Consider Package Optimization to Streamline Your Supply Chain

Posted by Steve on Apr 19, 2017 2:47:47 PM


Most manufacturers pay all sorts of attention to packaging design from a visual attraction standard, yet little time is spent on the consideration of packaging optimization. There has been a major paradigm shift from brick and mortar shelving exposure to the Amazon environments.  An equally significant shift in packaging needs to be addressed. The packaging appeal has lost its' touch since most of our purchases these days are not off the shelf, but off the UPS truck. The fancy packaging of your most recent purchase arrives in a plain brown box. In the haste, to open the box, I suspect little attention is paid to the shiny, multi-color packaging of the item. Personally, I tend to destroy the box to get to the quick start guide. The cost of that shiny multi-colored packaging can be staggering, often times, exceeding the value of the item itself. So, is this expensive marketing ploy really necessary these days? Probably not. What is important is optimizing the packaging size in order to minimize shipping costs. This is particularly relevant in the recent dimensional weight environment that most shippers have adopted. 

Here are some suggestions that may help reduce packaging costs and streamline your supply chain:

Right Off the Bat, Finished Packaging is Very Expensive

While you don’t want to decrease the quality of your product or the perception of your brand, you can typically reduce or change your packaging materials without your customer noticing. Speaking from personal experience and as the parent of a millennial, I am certain that the 20 something's of today could not care less about the shiny, multi-color packaging housing whatever it is they ordered with the possible exception of their Iphone. Our suggestion is to re-think your product packaging design at least for online retail sales product lines.

Package Optimization Allows for Sustainability

If the go green initiative is important in your organization staying as close to a plain brown wrapper as possible allows for the most efficient recycling options for your packaging. Your Company can explore options that use less materials and reduce their carbon footprint. Whether you choose to use a thinner plastic or recycled cardboard, there are many different ways to make your package more sustainable.

Transportation Expense

As previously mentioned, carriers are adopting dimensional weight pricing models which will have a direct impact on transportations costs. Minimizing the size of your packaging while maximizing the density will ensure the most efficient use of your transportation budget. 

Finding the Right Balance

Amazon struggles with this daily: choosing the most appropriate size box for a particular product. We all understand there can be only a finite number of box size choices available. Particularly with the millions of items Amazon ships daily. In a significantly more manageable environment, designing appropriate packaging options is a practice that will both save money in packaging and transportation costs while streamlining your supply chain. 

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Topics: Supply Chain Management