The Evolution of Packaging – Meeting Customer’s Needs

March 09 2017

Written by: Dean Rizzo 

The Evolution of Packaging…
Meeting the specific needs of clients in today’s fast-paced market 

After 20 years of being in the packaging industry it has been fun to see the changes that have taken place in packaging trends and customer’s needs over this span. One thing is certain, and that is that change is inevitable and client’s needs are not getting any less demanding. After this many years as a sales professional, the best compliment is to be looked upon as a value added asset when I walk through the doors of our business partners.

In dealing with a large parts and accessories distributor in South Western Ontario, experiencing issues with their current air-pillow cushioning void fill systems for their small parts line. They were finding issue with the machines, that lead to down-time in production flow as well as air-pillows that were not sealing fully after the dunnage fills were at capacity and ready to be packed into the boxes.
After learning that they had gone through a few different air-pillow systems prior, I wanted to see what we could offer them that was industry leading and could take them into their future growth and expansion plan requirements. Our solution was a market leading air-pillow system that allowed them twice the capacity in air bag production and introducing them to a different kind of polyethylene film, that was proven more effective in air retention, as well as seal quality.

The benefit in the end was the ability to more to fewer air-pillow machines overall, as the output capabilities was twice that of what they were using. In addition, from installation to date there have been no equipment downtime issues with the newer and more reliable systems. This also helped to free up packing jobs on the line and better utilized staff for other warehouse operations. The more reliable film gave them consistent sealed air-pillows that they could effectively pack into their boxes – properly protecting the materials being shipped. All these improvements resulted in what every company looks for, and that is cost savings to the bottom line.

The second part of this analysis was made during a walk-through of the facility. This is the best possible way to really see what a client’s needs and challenges are and how you can possibly fit into this equation. When analyzing how certain products were being shipped by corrugated boxes for ease of not incurring non-conveyable courier charges from their current freight company. We looked at the possibility of a different packaging method – in the form of plastic shipping mailer bags. The unit price difference for shipping specific items in these mailers compared to their current cost of corrugated boxes used for this purpose, was significantly less. The items would still be protected in this means of shipping, and also reduce the cost of having to add any additional protective packaging – which again would increase overall packaging costs. This new packaging substitute was not replacing all products being shipped, as this would not be feasible for the variance in products – but still resulted in cost saving for the items we deemed suitable for this new packaging.

As the demands of our clients rapidly change to have adapt in order to meet the customer’s needs. As competitors continue to evolve with the times, it’s essential we continue to stay connected with our business partners.

Gone are the days of business’ partnering with the suppliers that offer the “cheapest” price on packaging consumables. As more and more companies realize the true cost and benefits in having an experienced packaging partner with access to the newest and latest improvements and innovations of the industry.