Producing high levels of packaging waste can be an indicator of inefficiencies, but when you’re running a busy packaging operation, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint exactly what those inefficiencies might be.
When you’re in the thick of managing a busy packaging and logistics operation – coping with the seasonal peaks in demand, managing staff, handling new products that challenge your existing set-up, and so on – keeping on top of your packaging costs, too, can sometimes feel like an impossible task. However, taking the time to review your packaging process on a regular basis can pay real dividends.
If you’re a business handling at least 50 tonnes of packaging material a year, or have a turnover of more than £2 million a year, then doubtless you will already be familiar with the costs of waste recycling and recovery. And, looking at the UK packaging recycling and recovery figures, you are probably already doing a pretty good job. But with more stringent targets on the horizon, and associated recycling, recovery and landfill costs ever-increasing, what more could you be doing to reduce the amount of packaging waste you produce while at the same time minimising your costs and giving your brand reputation a boost, too?
If you haven’t already come across the phenomenon of ‘unboxing’ chances are that sooner or later you will. What started out as information videos showing consumers what to expect when they unpacked their new purchase (usually a tech product) from its box has become a way for consumers to praise or disgrace online retailers.
While more and more online retailers are focusing efforts on creating unboxing experiences to enhance the purchasing experience, there are many who are still getting it wrong.
There are many factors that might contribute to a poor unboxing experience, such as the contents arriving broken, incomplete or just plain wrong. But an aspect that is getting increasing amounts of attention is the over use of packaging. A quick search on Twitter, using #toomuchpackaging reveals some interesting instances:
For some people, packaging just means cardboard boxes that they have to squeeze into their recycling bin. But to an ever-growing audience, packaging is becoming almost as important as the product it was designed to protect.
It can be frustrating when you know your production process should be more efficient than it is, but it can sometimes be difficult to put your finger on just where the issue lies.
If you are a manufacturer, you will probably have already looked at all the stages of the manufacture and assembly process to eliminate inefficiencies; or if you’re involved in logistics, you might have optimised all aspects of your picking processes and task allocation. You might even have already looked at elements of your packaging process. But if your operation is still struggling with any of the following issues then it might be time to review your packaging process in full:
Are you all ready for the holiday season yet? Do you know what you’ll be packing and how you’re going to pack it? Have you got capacity to cope with unplanned extras?
And no, the seasonal demand planning and packaging solutions we’re talking about don’t have anything to do with your beach towel, flip-flops and sun-cream or the straw donkey or inflatable shark you might need to find room for in your luggage on your way home. We’re talking about your preparations for a little later in the year. While we’re still rubbing in the aftersun, talk will inevitably begin to turn to Christmas and the new kids on the block, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Did you know that more plastic was made in the first decade of the 21st Century than in the whole of the 20th Century?* It’s an alarming statistic, but when you stop to consider the amount of plastic we encounter in our daily lives, it perhaps becomes a little less surprising.
Online shopping continues to boom, with purchases made on the web increasing by 16% in 2016*. As shoppers continue to reach for the mouse, instead of stepping in to store, retailers must find new ways to impress customers and create the desired brand experience in the home. The best way to achieve this is by creating packaging solutions that WOW right from the minute the item arrives at their home.
When you think of packaging efficiency, you should be thinking of saving £££’s. The two go hand in hand, so if you want to cut your costs, you need to identify ways to improve your current set up. Sometimes even the smallest changes can make all the difference, and the most effective route may not always be the most obvious.