Here is the scenario, Company A is experiencing 5% damage on their flagship product shipping to Amazon. Amazon and other e-commerce partners are pushing back that the damage has to be reduced or they will stop carrying the product. An initiative from the top is pushed through that a new package design must be developed to drive down damage immediately.
What is the next step? Reach out to your existing packaging supplier and ask them to create a solution? They will likely create a potential solution with the material they sell, create a sample and complete testing to a generic standard. The package passes and the project is complete. Or is it?
At BoldtSmith Packaging, there are three questions that remained unanswered.
- How much did you pass testing by?
- Is the testing protocol accurate to what actually occurs during shipping?
- What is the ROI for the new packaging solution vs what the product damage is costing?
We will break down the details and importance of each question below.
How much did you pass testing by?
The importance of this question cannot be understated. Sure, it might make sense to create a band-aid solution quickly in this specific example to stop the bleed. Often however we discover, that companies end up keeping band-aid solutions long term. Management changes and the once important project is forgotten and the expensive band-aid package design, labor and freight costs become permanent.
Often, we find this concept specifically applies when a customer reaches out to a packaging manufacturer. Whether that be a foam, corrugated, pallet or molded pulp manufacture, there job is to sell you material. Specifically, with the material they sell. If they can provide a solution that passes testing and fixes the damage issue, taking cost out of the packaging material, freight or labor typically isn’t a variable to consider.
At BoldtSmith Packaging, we create multiple packaging designs and samples. When the designs pass testing, we continue taking cost out until we reach a failure point. We will then redesign and pass testing. All design concepts will have pricing associated with them from a packaging material, labor and freight standpoint. Since we do not sell packaging, we have no reason to give you a solution with one material vs another.
Is your testing protocol accurate?
This concept of relying on testing to provide data is only as good as the testing protocol.If the testing protocol is not accurate, the optimized packaging concept breaks down.
There are generic testing protocols out there that are targeted towards specific supply chains such as LTL, small parcel, etc. Within those protocols, there are a few protocols modified towards product categories such as furniture, TV’s, etc. But for the most part, the protocol is based on the method of shipping and not so much the product category.
For this reason, BoldtSmith Packaging combines the information from the mentioned testing protocols with information we gather with data recording devices. The data recording device attaches to the product/package and records the hazards that typically cause product damage. This includes drop height, number of drops, drop orientation, vibration profiles, temperature, humidity, etc.
We recently shipped a product that according to the recognized protocol would experience an 18” drop.During our test shipment with the data recording device, the product received a 72” and 65” drop. The packaging solution to pass an 18” drop vs 72” drop is completely different. This is why an accurate testing protocol is critical.
What is the ROI on the new packaging solution?
Once we complete the designs and verification of the designs through testing, we will then calculate the ROI. Since the specifications of the designs we create our customer owns, they can send the specifications to multiple packaging manufacturers to get the best possible pricing.
Once we receive that pricing back, we will put it into a financial analysis comparing all the key variables such as packaging material, freight and labor costs. This is then compared to what the damage is costing our customer per year. This gives us the data to make a recommendation that will balance packaging costs vs product damage costs.