Selecting Proper Packaging – – – Are you up for the Challenge?
With the fast pace of escalating ecommerce, many manufacturers are faced with emerging packaging challenges. Now not only do your packaging materials need to keep products safe during the rigors of transportation and distribution, but you have to explore and test various packaging innovations that address many other needs.
Consider the actual material used… are the materials you tested and selected to protect your products also perceived as environmentally friendly by your customers?
Is the pack aesthetically pleasing?
Is it easy to open or does it cause your customers a hassle?
Does the presentation of the product when the packaging is open convey your company image and brand?
Can the packaging materials be easily separated?
Are the materials clearly marked for simple recycling?
Let’s not forget about the “overall size” of the final pack.
For many years manufacturers were able to standardize on some basic carton sizes and fill it with protective cushioning material, such as the ever popular peanuts! Or you stuff them with Kraft paper, bubble wrap, air pillows, etc. More is better because it adds more cushion for your product. Plus you didn’t have a hundred different cartons by the production line. This is the best – cheapest methodology…. right? Well maybe not.
Raw material costs for packaging products continue to rise. Many of you are being challenged weekly by management to not only get control of costs but to reduce the amount/quantity of packaging you send to your customers and limit what goes into the waste stream. Yet it seems intuitive that the total cost of damaged product being returned and new product being reshipped at no cost will offset any material savings you may gain by trimming back.
And while the number one focus is still to get your product to your customer without damage, today’s consumers won’t tolerate ugly packaging – it reflects poorly on your brands. Chances of follow up orders will be greatly reduced, not to mention what happens to your company’s reputation on social media…
And then there is the shipping cost! FedEx and UPS changed from straight weight to dimensional weight in early 2015.
What is the solution?
There are many nuances that make designing a new pack challenging. The right solution for YOU is not a cookie cutter design. It takes into consideration your brand, products, customers, processes and priorities.
Despite the challenges we all share the same goals, safe shipment of product, brand protection, and satisfied customers.
Nichols is here to help your company realize social, environmental and economic benefits by making good, informed packaging decisions. We have several packaging engineers on staff in addition to the best packaging suppliers in the world ready to help. Contact us to request an evaluation of your packaging challenges and we’ll find the right solution for you.
NOTE: Our Open Houses offer great educational seminars on these topics too! Our packaging innovations seminar at the May 11 Bowling Green Open House will cover:
- Hand and automated carton sealing
- Choosing the correct case sealer for your cartons or application
- Improvements and advancements on stretch film
- Benefits of machine wrapping and how to properly check your load containment