Reduce Packaging With These Simple Fixes

If you operate an e-commerce business, packaging is something you can’t avoid but reducing packaging is becoming even more important .  Whether you’re sending your products onto suppliers or onto consumers, it has to be packaged in a way that keeps the goods inside safe and secure until they reach their final destination.   So can reducing packaging work?

The risk here is that, in an effort to make sure your product doesn’t get damaged in transit, you use too much packaging which can end up costing you money that you would much rather see going to your bottom line.

In manufacturing, Forbes magazine identified packaging as one of the three best ways to cut costs, and the same applies if your business is online.  How, though, do you reduce the amount of packaging you use? Here we look at some six simple fixes for reducing the packaging your business uses.

  • Review your packaging

Before you start to reduce your packaging, you need to know just how much you use.  Look back over the past three or six months and work out how much packaging you used – and how much you spent on it.  

Then, look at how much packaging you keep in reserve and whether any of it has been sitting there for more than a month; if it has, it probably means you don’t need it. Don’t forget to look at additional packaging material such as bubble wrap too.  

  • Decide on the packaging you need

Take a look at the goods you sell and decide what type of packaging is best when it comes to shipping. If you sell clothes, for example, mailing bags may be better than boxes and probably won’t need much, if any, additional packaging materials to keep them damage free.  

You might need to use additional packaging materials for fragile items, which will also most likely need to be shipped in cardboard boxes.  As well as the material, consider the size. If you ship smaller items, you won’t need big boxes; if you ship items in bulk, you will.

Finally, think about how you store goods in your warehouse. Do you use cardboard boxes for these that are then discarded? Can they be replaced with reusable plastic crates?  These not only reduce the packaging you use (internally) but reduce your costs (though there may be an additional initial outlay).

  • Only buy what you need

Once you know what packaging you need, work out how much stock you think you’ll be shipping and buy just enough to cover these sales. This way, you won’t be left having paid for packaging you don’t need, and you won’t be tempted to over-pack an item.  

Better yet, consider investing in a system such as Right Size that lets you customise your packaging to perfectly fit the items you’re shipping and create exactly the number of boxes you need at any given time.

  • Cut back on additional packaging

One of the best things about systems such as Ribble Right Size is that they allow you to cut down on additional packaging.  The same applies if you buy boxes that are as close in size to the products you want to ship. This is harder if you buy in bulk because you can end up with too many boxes that aren’t a good fit, meaning you’re much more likely to use boxes that are too big and fill up any empty space with bubble wrap or packaging peanuts.

  • Change your mindset

Using the right sized-packaging and reducing the amount of additional packaging material aren’t difficult changes to make but they could well mean you need to change the way you work.  The same applies to your employees too. So, while it might be quicker and easier to reach for the first available box when preparing an item for shipping, instead, you’ll need to look for the box that best fits the product.  

  • Reuse and recycle

Think about how you can reuse packaging too.  Can used packaging paper be shredded and used as packaging material, for example, or can boxes used by customers to return items be reused when you send out your next order?

By taking these simple steps, you’ll be able to not only reduce the amount of packaging you use but cut your operational costs (including warehouse space and transportation).  You’ll also be reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and your carbon footprint, both of which are good for not only the planet but your reputation.

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 Box on Demand, 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 Box on Demand, 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.

How Is Box on Demand Reducing Packaging Spend?

Companies who need to package products for storing and shipping know how expensive it can be, and how important it is to manage their packaging spend to get the best returns on the goods they sell.  The packaging they use needs to be fit for purpose, allowing them to ship goods safely, and cost-effective.

Even knowing this, many companies still rely on traditional packaging methods which are neither cost-effective or fit for purpose.  They use boxes that aren’t strong enough or aren’t the right size for the products they are looking to store or transport, meaning they end up using excessive (and expensive) packaging materials – bubble wrap, for example – or find themselves shipping ‘empty space’, increasing their transport costs.

So, what should businesses do to alleviate these problems? The answer lies in good packaging.

How are brands reducing packaging spend?

While the answer to this question may vary slightly depending on the industry, in general, reducing packaging spend is done by using good packaging solutions. Packaging should be sized to fit the product, reducing storage requirements and minimising transport costs as a result.

