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.

10 Ways For DC Warehouses To Go Green

I promote living cleaner and greener whenever and wherever I can, and warehouses and are no exception. There are many reasons to increase awareness about creating a greener and cleaner warehouse environment for both employees and for the footprint left behind.

  1. Reduce warehouse costs wherever you can by reducing waste and increasing the use of efficient energy usage
  2. Increase the bottom line of the warehouse by limiting the amount of waste
  3. Create a better environment for employees to increase productivity
  4. Ability to expand company sooner
  5. Increase overall efficiencies

10 ways to decrease the footprint and increase the bottom line include:

Optimize layout of facilities

Product movement during regular and peak seasons can create opportunities to increase efficiencies in the layout of the facility. The less the package has to travel, the faster the package can get in and out, creating employee efficiencies.

Provide efficient lighting in facilities

Providing bright and efficient LED lighting that is focused on specific work areas to decrease employee mistakes, accidents, and potential health issues due to inadequate lighting.

Solar Energy

Warehouses typically cover quite a bit of square footage, and their roofs are no different. Adding solar panels to the warehouse can decrease overall electricity costs by supplementing the electricity used.

Install motion sensors

Using motion sensors that automatically turn lights off when no one is in the area for a certain period of time will decrease electricity costs.

Implement strict procedures

Allowing trucks to idle for long periods of time and keeping bay doors in loading docks open when not necessary increase energy usage. Ensure all employees understand the need to decrease energy usage and the procedures to reduce the company’s footprint, and the consequences of not doing so.

Involve employees in decisions

Your employees are the one’s who run the floor. Let them tell you what they believe would be the most efficient use of their time, floor space, and floor layout.

Reuse and recycle

Filling up the landfill with unused products that are unsalable produces a huge footprint on our environment. Instead, reuse whatever you can, sell through a secondary market sale, and recycle or donate anything else. Don’t let unsalable products go to waste.

Route and delivery efficiency

Take a look at current shipments and routes and find a way to consolidate shipments to increase route efficiencies. This will decrease delivery times, increase shipment efficiencies, increase the management and amount of shipments, give ability to expand, and increase your bottom line.

Delivery rates and carriers

If you use a delivery company to ship your product, shop the competition to see if someone else has better delivery rates. If you have contracts with specific carriers, review the contracts quarterly to ensure you aren’t paying too much for having the added benefit of dedicated truckers.

Automate processes

As much as I hate saying this because I am a proponent of providing local jobs, automate whenever and wherever you can. You’ll lower your costs and increase proficiency (usually with fewer errors).

An example of optimization of a warehouse is Skechers’ new distribution center in Moreno Valley, CA. Skechers consolidated several warehouses in a nearby city to a 1.82 million square foot facility that employs the most advanced technology, an integral layout that optimizes shipments and employee time, and enhances the ability to leave a smaller footprint on the environment.

7 Low Cost Ways to Promote Your Business

There are numerous ways in which to promote your business and today my challenge was to see how many I could come up with that were either zero or low cost. After a brief brainstorming session, I was surprised to see how many I’d managed to come up with and they are probably just the tip of the iceberg. They are all tried and tested methods, all of which can work though the results may also depend on the business you are in. Here are my top 7:

1. Networking in person – while this list is not in any particular order, I do believe that this is the number 1 low cost way to promote yourself and your business.

2. Talk about your Unique Selling Point (USP) – Look at what the competition has to offer by buying some of their products or services and then find a way to do it differently. Once you know what your USP is, make sure to make your customers aware of it.

3. Always over deliver – by treating customers better than you expect to be treated and by over delivering on their expectations, your customers will do your selling for you by talking positively about your great product or service.

4. Give something away – everyone likes to get something for nothing! This can be anything from an information product to a sample of one of your best products, to pens or gift vouchers.

5. Following on from above, when not link up with another business whose products/services compliment your own and get them to give away your freebies as a gift to their clients while you do the same for them in return.

6. Say thank you – when a customer compliments you on what you do or tell you why they keep buying from you, make sure to thank them and what better way to do it than to give them a freebie or a gift voucher to give to a friend so that they can have the opportunity of sharing their buying experience.

7. Blogging and social media – not just to directly promote what you do but also to showcase your expertise as well as your human side! By sharing some of your stories with people, both positive and negative experiences, you can soon have a loyal following of supporters who can relate to you and get the feeling that they know you – and it has been proven that people prefer to buy from someone they know.

Try them to see which ones can work for you and your business.

“Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement”. ~Samuel Johnson