IMRG reported a15% growth in online retail sales in 2016, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down as we enter 2017.

To make sure your packaging operations are ready for peaks in demand throughout the year, here’s five ways you can prepare.

  1. Organise your packing area

    Make sure that packaging materials are easily accessible and that packers have enough materials to see them through a full day of packing. You could also consider providing new staff training for peak times to maximise efficiency, or introducing automated machinery to your packing line.

  2. Reduce your packaging materials

    When buying packaging materials, many believe that it is necessary to place large orders. But this isn’t always true. Instead, you can order smaller volumes of both standard and bespoke items either for regular delivery or as they are needed. The space savings that can be made when shifting to this model are tremendous – some Antalis Packaging customers have even been able to free up entire floors. This also helps to cut down on waste because packaging materials won’t become grubby or get damaged while in storage.

  3. Optimise Your warehouse space

    Taking time to reassess your packaging needs and rationalise your packaging products not only frees up space, but can save money and labour time too. A great way to save space is automated, on demand void-fill systems, such as paper-based or air-based solutions. These make it possible to reclaim the valuable space taken up by bulky traditional products such as polystyrene chips.

  4. Speed up your packaging

    There’s lots of automated and semi-automated packaging solutions, as well as alternative packaging materials which can help production managers cope with increases in demand or seasonal peaks. For example, self-erecting crash-lock boxes make it possible for operatives to package products so much faster, making them ideal for increasing volumes through existing packing stations at times of high demand.

  5. Reduce your transport costs

    Reducing the size of your packaging can help you cut carrier tariffs and increase transport times. If you can optimise your box sizes for better pallet-use, and make sure items can fit through your customer’s letterboxes the first time, you’ll really drive better results during these peak times.

Want to learn more about preparing for both expected and unexpected peaks in demand? Download our 3 top tips for achieving on-demand agility infographic.