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There is a lot riding on the packaging as a wholesaler. Your packages may have to travel thousands of miles via air, sea, and land. There are going to be different environmental conditions as your package moves from your warehouse to the customer’s destination.
Your packages will be subjected to extreme temperatures and rough handling. After the transit that can take days to weeks, you want the customer who opens the package to expect the product to be intact and flawless, just the way it was packed.
The magic lies in optimal and efficient packaging. While wholesalers can get away with standard boxes and void fillers for some time, the opportunity cost of ignoring optimized packaging is hard to ignore in the long run. Also, efficient packaging lines and warehouse operations make a world of difference and add to the savings in packaging costs.
Your packaging is the first thing that a customer notices when they buy from you. The first impression matters a lot. Not only because it delights the customer, but because it can lead to repeat purchases and new customers through recommendations.
Poor packaging that results in product damages leads to returns, refunds, and in the worst case, bad reviews that can hurt your business.
Knowing that packaging is important and not to be ignored, here are 5 ways to save packaging costs as a wholesaler.
1. Research All Options
The packaging needs of every wholesaler are different. Depending on the products you’re selling, you can choose from various packaging materials such as cardboard, plastic, and paper. There are also stuffing materials you have to consider based on your requirements.
You have to research all options to choose the most efficient way to ship your products. Remember, standard-size boxes are easier to source. But that doesn’t make them efficient for shipments.
Most wholesalers will benefit from custom packaging for their products. Since dimensional weight is calculated for shipments, you can save costs by using packages that hug your products. For example, if you’re a clothing wholesaler, you can use vacuum sealers to compress clothing to ship in bags and mailers instead of large boxes.
2. Improve Assembly and Packing Time
The improvement in your assembly and packing time has an impact on the packaging cost. You need an efficient system for quickly assembling and packing products.
Workers spend a lot of time packing and sealing boxes with packaging tape to ensure that the product is secure. While assembling and filling the boxes happens quickly, packing can slow down the entire process.
To improve packing time, you can look into alternative ways to pack boxes. If you have to use boxes, consider using boxes that need less tape or have a self-locking mechanism. This will reduce the packing time that can be utilized to pack more or take care of other assembly work.
3. Use Custom-sized Packaging
When your business grows, one of the problems you’ll come across is sourcing packaging quickly. Many businesses can struggle with this and choose standard-size boxes based on their easier availability.
However, standard boxes can be oversized for some of your products. You do not want to end up paying for an oversized box with a small product. You are leaving money on the table that can be used in other areas of your business when opting for standard-size boxes.
When you use a box that is specifically designed for your product, you can save costs by making better use of the space. Your package can take the form of your product or it can have custom inserts for efficient packaging that eliminates the need for using void fillers to protect the product during transit.
4. Automate and Optimize Processes
Highly optimized processes at your warehouse will reduce the time needed for packing and result in better packages. When you have an established process and operate smoothly, try to optimize the process and automate a few things.
Remember, do not do this when you’re in a shopping season or under any time constraint. You need to test out processes to optimize them only when you have the luxury of time on your side.
Start by analyzing your current inventory of product packages. Next, group together similar items. Finally, identify and group infrequently used packaging materials. The goal is to create highly optimized packaging lines.
Try to automate manual processes wherever possible with machines. The use of machinery gives precision and perfectly packaged products with reduced chances for damage. With automation, you can increase the output, reduce workplace injuries, and enhance brand reputation.
5. Reduce the Number of Suppliers
The packaging industry is continuously getting better with newer innovations and smart packing solutions. Eco-friendly packaging and 3D printing for package design are improved along with better solutions being researched.
As a wholesaler, you should be changing your packaging when a new and more efficient packaging method becomes available.
To save costs and be ahead of the game, you need to be agile to switch to newer packaging methods. By working with fewer packaging suppliers, you can conveniently test and switch to better packaging options.
You do not want to be stuck in a system where you source corrugated cardboards from one supplier, bubble wraps from another, custom-sized boxes from yet another, and so on. When you’re working with fewer suppliers, it’s easier to communicate across the board and switch to more durable and lightweight packaging options.