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Author Archives: Progress Container

  1. Packaging Supply Chain

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    Can a Packaging and Supply Chain Assessment Save You Money?

    If you are choosing a packaging vendor based on only unit cost, you might be costing yourself more
    money. Looking at the total cost of ownership, through a packaging and supply chain assessment, can help
    you reduce your opportunity and variable costs.

    A packaging and supply chain assessment can save you money through increasing pallet yield, SKU consolidation, or design improvements. It starts with listening The most critical step in a packaging and supply chain assessment for a vendor is listening.

    Your packaging vendor should spend more time listening to you than pitching to you. Progress Container and Display creates impactful solutions by listening to customer’s pain points and becoming familiar with their journey— why companies do things a certain way, what solutions they have tried, and why other solutions didn’t
    work.

     

    Saving customers money

    When an assessment is conducted, Progress looks to provide suggestions to impact costs associated with the following:

    • Supply Chain Management.  Starting at the pallet, Progress Container evaluates the pallet yield with regards to warehouse storage, trailer utilization, and distribution.
    • SKU Management.  Progress Container will evaluate where SKUs can be consolidated
    • Packaging Optimization.  Progress Container creates economically and structurally responsible corrugated solutions. Progress Container will study your processes evaluating if a packaging change can improve process flow.

     

    Supply Chain Management

    Maximizing pallet yield has an impact throughout the supply chain and influences opportunity and variable costs for the company’s finished goods inventory. If the packaging doesn’t fit on a pallet, whether it has overhang or too much underhang, the customer’s finished goods inventory and transport costs can suffer.

     

    SKU Management

    Progress Container looks for ways that SKUs can be reduced. A formal assessment is conducted reviewing how packaging is used within the facility, and similar size boxes will be consolidated where applicable. By consolidating and reducing SKUs, Progress’s customer’s can take advantage of higher quantity pricing and thereby reduce costs.

     

    Product and Packaging Optimization

    Progress Container evaluates your packing process to see if there are opportunities to improve efficiency. For example, an assessment revealing a design change could save considerable time with packaging assembly or product packing.

    The increased efficiency on your line could translate into significant savings. Progress looks at the packaging itself.

    It’s known that too little packaging can cost you money in returns and product damage, but too much packaging can also cost in excess materials and waste. Progress Container can help you find the right balance.

    Request a Packaging and Supply Chain Assessment Contact us if you would like the opportunity to assess:

    • Pallet utilization
    • Supply chain utilization
    • SKU management
    • Packaging optimization
    • Total landed cost related to assembly time with your packaging

     

    A packaging and supply chain assessment can save you money. Contact Progress Container to learn more.

  2. Evaluate Your Packaging

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    Is It Time To Evaluate Your Packaging Vendor?

    If your vendor isn’t meeting your needs, it may be time to make a change. Below are some topics for consideration regarding your current vendor vs. Progress Container and Display.

    Supply Chain Inefficiencies

    We provide suggestions to reduce supply chain inefficiencies, including:

    • Supply Chain Management.  Starting at the pallet, we evaluate utilization with regards to warehouse
      storage, trailer yield, and distribution.
    • SKU Management.  We will evaluate where SKUs can be consolidated.
    • Packaging Optimization.  We create economically and structurally responsible corrugated
      solutions, and will study your processes evaluating if a packaging change can improve process flow.

     

    Quality Issues

    Quality issues with print, misregistration, poor slotting, inferior or false scoring, and excessive glue end up with inferior packaging in the supply chain or at retail. Lost time and money is the result, and it impacts your brand’s image.

    We have invested heavily in state-of-the-art equipment. Glue monitors and cameras ensure the ability to consistently execute without fail. We are ISO 9001/14001 certified, employing color management and information systems controls to monitor everything we do, so your packaging arrives exactly as expected.

     

    Poor Communication

    If your vendor isn’t listening to your needs or isn’t communicating with you regularly, it may be time
    to find a new packaging vendor.

    Communication is key to any relationship. Listening is the most critical component. Has your vendor ever asked what your company’s goals are and listened to what you’ve told them? Are they just showing up to make the sale, or are they looking to provide solutions consistent with your company’s goals?

    Progress believes relationships start with listening. We want to know what your company goals are and what areas in your packaging processes are causing you pain? Progress Container collaborates with customers, helping reduce or eliminate their pains as well as reduce the total landed costs of their packaging.

     

    Long Lead Times

    If your current vendor isn’t consistently hitting your requested delivery date, it may be time to change your packaging vendor.

    Extended lead times can cost you money. Our lead times are about 5-7 days for industrial repeat orders and about 10 days for retail display box repeat orders.