It should be lightweight, making it easy to move, while, at the same time, being strong and sturdy enough to protect its contents.  And, it should be easy to assemble when you need it and breakdown when you don’t.

Standardisation

Many businesses believe that to keep their packaging spend low, they need to purchase boxes in bulk and that these boxes should be of standard sizes. However, this can lead to small items being packaged in boxes that are much too big, reducing or eliminating any potential savings through the use of additional packing material or the creation of empty space.

Empty space, which is created when packaging that’s too large for its content is used, can cost companies a lot of money, increasing their packaging spend significantly: recent research estimates empty space costs businesses around £35 billion a year (worldwide) and that up to 40% of most packaging is empty.

How Box on Demand reduces packaging spend

Box on Demand offers an alternative to the idea that standardised boxes are the best way for businesses to reduce packaging spend.  Created by Panotec and available in the UK through Ribble Packaging, Box on Demand allows companies to produce a single box or a batch of boxes to the exact size and shape of the products they’re shipping, reducing packaging spend.

It helps businesses manage their packaging spend by allowing them to produce boxes as and when they need them, meaning they no longer have to order supplies in advance, ‘guestimating’ how many of each size and type of box they need and potentially being left with excess – and unwanted – stock once their products have been shipped. Plus, because they no longer need to order large numbers of boxes in advance, businesses can cut their warehouse costs as less storage space is required for packaging.

By producing boxes that are the exact size needed for the products they contain, the amount of empty space is significantly reduced, if not done away with entirely.  This reduces the amount of space necessary to both store packages in a warehouse and to transport them as more can be fitted into each delivery vehicle which, in turn, reduces warehouse and transportation costs.  With boxes being made to the right size and eliminating empty space, companies can also reduce the costs of additional packaging materials such as bubble wrap and the cost of shipping the packages themselves (if they aren’t being delivered by van) because they will be smaller and lighter.

Added value

Not only does Box on Demand help businesses manage their packaging spend, but it also helps them keep operating costs low by:

  • Reducing the risk of products being damaged in transit because their boxes are the exact size needed.
  • Improving productivity by reducing turnaround times as staff no longer have to decide what box to use and then fill up the empty space with additional packaging.

Alongside the benefit of reducing the cost of packaging, there are environmental benefits to Box on Demand.  Less packaging means less raw materials are used in their manufacture and less waste is created through unwanted products being ordered.

This is in addition to a company’s reduced carbon footprint as there are fewer delivery vans on the road, meaning fewer fossil fuels are being used.  All of this matters to today’s consumer, who wants to see the companies they buy from not only offer excellent value for money but are environmentally responsible as well, meaning Box on Demand offers not only ways to reduce packaging spend but adds value to the consumer too.

How To Streamline Manufacturing Processes With Packaging Automation

Every business needs customer satisfaction in order to be profitable and successful. Taking a look at your manufacturing processes will help but ensuring customer satisfaction can be tricky. Consumers are constantly on the lookout for three key criteria;

  • Better product
  • Lower price
  • Quicker delivery

These customer demands only increase, and with more competitors to rival, this can put a strain on manufacturing businesses to keep their customers and stay competitive in the market place. To increase the efficiency of a product, both in cost and time, companies need to streamline their manufacturing to keep up with the growing demands.

How to streamline manufacturing processes

There are many ways to streamline manufacturing processes. One of the best ways to analyse how to simplify the process to increase its efficiency is by evaluating every task in the process and deciding whether it is a step that is value-adding or non-value-adding.

Value adding: this refers to tasks that usually changes or transforms the product, essentially adding a value to the product by adapting it to suit your needs. Steps such as quality control may not change the product, but still, can add value so be mindful of the activities that confirm value too.

Non-value adding: these tasks are ones that do not change the product and don’t necessarily need to be performed to ensure value to the product. They may, however, need to be performed due to the setup of production, for example moving parts from one part of the factory to another, or storage where parts are waiting for work to be performed.

To streamline the process as a whole, a good method is to focus on the non-value adding tasks first by stripping away any that are unnecessary. The next step is simplifying the process in order to eliminate the activity in the future, for example, changing the layout of the manufacturing set up to reduce the time between work stations.

For many businesses streamlining activities will only take place, if at all, in the manufacturing of the product itself. What many people neglect is a critical area of streamlining potential which is the packaging of the finished product.

