Packaging is not just in a box or carton anymore. Rather it is a coordinated system of preparing goods for safe, cost-effective, and efficient movement throughout your whole supply chain. It is in the middle of a design transformation. It is important to any business, either B2B or B2C, and many will agree that it plays a crucial role. The packaging industry is constantly evolving and your strategy and processes significantly impact your supply chain. A good strategy and efficient processes leads to maximizing customer value and sales, and consequently profits. This blog post will cover 6 strategies for efficient and optimized packaging throughout your supply chain.
What is Packaging?
Originally, packaging referred to the activities related to designing, evaluating, and producing the container for a product. The container is where the product is stored to protect it from any damage, as well as attract customers through its appealing design. An example would be toothpaste. Toothpaste is found in a plastic tube, then in a cardboard box, and finally it is packed in a corrugated box which is shipped to stores around the world.
However, today packaging is so much more. It is used to protect the product, as well as a marketing tool to build the brand and boost sales. In addition, it needs to be cost-effective and efficient so that your products can move throughout the supply chain.
Your packaging impacts the cost and productivity of logistics. Order selection speed, accuracy, and efficiency are influenced by packaged identification, configuration, and handling ease. Handling efficiency is affected by package design, capability and techniques, and the information transferred between channel partners. The transportation and storage costs of your products are driven by package size and density, as well as customer service. Packaging allows for quality control, and provides customer education and convenience.
Although it generates cost and waste, packaging affects every single aspect of logistics and is strategically important for your supply chain performance.
What Role Does Packaging Play in Supply Chain Management?
Packaging plays a fundamental role in supply chain management. It protects products from being damaged, allows for efficient distribution, connects to your consumers, and is a major product promoter. To achieve a successful supply chain management, your packaging systems have to all connect. You need to consider all aspects of marketing, logistics, production, and the environment.
Marketing: appealing packages that can engage customers.
Logistics: packages that can be easily handled throughout all processes.
Production: specific size of packaging for all types of products, minimizing time and labour costs.
Environment: packaging made from recycled materials has become more important to consumers.
What Does Packaging Affect?
The ultimate goal for any company is to achieve customer satisfaction; however there are many components that can obstruct this goal and your business processes. Packing can affect product dependability, quality, speed, costs, and flexibility, while also having an impact on the products life cycle.
The design of your packaging is vital. A design element such as identification is crucial because important information needs to be displayed properly on your packaging. RFID tags and barcodes should be easily identifiable, making it easier to conduct cycle counts. In addition, hazard warnings, instructions, and nutrition facts as need to be clear and visible on your packaging. The physical design of your packaging also affects transportation and handling. Things such as handles, stacking ability, and materials used, all affect the functionality of your packaging. Well-designed packages protect your inventory and benefit employees and warehouse safety.
Packaging can also affect your budget. If you are optimizing your packaging and incorporating elements of lean thinking, your company can save money and reduce the amount of materials used. Furthermore, more businesses are choosing to go green. Switching to more sustainable materials in packaging can prolong the life cycle of products and reduce the environmental impact.
Here are 6 Strategies for Efficient and Optimized Packaging
- Collect relevant product data from the start: ensure you have all of the correct information such as size, weight, shipping mode, and safety requirements before you create the packaging.
- Know each step and which materials are needed: Processes and materials can vary for each product. If you know each step of the operation and what materials you need for the packaging, there will not be any delays.
- Learn the regulations: Stay up-to-date on packaging and labeling requirements for all items. Understand how everything from materials, to warning labels, to employee training can impact your operations.
- Make packaging part of your budget: Know your budget at the start of design so that you will not have to make any last-minute design or material changes.
- Minimize waste: Reduce unnecessary steps and over packing by understanding the specific packaging, labeling, and testing requirements. This will streamline your operations while reducing costs and waste.
- Eliminate any last minute decisions: know your products and their packaging requirements. Communicate all relevant information and proactively plan for potential disruptions.
Packaging is more than boxes and bags. Many studies have shown that packaging benefits many aspects of your supply chain. It is all about functionality and optimization. The results increase product efficiency, move products safely, and are more cost effective. Packaging is more essential than you may realize, so make sure you are optimizing it to the best of your abilities!