     

    Is Progress Container the vendor for you?

    If you are looking to partner with an experienced packaging vendor having:

    • insight into current industry/retail trends,
    • an interest in understanding your needs, and
    • the ability to execute consistently and on-time without fail

     

    It may be time to consider Progress Container as your vendor. With an in-house structural design department and more than 45 years of experience, we have the knowledge and capabilities to help you reduce your total costs of packaging and reduce or eliminate some of the current pains you are feeling. Contact Progress Container to learn more.

  3. Packaging Costs Review

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    What is Your Packaging Really Costing You?

    If I asked you what your packaging costs are annually, you might total up your invoices for the year to come up with your annual costs. You may even think you are doing pretty good, having negotiated a great unit price. However, the total costs, not the unit costs, could be throwing your budget off and costing much more than is necessary. Those boxes that saved you a few pennies could actually be costing you thousands of dollars.

    When you buy based on unit price while not considering the optimization of your corrugated packaging and supply chain, you end up spending more in other areas, which raises your total costs. Here is a breakdown for general corrugated packaging costs:

    Unit costs – what you pay to your vendors per unit

    Total costs – which includes unit costs and may include excess costs related to:

    • Product damage and loss
    • Material Waste
    • Handling
    • Warehousing
    • Transportation

     

    Product Damage and Loss

    If you see a lot of product returns or customer complaints, your packaging may not be optimized for the type of conditions it experiences. Obviously, you will want to ensure the product is adequately packaged, but have you considered environmental factors? Fluctuations in temperature and humidity during transportation and storage can be an issue. Corrugated board will naturally try to reach equilibrium with its environment.

    • High humidity.  If high humidity increases moisture content in your corrugated packaging, the bonds within the cellulose fiber can weaken, leading to failure. Also, any glue used in the packaging can fail.
    • Low humidity.  If humidity is low, corrugated can become dry and brittle over time. Preferred
      moisture content is 5 percent to 7 percent at 72° F, 50% RH.

     

    Material Waste

    Material waste can occur in several ways that can be avoided.

    • Purchasing large quantities.  If you are buying in large numbers to get a discount, ensure you will use them quickly. Obsolete packaging is an unnecessary waste. Also, about 40 percent of stacking strength is lost after 90 days.
    • Over packaging.  Never seeing product damage from shipping and handling may sound like a good thing, but using excessive dunnage and over packaging a product is nothing more than waste. Ensure your packaging is optimized for the product. It’s also better for the environment.
    • Excessive SKUs.  If you have several similar product types, it may be possible to reduce and consolidate the number of box SKUs, which can save you money.
    • Excessive materials.  Ensure that you are only using the amount of stretch wrap and strapping needed to keep a pallet intact during storage and transportation. Is it possible to adjust the load on the pallet so that fewer materials are required?

     

     

    Handling

    The amount of time that employees spend handling your packing and the ergonomic risks associated with it can drive up costs.

    • Complex box configurations.  Fitting your product to standard packaging could be creating inefficiencies. Look
      at your packing lines and ask if a redesign can make packing and handling of your boxes easier, faster and safer
      for your employees?
    • Line inefficiencies.  Are inefficiencies in your packaging line causing excessive handling or reducing throughput? From material replenishment to finished goods evacuation, your line should flow to reduce extraneous steps and reduce ergonomic hazards.

     

    Warehousing

    From storing your packaging materials to storing finished goods, your warehouse space can take up a large portion of your facility. There are a couple ways that you can uncover savings in your warehouse.

    Keeping a large inventory of packaging materials.  In addition to the potential for waste from keeping the large inventory of packaging supplies that was mentioned above, the excess inventory takes up valuable real estate in your warehouse that could be used for revenue generating activities. Working with a just-in-time vendor can help you reduce the footprint required for packaging storage.

    Product stacking.  If your pallets are optimized for strength and stability, you will need less space for the same number of boxes.

     

    Transportation and Freight

    Part of your packaging costs are associated with transportation and freight, but if your packaging and pallets aren’t optimize those costs may be much higher than they should be.

    • Package weight.  Optimizing packaging can reduce the overall weight. Those small amounts can add up and can reduce your freight costs.
    • Number of products on a pallet.  Optimizing pallet stacking can save you money by reducing the number of pallets required and may also offer greater protection to the product. Redesign of your corrugated packaging may be one option to increase pallet utilization. The configuration on the pallet is another. Interlocking stacking, for example, isn’t more stable if the box contents aren’t rigid enough to support it. Slip sheets between layers on column stacked boxes can provide increased stability, and with column stacked boxes, the corners, which are the strongest point, bear the weight evenly, which allows it to maintain 100 percent of the engineered compression strength.
    • Number of pallets in the truck.  Optimizing the pallet utilization allows you to get more pallets on the truck, which will reduce your shipping costs.