How packaging automation can streamline manufacturing processes

Packaging automation works by creating the box or boxes you need with ease. Whether a mechanical or electrical system, packaging automation replaces some or all of the manual packaging elements and uses machinery to complete the task to make an array of different packaging options.

Box on Demand is just one of the automated packaging systems available which create packaging on demand that is uniquely designed to fit a range of different shapes and sizes. This is ideal for manufacturers who offer a range of different products that all have different packaging requirements.

Depending on your packaging requirements, automated packaging solutions can help to streamline your business in many ways such as;

  • Speed – items can be boxed as soon as they’re off the production line, you do not have to wait until the right sized box has been made up.
  • Efficiency – automated packaging reduces the manual effort required, meaning other people can be utilised in a different area of work.
  • Time-saving – as soon as products are finished they can be boxed and sent straight away, reducing the lead time for the customer.
  • Space-saving – as soon as products are ordered, they can be packaged and shipped, meaning they can free up space in your premises and reduces the risk of items being forgotten about.
  • Cost-saving – only creating the packing you need, you do not have to buy boxes in bulk that won’t be used. The money saved can be invested in machinery to speed up other areas of the manufacturing process.
  • Reduced rework – by having the right sized box, your product will be safer and therefore reach your customer fully functional. By packaging in the wrong sized box, you risk returns and remanufacturing to give the customer a quality product.
  • Less wastage – only utilising what you need, you can reduce the wastage of your business, making the process more efficient and reducing lost costs.
  • Consistency – As packaging systems make the right box every time, you know that each box will be flawless and your customers will know what to expect with the high-quality packaging solutions you provide.
  • Safety – With automation, you reduce the number of workers you need and can, therefore, increase the safety. The chances of injury with automated machinery will help to protect your workforce and could save your business considerable money in training, lost work days and potential lawsuits.

Find out more about automated packaging solutions and how they can benefit your business.

7 Specialist Packaging Solution Tips For Manufacturers

Whether your business is business to business or business to consumer, your packaging matters. How you package your products differentiates you from your competitors. While it often comes last on the list of priorities to businesses, your packaging is often the first tangible side of your business that your customers will see and feel. How you package your products can show the level of quality and speaks volumes on how you value protection and the goods that are contained inside. In this post, we share 7 specialist packaging solution tips for manufacturers to help you make the most more of your packaging.

The way you ship items says a lot about your business. Your business might be considered illogical, even stupid if the box isn’t big enough or is incredibly oversized that it is incomprehensible. The packaging you use ultimately reflects your brand and your company’s core values, whether you are eco-conscious or passionate about customer care.

Your value for the environment is one of the ways customers will judge your business. Consumers are becoming more environmentally aware; looking to buy from firms that care about recycling and ensure their products and packaging is sustainable. Customers also look at reducing their use of plastic and waste, so while you may think your products are most important, how you encase and deliver them has an impact too.

Packaging To Cut Costs

On the list of business improvements, packaging often has the lowest priority, but many companies are overlooking one of the largest cost-saving opportunities. By examining and altering your packaging, you can dramatically cut costs.

You can reduce costs through many aspects of packaging. Obviously, the key element is the right packaging will protect the goods inside which will reduce returns, damage and breakages. For mirror manufacturers, for example, the correct packaging with a specialist packaging solution is essential to ensure the mirror is delivered in good condition surviving the wear and tear of travel as well as surviving all manner of environmental conditions it is subjected to. The single most cost-saving solution regarding packaging is to have the right-sized packaging for your product.
By having the right-sized packaging you can cut costs through wasted space, the amount of protective materials and filler you use, the time spent packaging the item and then the cost of logistics.

7 Specialist Packaging Solution Tips

To deliver specialist items in a cost-efficient and customer-pleasing way, how you package your item is crucial.

  1. Use Corrugated Cardboard

Corrugated cardboard has a multitude of benefits which make it an ideal material for packaging. The highly-advanced construction of corrugated cardboard means it is strong and durable that can adapt to a range of weights. It also protects against environmental damage such as moisture. Corrugated cardboard is the perfect for the eco-friendly supplier as it is sustainable and easy to recycle. Corrugated cardboard is also lightweight and cost-friendly.

