Reducing and controlling costs in a supply chain network are top priorities for most companies. Now, many are reviewing their packaging process to save money and improve the quality of how material arrives. Packaging directly impacts many of the large costing areas in your company’s network, such as transportation and piece price. This is why you’ll often see a hefty immediate cost reduction to your network by dedicating an expert to the packaging process.
That expert should know packaging engineering. Packaging engineering is a discipline that uses chemical, industrial, materials, and mechanical engineering to design and create boxes, cartons, bottles, and other packing materials that meet specific criteria.
You can help cut costs significantly for your company by implementing packaging engineering principles in five key areas:
- Transportation – Reduce your in-bound costs by increasing shipment density. Using the talent of an expert packaging engineering resource, transportation cost can be reduced and maintained during increased production by making improvements to load density and route mode optimizations. There are several ways experts achieve this: re-engineering of expendable packaging; re-engineering of returnable packaging; optimization of current supplier packaging; implementation of suppliers into standard returnables; and order optimization.
- Material – Packaging engineering lessens material costs by delivering optimization of supplier packaging and order optimization. This has tremendous potential to positively impact material costs.
- Supplier Compliance to Standards – Packaging engineering helps with enforcement of your packaging guidelines. The consistent enforcement of these is essential to reduce your network costs and build the foundation of the supplier / customer relationship. Step one for all packaging resources should be to create/improve packaging standards.
- Increased Packaging Standardization – With packaging engineering, standard packaging is used for the entire supply base, increasing compatibility throughout. Increased compatibility allows for increased stackability and load density for shipments that have one supplier, as well as among several suppliers on a consolidated load.
- Waste Reduction / Time Savings – Packaging engineering reduces and eliminates non- value-added actions and improves work flow. A dedicated team of packaging engineers can tell precisely where money is being wasted in your network and recover it for you. We know how to get the right products to the right places at the right time – and at the right cost.
What will you do with your savings that are delivered by your resource dedicated to packaging?
Authored by Rick Murray
Mr. Murray is Logistics Project Lead for Ryder Supply Chain Solutions. He has more than 11 years of experience within the packaging engineering and supply chain fields, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Packaging Engineering from Michigan State University.