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Author Archives: lbenson

  1. 3 Ways Custom Corrugated Packaging Can Save You Money

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    Many buy off-the-shelf or generic boxes, thinking they are less expensive than custom corrugated packaging. But the reality is, these types of corrugated boxes might be costing them more in the long run.

    Corrugated packaging’s primary duty is to protect your product from damage during shipping and handling, but it doesn’t stop there. Proper packaging will reduce returns, excess inventory, material waste, packaging line inefficiencies, and shipping and handling costs. And it communicates directly to your customers.

    Minimize Damage

    If you have experienced packaging failure during the handling or transport of your product, you know firsthand the high costs associated with replacing damaged goods, returns, and compromised customer trust. Packaging failure is often the result of using the wrong packaging for your product.

    High-value, oversized, or oddly shaped products are most susceptible to generating higher costs long-term when generic packaging is used.

    When your packaging is optimized using scientific methods based on the product’s characteristics, such as size and weight, fragility, the package’s expected environment, damage to the product is minimized, as are the costs associated with lost product and shipping replacements.

    Reduce Shipping Costs

    Whether you ship via freight carriers or truckloads, there is room for savings with custom boxes.

    If you are in eCommerce and shipping via freight carriers such as FedEx, or UPS, or the USPS, you are charged dimensional (DIM) weight pricing, which takes into account package density to determine pricing. You pay the greater of the package weight or the calculated dimensional weight based on the box’s size. Reducing your box size and weight through customizing your packaging can reduce your DIM weight pricing.

    If you ship palleted products, customized packaging may allow you to get more products on a pallet. With off-the-shelf packaging, you fit fewer products per pallet and truck, which means more loads, more fuel, and higher shipping costs.

    Tell a Story to Your Customer

    It’s hard to assign a cost to customer trust. When a customer receives a product that was damaged in transit or through rough handling, the costs can be higher than replacement and shipping costs.

    Consider the customer’s experience: they have purchased or ordered a product with the expectation that it will arrive as presented or advertised. There may be a need or strong desire for the product – they are emotionally invested and anticipate using it. When they open it, and the product is damaged, they have a strong emotional reaction (disappointment, anger, sadness) that they will now associate with your brand. Even if you have excellent customer service and promise to do right by them, they must wait for a replacement and may find themselves further distancing from your brand because of the inconvenience. The likelihood they will share the experience with others is high.

    If you think you can overpackage to prevent customer disappointment, think again. Using excess packaging or the wrong sized packaging may get you put on a packaging fails list like this or this.  Consumers don’t like to see excessive packaging, and many will call you out in a very public way. If your packaging goes viral, it should be because it brings pleasure to your customers, not frustration. This type of publicity can cost you future customers.

    Trust Axis Corrugated as Your Custom Corrugated Packaging Partner

    If you are ready to see how custom corrugated packaging can save you money, talk to Axis Corrugated Container, a privately held, American -owned and -operated company. We will optimize your containers to protect your product, reduce material use, minimize wasteful fill-voids, and reduce DIM factors, ultimately helping you reduce costs.

    Our streamlined job workflow minimizes production costs and speeds job processing. Our logistical prowess enables us to reduce distribution time and costs substantially. Plus, we control the quality of every box or display we manufacture at all production stages, so you can be assured your boxes will meet your standards.

    Contact us to learn how we can help you.

  2. What Are Long Lead Times Costing You?

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    In 1988 George Stalk coined the term ‘time-based competition’ in his Harvard Business Review article “Time—The Next Source of Competitive Advantage.” The premise of this strategy is that companies that meet the needs of their customers and respond to market changes faster have a competitive advantage in the market. More than 30 years later, the principles of time-based competition still hold true. It may be cliché, but time is money.

    Many companies have implemented components of the time-based competition strategy, such as just-in-time production or other operational measures that reduce bottlenecks and eliminating time delays. However, the most competitive companies evaluate their entire supply chain to uncover challenges. Long lead times is one area that often creates challenges.

    In his article, Stalk says that traditional manufacturing requires long lead times because various jobs or activities require the same resources. The traditional model relies on sales forecasts to assist with production planning. Forecasts are, by definition, guesses and, despite the best intentions, inevitably wrong, increasing lead times further. Unscheduled jobs are then expedited, pushing out the scheduled jobs. To compensate for lead time delays, companies often over stock inventory.

    In the corrugated packaging industry, prospects and customers told us that their lead times were very long (averaging 8-weeks) or had been pushed out by previous vendors, particularly larger integrated suppliers. The lower volume pricing these types of packaging companies offer can be an enticement for some manufacturers. However, the spike in e-commerce over the past year and a half and an increased need for corrugated packaging have driven demand and impacted some packaging companies’ ability to deliver. For example, on their latest earnings calls, large integrated suppliers have discussed long backlogs and expressed challenges with determining when lead times will return to normal levels.  So, what once seemed like a great deal, suddenly wasn’t.

    The Cost of Long Lead Times

    When you look at the concept of time-based competition, you can see that any lead-time delays in your supply chain reduce your competitiveness in the market. It creates a snowball effect with production downtime and packaging line inefficiencies, and you pass the delay on to your customers, where you risk customer attrition and brand devaluation. When you do ship, you may have to pay for expedited shipping to placate your customer.

    To prevent this, increasing your inventory is an option, but there are costs associated with this, as well, such as the upfront investment in inventory, storage space, and inventory management costs. This leaves you with reduced cash flow and possible losses associated with obsolescence if not used and weakened boxes through improper storage (time, humidity). No matter how you view it, long lead times are impacting your bottom line.

    The Axis Corrugated Solution

    We understand the value of your time and strive to help you maintain your competitive advantage. Through operational efficiency and flexibility, we can provide you with faster lead times than the bigger guys. We reduce lead times through:

    • Our streamlined job workflow, which minimizes production costs and speeds job processing
    • Quick response to urgent orders and unusual packaging challenges
    • Our enormous inventory of corrugated boards and materials, which enable us to fulfill short turnaround and specialty orders quickly
    • Just-in-time delivery and next day turnarounds in many cases
    • Inventory management, ensuring you always have the boxes that you need
    • Improved logistics with our extensive fleet of trucks and dependable logistics partners

    Being a privately held company, we take great pride in every business relationship and will work hard to earn your trust. Contact us today to learn how we can reduce your lead times.

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