     

    Learn More

    Do you want to learn how you can reduce your total costs for packaging? Contact Progress Container Today to schedule a Packaging Assessment!

  4. Corrugated Marketing Material

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    Turn Corrugated into Affordable Marketing Material

    When many people think of corrugated boxes they think of the ubiquitous box used to ship product. And while that is an important function, corrugated can also be used to drive brand awareness and attract customers.

    Whether your corrugated box is sitting on a warehouse shelf, used as primary packaging for retail, or is being shipped directly to the consumer a fundamental goal of the packaging should be to gain your customers’ attention.

    If you think packaging design doesn’t influence buyers, think again. One example that clearly demonstrates this is Australia’s Tobacco Plain Packaging Act , which bans logos and distinctively-colored cigarette packaging in favor of green packaging with brand names printed in small standardized fonts.

    Not only have the sales of cigarettes dropped since the law was enacted, consumers have complained. They taste worse even though the product itself hasn’t changed.

     

    Why Corrugated?

    Here are three reasons why corrugated should be part of your design:

    • Flexibility.  Corrugated is a relatively inexpensive material and gives you the flexibility to print designs
      and colors exactly how you want them. Plus, choices in printing and finishing techniques means there are
      a variety of options available to help your product stand out.
    • Lightweight.  It is a light material, so it’s cheaper to ship and easier to load and stock in stores then other
      materials.
    • Sustainability.  Corrugated is renewable, reusable, and recyclable. In addition, with the right structural design you can reduce the amount of packaging needed while still protecting the contents.

     

    Make Your Corrugated Stand Out

    • Know your customer.  Make sure your brand speaks to your audience and you know what your customers’ expectations are regarding packaging. Older customers may need an easy open design or may be moved by
      nostalgic design, while a younger customer may be more attracted to forward-thinking and environmentally friendly designs.
    • Use of color.  Your brand can be defined by the colors you use. Colors can be used to evoke emotion and human response, so use color strategically. For example, black can denote power and is a common color for power tools.
    • Consider the season.  Work the season or special event into your design. Design your product so it can be used as unique display or end cap in retail for example.

     

    Need Help Designing Packaging that Sells?

    Progress Container & Display has a full-service in-house graphics department that can use your
    artwork or create unique graphics to help create packaging that sells.

    Whether you need retail packaging, point of purchase displays, branded shipping packaging or all of the above, Progress Container can deliver with attention-grabbing graphics and economically responsible packaging solutions. Contact us today to learn more.

  5. The Unboxing Experience

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    Years ago, when your plain brown box arrived, you opened it with no expectation other than the contents were not broken in transit. Today, a quick search of social media demonstrates the unboxing is as much a part of the experience as the contents in the box.

    In fact, a study conducted on behalf of the Paper and Packaging Board showed 72% of respondents felt the design of a product’s packaging often influences their purchase decisions, and when buying a gift, that number jumps to 81%.

    In eCommerce, if you are using your packaging only to protect your product during shipping, you could be missing out on these opportunities:

    Tell Your Story and Brand Your Box

    Your brand’s personality should be reflected in your packaging. If you value sustainability, if your product has a connection to a particular industry, or is intended for a particular demographic – whatever it is, it should be clearly reflected in your packaging. If you have a story to tell that can elicit emotion from your customer, find a way to include your story.

    Your brand should speak for itself. When a customer sees your packaging, they should know without opening the box it comes from you – think of Tiffany’s iconic blue box.

    Create a Viral Experience

    Consumers are obsessed with unboxing videos. Popular unboxing videos can have millions of views – one popular Play-Doh product has over 850 million views! Do all these views help drive sales?

    According to a Google survey, 62 percent of people who view unboxing videos do it while researching a product.

    A positive unboxing experience could potentially drive them to make a purchase.

    Create Brand Loyalty

    First impressions matter. When you create a memorable branded unboxing experience, your customers will return to experience it again. A 2018 eCommerce survey showed 23.65% of Millennials and 23.33% of Gen Z said branded, gift-like packaging would make them more likely to purchase from a brand again.

    Need Help Taking Your Unboxing Experience to the Next Level?

    Progress Container & Display has a full-service in-house graphics department that can use your artwork or create unique graphics to help create a memorable unboxing experience. To learn more, contact us today.