement, so they automatically shut down. The positive effect here is a safer workplace for employees, and a far lower risk of accidents occurring.

Businesses need resilience, flexibility, and scalability. In other words, they need automation, delivering substantial results to the bottom line.

The real question here should be Why would you not automate? By choosing an automated solution like ‘right-size packaging’ you too can begin to reap the benefits that automation brings along with future proofing your business.

Find out how you can automate your packaging process in just 15 minutes, from the comfort of your own chair with our virtual demonstration by calling 0161 284 9000

Why is automation the future for packaging?

The day of shipping boxes 40% oversized has come to an end. Constructing boxes, packing, weighing, sealing and labelling manually is a slow process, and few have either the physical space or the available labour to create additional packing solutions for your ever-changing stock.

The quality of the packaging matters to customers, if nothing else, the package is the first impression. The condition of the contents upon arrival to the customer is important, more and more we are seeing a demand for less void fill. This comes at a time with the current climate where we are seeing a spike in online deliveries. With the average box being 40% too big, add to this the cost of shipping boxes too large for their contents and it gets expensive.

A simple size-constrained machine using only one-size of box does not cater for the wide variety of products and order sizes experienced by most businesses. If demand for smaller items to be packed exceeds the capacity of the relevant machine, the supplier has no option but to move up a box size, or two, or three, or do they?

What is the answer?

Rightsized boxes and pouches assembled on automated equipment are the future. The system scans and measures the item, or group of items, to be packed and calculates the ‘best fit’ box shape and size. The material for the box and lid is cut and creased to size, erected around the item(s) and the lid glue-sealed – which is faster and more recyclable than using tape.

This approach addresses the waste problem – cardboard usage typically cut by 20%, and a tight fit eliminates the need for void fill. Total package volumes can be reduced by 50%, maximising the use of the truck or trailer cube and reducing shipping costs and environmental impacts.

What is there not to like?

The business case I think you will agree is impressive. Even operating ‘off-peak’ at below capacity there is a quick Return on Investment in the form of material savings, lower shipping costs and labour economies – labour that could be redeployed to other tasks.

By choosing an automated solution like ‘right-size packaging’ businesses can meet their fulfilment promises, even in the peaks, while respecting the environment, reducing transit damage and saving money.

Find out how you can automate your packaging process in just 15 minutes, from the comfort of your own chair with our virtual demonstration by calling 0161 284 9000

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