Fighting Back Against Long Lead Times, Minimum Orders, and Rising Costs

The pandemic wreaked havoc on supply chains across the globe – creating long lead times or reducing supplies. Many paper manufacturers pivoted to create corrugated as the demand for e-commerce packaging exploded. Increased demand is one of the drivers for price increases that have been seen recently. Even still, there are constraints within the supply chain that are impacting manufacturers looking for corrugated packaging. Supply isn’t keeping up with demand in some cases.

More specifically, the industry is seeing long lead times and minimum order requirements because demand has increased, and mass-producing generates higher profits for large integrated plants. Often smaller orders get pushed out. Long lead times and minimums lead to higher total costs for the customer that needs low to medium corrugated box volumes.

Unlike other corrugated packaging suppliers, we at Axis Corrugated are fighting to reduce our customers’ total costs through shorter lead times, no minimums, and packaging assessments.

Long Lead Times Are Escapable

On average, the industry is seeing 8-week+ lead times. You may have accepted that’s just the way it is, but it can have a profound impact on your business. There are costs associated with long lead times. You do the best you can with sales forecasts, but unexpected things happen. The same is true for large, corrugated manufacturers, and rush orders from key customers mean other orders get further delayed. Lead time delays reduce your competitiveness in the market and erode your customers’ trust in your ability to deliver.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Through operational efficiency, streamlined workflows, and flexibility, we have our lead time down to 2 weeks on average and offer just-in-time delivery. When necessary, we can accommodate next-day turnarounds. Think of how much easier production planning will be knowing you don’t have to think about packaging. It will be there when you need it.

No Minimums Required

Many large box manufacturers require minimums, often with little to no customization- typically one SKU per truckload. This allows for long production runs with little downtime for changeovers. This is fine for giant retailers, but it doesn’t serve smaller companies that may have several SKUs and may not need many boxes.

Being forced to take a full truckload per SKU means storing and managing them, which adds business costs. It can also lead to waste as corrugated strength can be negatively impacted by improper storage over time or through obsolescence.

There are box companies that offer vendor-managed inventory (VMI) solutions. They typically manufacturer in large runs and send a specific number at agreed-upon times. This reduces the need for you to manage the inventory but doesn’t deal with the issue of knocked-down boxes sitting in a warehouse and the impact that has on the box strength and integrity over time.

We do not require our customers to purchase minimums. Because we have a shorter lead time and the flexibility to pivot in an emergency, you don’t need to buy more than you need or store large volumes of boxes that risk becoming waste.

How We Are Different

Costs are going up in all areas, but we try to minimize the impact on packaging for our customers. We are a privately held, fiscally sound independent corrugator. Unlike the publicly traded integrated plants that are beholden to stockholders, our obligations lie with ensuring our customers get the best value for the price they pay.

We have a comprehensive production and equipment redundancy program and disaster recovery plan that ensures we can deliver what we say we will deliver in amounts that you need with shorter lead times.

Another way we have successfully saved our customers money is through packaging assessments. We learn about your company, processes, and products and then offer cost-saving suggestions for packaging optimization, SKU management, and supply chain management.

To learn more about our corrugated product solutions or discuss your packaging needs with one of our representatives, contact us today!