  1. Use The 5cm Rule

In packaging, the 5cm rule is gospel. Firstly, the protective packaging around the item should mean there is 5cm between the product and the edge of the box which helps to prevent under and over filling of protective filler. The 5cm rule also extends to the tape used to seal the box, which should be 5cm wide. A pressure sensitive plastic tape is recommended as it reduces assembly time and is flexible and secure.

  1. Don’t Ship Air

Where possible minimise the empty space in the box, this could be by adapting your product better to fit in the box or, more realistically, finding the right sized boxes. This will save you money in the cost of packaging materials, reduce unnecessary waste and will cut the cost of logistics.

  1. Label Well

While the delicate nature of what you’re shipping, such as mirrors or glassware, may seem obvious to you, logistics won’t be thinking about your product; they just see another box. So if your product is fragile, make it known. It is important to clearly label the box to give an added layer of protection, however never assume a label will protect the box; you need the right packaging too.

  1. Don’t Cut Corners

Having cheaper or a smaller amount of packaging may save you money in the first instance, but it will cost you far more through returns and refunds. In packaging, you need to get it right the first time to give your customers excellent service and to save you money in the long run.

  1. Use A Variety Of Logistic Suppliers

Different logistics companies will use different pricing structure, so you can actually save money by altering your provider depending on what you are shipping. Some carriers will work by weight, others by size, so judge your product accordingly and see the difference in your profit margin.

  1. Continually Improve

Through improving packaging, you will always be able to find ways to save money. Keep a document of lessons learnt and frequent packaging occurrences so you can regularly review the whole process. By building monitoring into your routine, you will always find new ways to improve packaging, reducing your costs and keeping customers happy.

Save Money And Improve Customer Experience With Specialist Packaging Solution, Ribble Automate

For the right-sized box every time, Ribble Automate is the specialist packaging solution for you. Ribble Automate allows you, the manufacturer, to produce the perfect sized box every time, whether it is a one-off or a batch.

Ribble Automate has a significant return on investment as the on demand boxing service allows you to cut costs through wastage, dead space, protective materials, the box itself and the labour intensive task of filling boxes with padding and other protective materials.

Five Benefits Of Ribble Automate
  1. Reduce logistics costs
  2. Less waste for you and the customer
  3. Eco-conscious and responsible way to package
  4. Less expense (time and labour) spent packing
  5. Customer appreciation – goods delivered without damage.

You can find out more about Ribble Automate and the benefits it could bring you, by clicking here.

Reduce packaging material costs

Ribble Packaging can help your business to reduce packaging material costs, resulting in a significant reduction in unnecessary wastage and saving you money.

Often businesses can lose a significant amount of profit due to minor features of their packaging system.

Save money with Ribble Packaging

Some businesses lose out on potential profit because they do not repackage returned items to be resold at their true value.

Ribble Packaging have been working in the packaging industry for over 75 years and have developed processes that can reduce packaging material costs.

Each of our packaging solutions can help to reduce unnecessary material costs, no matter the size or scale of your business or the industry it is part of.

Ribble Packaging create custom packaging for businesses, providing high-quality, perfect-fit cardboard boxes to ensure that small items are not shipped in large boxes.

Because we have a central UK location, we are extremely efficient when it comes to national deliveries. Ribfold is the material used for our packaging which is versatile and cost-effective in comparison to other widely used packaging materials.

Reduce loss on packaging returned goods with Ribble Restore

Ribble Restore can help you recover, repack and resell returned stock so that the next buyer will purchase the product for its true value, rather than at a reduced rate.

Ribble Packaging fully inspect and repack returned goods into boxes that are perfect-fit for the product. Not only does this mean that businesses do not need to worry about checking returned goods themselves, it allows them to sell the product at its optimum value.

Box on Demand reduces waste on packaging

Box on Demand is an ingenious packaging solution that allows businesses to opt for packaging that is the correct size for their products. Automate provides packaging that fits the product, reducing the amount of wasted packaging material and the money spent on it.

Oversized packaging is wasted money for businesses but Ribble Automate can help.

Contact Ribble Packaging

No matter the size or scale of your business, if you would like more information on our cardboard box manufacture services, please get in touch with Ribble Packaging. Contact us online or speak to a member of our team directly by calling us on 0161 622 2302.

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