Posted on August 5, 2022 by Dennis Salazar

Packaging “Triage” and How We Fix What Hurts 

Time for a Packaging Check-up

Recently I was having a conversation with a nurse I’d just met, and we exchanged “what I do for a living” stories. After hearing how we serve our customers and clients, she said, “It sounds like you do packaging triage.” To be frank, my exposure to the word triage has been limited to medical and war movies or TV series like MASH, when injuries are identified, and priorities are established to help as many people as quickly as possible.

After some thought and a little research, I had to admit, yes, there is some relevance to the traditional meaning of the word “triage” and what we do. With all due respect and appreciation for first responders and front-line medical personnel, the problems we face are typically not life-threatening to the people we engage with. However, those problems can help determine the growth or even the survival of the businesses we serve.

Do fast-rising packaging costs have your business on life support?

It may feel that way after multiple recent material price increases and, in some cases, supply shortages. We have learned that costs always end up higher than projected, but current conditions are critical, and there is no end in sight.

It may be time to review your structural and graphic designs because your original packaging design may no longer make economic sense. If your current packaging is more than three years old, one of our experienced branded packaging advisors may be able to help you restore profits. We recently helped a customer reduce their cost by over 20% just by changing the flood coat printing on the inside of the box.

Are shipping costs unexpectedly causing intensive profit bleeding?

Custom pick and pack solutionsFreight can cause pain in two ways. Inbound – the cost of getting packaging materials to you or your packaging operation. Outbound – the cost of shipping orders to your customers.

Outrageous fuel prices, current driver, and equipment shortages have resulted in the highest ever freight costs. That is why re-evaluating what packaging you use as well as how you use it has never been more important.

Are you using bulky (incredibly expensive to ship) materials like foam or bubble to protect your product? Do you realize the board grade and weight you are using on your boxes can increase the box cost by 6% but the inbound shipping cost by over 20%? Is there a better, less expensive way to ship, such as truckload or perhaps, rail? Many factors impact shipping cost, so it takes experience to help find the best remedy.

Are shipping damage and customer complaints raising your blood pressure?

Believe it or not, that is often the easiest thing to correct. If there is an inherent weakness in your current design, we will determine what it is and help you correct it.

We have provided boxes and internal packaging to e-commerce customers since 2007 when e-commerce was a new, unproven concept. We believe there is a solution for every packaging problem, and if we can help customers safely ship anything from delicate glass figurines to a heavy glass bottle of bourbon to live plants, we can certainly help reduce stress and disappointment for you and your customers.

Do you need a packaging checkup and exam?

When we look at the last 3 to 4 years, we see a lot of changes that impact our customers tremendously. Some of the changes have been Covid driven, with labor shortages leading companies into more automation. We now work with equipment that can simultaneously print the inside and outside of a box, reducing setup time and, ultimately box cost. Rarely does a week go by that we don’t develop a new design or modify an old one to reduce corrugated usage, making our customers’ shipping containers more eco-friendly while reducing cost per unit.

Doctors usually suggest a yearly checkup for us because our bodies are constantly changing, and not always for the better. We recommend a packaging check-up at least every two to three years because the world, including board design, structural design, transportation, capacity, and graphic printing capabilities, are also changing, and not always for the better. It is easy to put it off because “if it ain’t broke….,” and let’s face it, there are always more pressing issues in business and life.

What most people really need is a good resource partner with experience and a wide array of packaging solutions to offer. Contact us or call us at 630-551-1700 to schedule a no-cost, no-charge review. A better package at a lower cost is possible.

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