Manufacturing plants or factories have been dependent on modern machines, like fluid mixers, blanchers, dryers, conveyor belts, and tabletop depositors. These machines enable faster mass production of food and other commodities. With the increasing world population, the demand for these commodities also increases.
To keep up with this high demand, companies are focusing on strategies that yield better and faster production. They invest in newer machines or hire the best people. Increasing demand also paves the way for competitors. And companies are looking for ways to get ahead of the competition.
One way of increasing productivity, and therefore staying ahead of the competition, is creating efficiency in your packaging process. If your company want’s to remain competitive, consider the insights from the discussion below.
Packaging involves boxing, canning, bottling, or wrapping of goods for commercial or industrial distribution. There’s also planning since manufacturing and packaging companies hire (graphic) designers to execute prototypes that will appeal to consumers.
The goal is always to create efficiency. Any number of minutes shaved off from product processing means more resources saved. Here are a few ideas for you to consider.
- Planning. Remember the point about having a graphic designer? If you don’t have one in place yet, you won’t be outstanding in your plan. You want to have an eye-catching and yet functional design for your packaging. How many can you stack up on your warehouse shelf? Will it be maximized based on the size and shape? Planning starts with designing.
- Man and machine. You will need both. Wrapping by a pallet wrapping machine can be 70% faster if done by machines. Analyze the performance of your workers and determine if re-assigning them to different tasks work best if you replace them with the equipment. These days, everything is about data and analytics. You can hire a consultant to do this analysis for you.
- Taking analytics to the next level. Measuring your film wastage, products that are damaged, and packaging time, these and many more are all critical data points, which can be analyzed and help you come up with a better process. You need to monitor financial data as well,l like the changing cost of goods from your supplier.
- Optimize the use of space. A 5’ x 5’ stack of boxes occupy precious warehouse real estate, and the cost is estimated at 25% to 35% of the total cost of occupancy. Make sure that you designate specific space for a) product storage and b) processing of the product from receiving to packing and on to shipping. At least 50% of your area should be allocated for storage only. The remaining space can be occupied by equipment that creates efficiency, like conveyor belts.
- Consider a third-party provider. A Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) service provider is also an option to minimize space and therefore reduce occupancy cost. If your production relies on products from other suppliers, you can have the VMI manage the storage and inventory of the supplies.
Critical to all these processes of creating efficiency is communicating information to your entire team. They need to be on board and aware that every step they do feeds into the data and analytics approach. Provide them with reporting guidelines or policies. They should be proactive participants in creating efficiency in packaging.