The Value of Just-in-Time Packaging
Having packaging available when you need it is, of course, critical to the sale of goods. One way to ensure you have the corrugated packaging you need is through just-in-time packaging inventory management.
Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management is an inventory control strategy that syncs material orders with production or delivery schedules so that you only stock what you will use right away. Your corrugated packaging manufacturer might either manufacture your order as needed or use a vendor-managed inventory system to manage and maintain a specified inventory level in their warehouse, regularly ship the amount you need, and then replenish the stock they are holding.
Pros and Cons of Just-in-Time Packaging Inventory Management
JIT can bring efficiency and cost savings to businesses that implement and use the system correctly. Current supply chain disruptions have convinced many that JIT inventory management can have the opposite effect and maintaining inventory is critical for keeping packaging lines running.
It is true that JIT leaves you dependent on your packaging partner, but some who have suffered delays depend on overseas partners. That’s not to say that those suppliers are undependable, per se. Their supply chain issues may contribute; however, that is just a tiny part of it. Large and complex supply chains have many stakeholders (e.g., ships, ports, trains, trucking companies) with competing priorities. The larger the supply chain, the more challenging controlling it becomes. Working with a local packaging supplier clears up these challenges.
Even local packaging manufacturers can have challenges. If you are experiencing shipping delays on your JIT order, it can create a ripple effect and anger customers. Poor forecasting and poor communication can also create challenges. For a successful JIT program to work, you need to verify that your supplier has an effective JIT system, including equipment redundancy. Also, build a relationship with your packaging supplier, promoting clear communication concerning your needs and expectations. Long lead times are typical in the industry right now, so if you are anticipating a sudden need for a much larger order, for example, communicate it as soon as possible.
When used effectively, some of the benefits from using just-in-time packaging inventory management include:
- Costs associated with warehouse and overhead are reduced
- Employees can be used for manufacturing or other critical areas instead of in the warehouse
- Customers will have increased satisfaction knowing they will get their products on time
- Waste is reduced because you don’t have excess stored packaging if a product is retired.
- Cash flow is freed up because you won’t be required to purchase large minimums upfront.
- Reduced procurement lead times
Consider Axis Corrugated Container for Your JIT Partner
We are a privately held, American- owned and operated packaging supplier that successfully provides JIT deliveries to many customers. What makes us successful?
- 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.
- We have an enormous inventory of corrugated boards and materials, which enable us to fulfill short turnaround and specialty orders quickly
- We offer a vendor managed inventory program to help with fluctuating demand
- We have the flexibility to respond quickly to urgent orders and unusual packaging challenges
- We have an extensive fleet of trucks and dependable logistic partners, giving us greater control of logistics.
- We support many customers’ stock box needs with next-day turnarounds.
Contact us to learn how JIT can benefit you or to learn more about our services.