Returnable Packaging Alert — The Top 10 Ways To Save Money On Heavy Gauge Thermoforming

While the most common type of thermoformed packaging for industrial applications is a heavy duty thermoformed tray, other options include clamshells, lids for returnable sleeve packs made from plastic corrugated, and pallets. Whichever you choose to use depends entirely upon what you want it to do. Choosing a method that conforms specifically to your needs can help save money in the long run, since your product will be packaged according to exact specifications. Here is a list of some other ways to save money using heavy gauge thermoforming:

1. Before placing an order, provide a sample of the product to be packaged to your supplier. This way, your supplier can design trays that meet the exact specifications of your product. You’ll also get a more accurate, better-designed initial quote.

2. Plan ahead. Because thermoformed trays are typically custom-made, it can take a bit longer to fill an order. If you wait until the last minute to order, you will incur a lot of charges that could be avoided if you planned ahead.

3. Determine whether or not you can stack additional weight on top of your product. If this is possible, your thermoformed trays will not need to be as deep. This means smaller trays made with less plastic, which means a substantial cost savings for you.

4. Order thermoformed trays that are stackable and nestable, so they will stack on top of each other when loaded with product, and nest inside each other when empty. These take up less space, are easier to store, and also can help save money on shipping costs.

5. Have trays marked with a one-inch stripe on their sides. This will help operators identify when a tray is fully loaded or empty, which can save time and labor costs.

6. Before production, ask for concept sketches and dimensions of your thermoformed trays. This way, everyone will be clear on what is required versus what is being ordered and produced. It there is an error, it is easier to fix during concept design rather than after the returnable packaging is already produced.

7. Make a production tool instead of a wood prototype tool for thermoformed trays. Prototype tooling is time consuming – it can take up to two weeks! Production tooling can be modified and adjusted, speeding up overall design and production time. This also saves from having to pay the additional cost of a wooden prototype, which is completely useless after the job is completed.

8. Once tooling is complete, evaluate plastic thicknesses by having thermoformed tray samples made. If your product can be supported by a thinner material, save money by ordering thinner plastic.

9. Stamp thermoformed trays with an identification mark with company name, address, phone number, and other important information. This will ensure the returnable packaging is returned to the correct address.

10. When you no longer need your thermoformed trays or they become obsolete, ask suppliers to buy them back for recycling. The price paid will be a scrap value, but anything is better than nothing!

In closing, heavy gauge thermoforming is a cost effective and efficient form of returnable packaging. These tips will help you communicate with your packaging producer and keep your costs to a minimum.

Ten Tips On Delegating Work

One way to manage your time more effectively is to delegate work to others on your staff or to contract workers you hire for specific projects. How often I hear such comments as, “It takes too much time to delegate.” “If I delegate the work there is no guarantee that the work will be done properly. It is just easier to do it myself.” “No one can do this as well as I can.” If others who have a lower hourly rate can do the work while you focus on the work only you can do, your cash flow will be better because you can do more of the work that only you can do.

1. Be specific about what you want done. Be clear as to the purpose of the delegated work and what kind of results you expect. Take the time to answer the person’s questions. This takes less time than redoing work.

2. Set a realistic deadline for the delegated work and make sure that this is workable for the person to whom you are delegating the work.

3. Give the person the information he/she will need and point them toward other resources he/she may use to complete the work

4. Be available for questions and require periodic progress reports.

5. If you are delegating because you have so much to do that you do not have time to give explicit instructions, be sure to delegate to a member of your team or a contract worker who can do the work with a minimum of direction. Perhaps they have done this job before or they have had experience with similar projects.

6. Once you delegate to someone who is well equipped to handle the task, allow the person space to be imaginative in his/her approach and to take the initiative to do something differently or do it in a bigger way (as long as you get the results you are looking for!).

7. If you want to use the delegation of the task (problem) as a way to develop a member of your staff or a contract worker, leave time in your schedule to provide enough detail as to how to go about getting the task done as is necessary for that particular person. (Developing a team member means eventually you will not have to give as much direction.)

8. Have a system to report back to you so that you get feedback without being constantly interrupted during your day. Have a list of critical dates so that you get the feedback regularly.

9. Keep a log of all the projects you delegate and their status. Update the log as you get feedback.

10. Give credit and praise for the successful completion of the task or solution of the problem.

Top 10 Space Saving Catering Equipment

In the restaurant business and the catering industry there is a wide variety of catering equipment, appliances, and foods that move in and out of the commercial kitchen on a daily basis. It’s not surprising that space can become an issue. Here are the top 10 space saving catering equipment.

  1. Crockery Racks. A crockery rack, especially one that is mobile, is a very handy item to have in the kitchen. You can place it at the kitchen door to receive all the crockery that comes back from the customers and once it is full, it can be moved to the dishwasher to be cleaned. It keeps the crockery off the kitchen surfaces and tucked away in a corner.
  2. Dish Dolly. Dish dollies have a divider that is adjustable sometimes. It allows you to place stacks of plates and platters in this nifty unit while being able to move it easily from one area to another with its wheels.
  3. Freezer Crate. This is a handy unit which enables you to separate the foods in the freezer. For example you could have one crate filled with vegetables which you can easily remove from the freezer or fridge. At the same time you can quickly wash the vegetables in the crate.
  4. Glass Crate. Glass crates are fully stackable and are able to hold 30 glasses. Each glass is separated from the next which makes it ideal for transporting from one venue to another.
  5. Portable Ice Caddy. This is ideal for functions where you require ice storage as well as easy distribution of the ice from one table to the next. Look for an insulated ice caddy that maintains the cold temperature.
  6. Ingredient Bins. This is the ideal way to store bulk ingredients. Instead of having many small tubs or boxes of ingredients, pour all the packs of the same ingredient into one ingredient bin. This will save space and be easier to control.
  7. Storage Containers. Storage containers usually come in different sizes and are stackable. It is a great way to store food items. You could colour code the containers by means of the lids or label them for better management of the food items.
  8. Shelving Systems. If you don’t have any more storage space in the cupboards, then you could install shelves on the walls. Corner shelving units are quite popular while single shelves are also used often. You can store pots, pans and other catering equipment on these shelves.
  9. Insulated Food Servers. This is ideal for transporting or moving prepared foods. Place the foods in containers and put them in an insulated food server. It will remain warm (or cool) inside this unit. This storage solution allows you travel conveniently to the venue.
  10. Work Tables. Work tables with two or more shelves below the working surface makes for a convenient work station. While preparing the food, you can have all the catering equipment smalls and food items on the shelves below.