Packaging is often an afterthought in supply chain management, which is a shame because it can have a surprisingly large impact on costs and efficiency. A supply chain cannot be optimized unless packaging is also optimized, and this goes for any repackaging in the supply chain as well. Seemingly slight adjustments in a package’s dimensions can dramatically improve how products are stored and transported, enhancing efficiency overall. Here are some tips to consider when evaluating your packaging practices and supply chain services.
How to Optimize Supply Chain Performance with Better Packaging or Repackaging
Build New Packages to Target Design Deficiencies
Whether you are building a package from the ground up or are expanding on an existing design, take your cues from the best practises within your industry as well as consumer feedback. Is there a way a design could be tweaked to use fewer materials or have lower weight? A bag-in-container might be a good approach for non-solid or semisolid products, but a rigid container could offer net gains for transport and storage space, for example.
Target Packaging Components during Manufacturing
Packaging has its own manufacturing process just like any product. Even if you don’t want to change your packaging design, you should consider looking at how the packaging is made in order to look for possible forms of optimization. Are there any bottlenecks or extraneous steps that can be eliminated? Reducing the steps involved both speeds up production and reduces waste after all. There are various types of technology—such as cube molds for plastic packaging—that could be looked into for enhancing economy of scale and offering transportation benefits.
Find Efficiencies in Packaging Procurement
Streamlining how your package components are sourced becomes more important the larger your business’s reach becomes. Generally speaking, you will find the most efficient approach to be getting a supplier who has a similar reach as you. This can prevent situations where, for example, you have five or six different suppliers just to keep up with your own operations. Having multiple suppliers can still be turned to your advantage in the form of applying targeted efficiencies to your markets.
Standardize Product Package Designs
One useful way to adjust packaging is to standardize package sizes and/or shapes across multiple products. This lets you streamline manufacturing, reduces changeover times, and offers higher line utilization. You are also at less risk for wastage since any excess packages can be redirected to other products with minimal fuss.
Aim for Sustainability in Your Supply Chain
Going green isn’t just about helping the planet—it can also help your bottom line. Energy-efficient production, like using materials with lower manufacturing temperature requirements, or energy-efficient machines can produce very real and tangible savings. Recyclable materials and reusable packaging helps keep your packaging agile and adaptive. Taking sustainable steps can also be used for public relations and help your business earn goodwill from the environmentally-conscious.
Enhance Packaging in Your Supply Chains with Lean Supply Solutions
Lean Supply Solutions is a third-party logistics (3PL) fulfillment company whose operations are based around the Lean Methodology, a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to clients’ supply chains. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, predictable, and quality results. To learn more about the Lean Methodology, outsourcing to Lean Supply Solutions, or to ask any questions, give us a call at 905-482-2590.